Inforgraphic: Stress Relief Activities

Just about every fitness expert and diet guru says that stress can contribute to weight gain as well as prevent weight loss.

Indeed, studies show that stress may be linked to overweight or obesity (and particularly to belly fat) in several ways.

First of all, stress releases cortisol, a hormone that is thought to be responsible for slowing down metabolism and contributing to the storage of abdominal (belly) fat.

Stress can also trigger emotional overeating and disruption of normal sleep patterns.  Lack of sleep, in turn, contributes to weight gain or weight loss efforts by interfering with the body's natural production of ghrelin and leptin, two hormones that are associated with the stimulation and suppression of appetite, respectively.

Additionally, sleep deprivation often results in loss of energy, fatigue and less physical activity, including exercise.   Regular exercise is an important component of losing or maintaining a healthy weight.

This infographic entitled "Stress Relief Activities" lists many simple, everyday techniques that are thought to relieve stress by engaging the senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.  Engaging in one or more of these activities on a regular basis may reduce stress and aid in weight loss.

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Infographic Design By: B Ireland-Symonds

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