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Stay angry, stay fat?

brunch Updated: May 25, 2013 17:51 IST
Shikha Sharma
Shikha Sharma
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Stress and anger is a potent mix. Anger leads to weight gain and stress prevents weight loss. Many women struggling with weight loss actually don’t eat much, but are unable to slim down. There are various reasons for this kind of rigidity of weight, and most are part of our daily lives.

The role of anger
An average city dweller experiences more anger than other people. When we get angry, the body pumps a large quantity of the fighter hormone (cortisol), which rushes to all parts of the body to prepare itself for a ‘fight or defend’ situation. This hormone stays in the body for a long time and changes a person’s metabolism from the ‘consumption pattern’ to the ‘storage pattern’ variety. So the same foods that could have been used up by the body are now stored, which increases a person’s bulk. This hormone is also responsible for weak muscles and pot-belly fat, which are typical indicators of stress-related obesity.

Food cravings
Anger and stress also cause hormones (neuropeptide Y) to set off cravings for food that are high in fat, sugar and salt. People find dieting painful not because they eat less food, but because their minds and bodies cry out for junk food.

Portion control: Make sure you have a light dinner with little or no salt)

A stress-obese body displays certain body traits. In men, the person develops weak or soft arms or leg muscles, fat around the belly, an emerging double chin and darkening or hyper pigmentation.

In women, stress obesity shows up as excessive fat around the belly, skin changes such as acne or roughness, and as fat deposits on the back and waist. They may also develop excessive facial hair, and retain water, causing them to feel bloated all the time.

Stop weight gain

Stress obesity cannot simply be treated by going on a diet because there is a combination of several hormones resisting weight loss. It requires greater help in terms of professional treatment, which involves herbal medicines, stress management, specific exercises and regulation of diet patterns.

However, there are certain steps that can easily be taken at home to halt the march of stubborn weight gain.

What you can do

Drink two litres of water every day. Begin your day with two glasses of water on an empty stomach.



in the night to increase alkaline levels in the gut.

Keep dinner as light as possible with minimum or no salt.

Take natural diuretics (substances which help address the problem of water retention) such as jasmine tea, barley water and nimbu paani.

From HT Brunch, May 26
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