Anxiety and stress are the most common factors for weight gain and fat accumulation in the body. It is natural for you to be under a lot of stress with your exams approaching. You are probably studying long hours, depriving yourself of sleep, and binge eating.
The result is that you begin to gain weight studying and the stress that you are under adds to the pace at which you gain weight.
Why does stress cause weight gain?
Even if you are eating healthy for the most part and even squeezing in a physical activity during your exams, you are likely to put on stress fat. When the body is under stress, the brain orders the release of certain hormones that are very potent. One such hormone is cortisol and the other is adrenaline.
Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, instructs the body to produce more energy. This is the reason why you feel uncontrollable pangs of hunger when you are stressed. These cravings are so intense that you naturally reach out for foods that are rich in sugar and fat. Cortisol also makes your body store fats, mostly around your vital organs. This is another strategy the body applies, in order to protect the vital organs.
These factors lead to sudden weight gain when you are studying for your exams. However,there are strategies that you can apply to prevent weight gain when you are studying.
Six ways to prevent weight gain during exams
Being anxious during exams is quite common. You cannot get rid of this entirely. However, you can take some measures to reduce the level of cortisol in the body and keep your weight under check.
1. Remain active
Take some time off to get your body moving. Even if it means a quick walk or a set of 10 push-ups and jumping jacks, getting your body moving will release endorphins that negate the effect of cortisol.
2. Eat slowly
Slowly chewing your food is very important. When you are under stress and studying, you tend to eat fast. As a result, the portion sizes increase leading to increased belly fat. When you eat, pay attention, and enjoy every bite. This makes you feel fuller and as a result, reduces the levels of cortisol.
3. Ditch the diet
Do not follow any diet plan when you are studying. Since you are already under stress, this only adds on. Studies show that dieting can increase the levels of cortisol by 18%. As a result, you will feel cranky and will want to binge even more. Depriving the brain of sugar will make this craving even worse.
4. Reduce Coffee
Reduce the amount of coffee that you drink. Coffee causes cortisol levels to go up by a massive 25% with just two cups.
5. Eat a hearty breakfast
Have a big, protein-rich breakfast that also includes a lot of fruits, seeds, and carbohydrates. This helps you focus better when you are studying and reduces any cravings significantly.
6. Get enough sleep
Divide your study time through the day to avoid procrastination and reduced sleep. The more you sleep, the lesser the cortisol levels. A little effort can go a long way in keeping exam related stress levels under check. Go ahead try it.