I am extremely stressed out and anxious about my weight. It is leaving me depressed. What can I do?

The problem is these days being stressed is considered normal. We need to stop thinking it’s okay to stress out because I think we start giving our brain the permission to freak out this way.

Either we change the situation, accept it the way it is or just move on. In your case, you can control what needs to be done to overcome the stress, so you should choose the first option. High stress levels increase your stress hormone cortisol. This hormone is required during exercise to release fat from fat cells to meet the demands of our workout, but chronically elevated cortisol can be destructive.

It has shown to increase the cravings you have for junk food and shown to shut off goal-oriented centres of your brain. Increased levels of cortisol can also make your body more responsive to storing more fat. Normal cortisol levels are usually highest early in the morning and lowest about midnight. Normal ranges depend a lot on the testing method used. It’s a good idea to check your fasting levels if you are finding it hard to lose weight.

Also read: I've done everything, but still unable to lose weight

Another hormone to check for, if you are anxious, is serotonin. It is your happy hormone and a natural appetite suppressant. It curbs your cravings and uplifts your mood, shuts off your appetite and makes you feel emotionally stable.

If your levels are off, losing weight becomes harder.

Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop. got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.