As more and more people become stressed over their finances, it seems that the rate of obesity is also increasing. Even though the two trends may seem unrelated, recent studies have proven that financial troubles or debts can actually lead to weight gain. Here are some ways that financial stress can affect your weight.
Seeking Comfort Foods
Stress from finances can make you feel depressed. If you’ve been just laid off at work, are buried up to your neck in debt and stressing over where you’re going to get the money for bills and everyday expenses, then it’s easy to dread getting up in the morning. When you’re feeling depressed over your economic status, you’re likely to make yourself feel better by reaching for comfort foods. Whether it’s a tub of chocolate ice cream or an entire cheesecake, comfort foods can certainly make you feel better, even if it’s just temporarily.
As your bouts of stress and depression increase, so do the instances that you seek comfort foods. Before you know it, you’ve gained several inches around your waistline from all the fattening foods you’ve eaten. It’s important to remember that comfort foods only bring short-term relief. Once you’re finished enjoying the snacks, you still have the same financial problems, plus you have gained an extra pound, which is another reason to be stressed. The trick is to look for other ways to handle your stress. Attending to your hobby, writing your thoughts down or getting physically active can take your mind off your problems.
You Lose the Energy to Exercise
When you’re busy desperately thinking how you’re going to scrape together money to pay for your overdue credit card bills, it’s easy to neglect your exercise routine. Even if you regularly work out, stress from finances can instantly drain your energy and motivation so that even walking up the stairs may seem like a difficult task. If you have a gym membership, you might have to cancel it due to your money troubles.
Even though the idea of exercise may not sound appealing to you at present, it can actually help you deal with your problems better. Working out relieves your body of stress, increases your energy and improves your ability to concentrate. There are many ways that you can still exercise without having to pay a single cent. Try running in the park, or go swimming at the nearest beach or community pool.
You Develop Poor Eating Habits
When you’re stressing over finances, you will also tend to cut back on daily expenses. One of the areas that you will most likely evaluate is the amount of money you spend on food. Unfortunately, healthy foods tend to be more expensive than foods that are less nutritious. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean cuts of meat, high-fiber and non-fat foods tend to cost more than frozen dinners, microwave meals and fast foods. What you can do is find a way to eat healthy without going bankrupt. For instance, if you and your family tend to have a lot of leftovers, strictly impose that everyone must get only the food portion that they can finish during meal times.