Weight Gain

​If you think that stress from your current job might be making you put on weight, almost half the workers surveyed in a nationwide survey agree. What is it about stress and our work that might cause us to tip the scales? And is there anything we can do about it?

Most of the time, we believe the link between work stress and weight gain is due to spending too much time sitting at our desks, working long hours, having no time or energy to exercise before or after work, being tempted by too many morning teas.

While this may be true to an extent, when in a state of stress our body produces excess levels of the hormone cortisol which can impact metabolism, make you crave fatty, salty foods, alter your blood sugar levels and even cause our bodies to store fat in and around the belly.

We all know to go for a walk, stop eating burgers and get lots of sleep but that’s often the last thing we feel like when stressed. So how can we ease the mental load?

Sometimes our stress levels are increased when we don’t feel like we are in control. Steven Covey’s “Circle-of-Influence-and- Control”  can be a useful tool to help us find where to invest our energy so we can start to feel like we are back in the driver’s seat.

Start by thinking of work situations that may be causing concern. Identify the elements you can control, those you can influence and those you can’t control. 

Resilient individuals focus on those areas they can control, they focus their time and energy on things that have the ability to change and impact. This in turn gives them a sense of empowerment and ultimately lowers stress.

So, where are you spending most of your energy?  If you can focus your energy on the areas where you can really make a difference, you may notice some of that workplace stress start to ease and the gym suddenly appears more appealing – well, we can dream right? 

CareerBuilder, Nationwide Survey Conducted by Harris Poll, 2017.