Obesity has become a worldwide problem, and necessary steps need to be taken to manage it effectively. The condition is usually caused by a combination of factors, which includes genetic, environmental, hormonal and psychological.
The psychological reasons for obesity influence overeating and lead to excessive weight gain. This includes stress (which can be associated with intake of a poor diet), psychological distress (anxiety and depression), feelings of being out of control with food and dysfunctional eating.
Behavioral and psychological reasons for obesity:
We all are aware of the term- stress-eating. Long and continued stress can stimulate the release of cortisol in the body. Cortisol increases appetite and motivation to eat. This results in untimely munching on snacks. Also, stress seems to affect food preferences. When a person is under stress, he tends to have cravings for sugary and fatty things. Stress does not only cause overeating. Stressed people suffer from insomnia and lack of exercise- al of which contribute to weight gain.
Studies have found that people who are depressed are more likely to become obese. This is because of the hormonal and chemical changes that occur in depressed people. In addition, depressed people are unable to take care of their diet and general health. Their negative thoughts affect the way they take care of themselves.
Anxiety is directly linked to obesity or weight gain. According to studies, there are multiple ways in which anxiety can lead to weight gain. Those suffering from any anxiety disorders release a considerable amount of cortisol- a natural stress hormone that increases your appetite. Anxiety also affects the healthy digestion of food, which leads to deposition of fat. Anxiety causes tiredness and fatigue- both of which affects the normal exercise regime.
The researchers have found that the feeling of guilt leads to compulsive eating and weight gain. According to experts, some people use food as a way to manage their negative emotions. Good food offers a way to forget their feelings for a while, but it is only temporary.
The environmental factors for obesity are still easy to manage. It is these psychological reasons for obesity that are difficult to control. There is no doubt that a healthy diet and strict exercise regime is the key to losing weight and achieve fitness. However, it is important first to treat these negative emotions so that you can begin your weight loss journey with determination and self-control.