Stress and Weight Gain
Stress and weight gain - chicken or egg? Which comes first? We know for sure that people who are stressed a lot are more likely to gain weight than those who aren't. But what about the opposite. It seems like a lot of people experience considerable additional stress in their lives when they are overweight compared to when they are not.
Bottom line - there seems to be a connection both ways between stress and weight gain.
So what's the answer? Well it seems that if they are related then one should affect the other. Becoming less stressed and/or losing some weight will help both ways.
Try some of the easier exercises on this site to help reduce stress and maybe it will carry over into losing some weight as well.
Here is some interesting research on this topic and on the power of social networks that has been recently publicised.
Known as the Framingham Study, researchers Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler have analyzed data going back 32 years to show that family and social networks play a significant role in determining both obesity and happiness.
They show that the more over-weight people you associate with (family and friends) the greater the likelihood of you being overweight. Similarly, the more happy people you associate with the more chance you have of being happy. In fact each happy friend you have might increase the liklihood of you being happy by a whopping 9 per cent. Perhaps ten happy friends would almost guarantee you happiness if the theory follows the math.
So as well as doing some of the exercises here do one other thing as well:
Get more happy friends who are not overweight.
An interesting modern day aside to this phenomena is a study of Facebook friends shows that the more of your friends who have smiles in their profile pictures the more likelihood you are to have a smiling portrait too. So show that smile... it's catching!
Read this recent
New York Times article
for a little more detail about the Christakis and Fowler findings or
for some more information on weather or not stress makes you fat.