Our expert says:
When individuals are exposed to constant stress, they firstly tend to produce excess cortisol which is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. This hormone can cause water retention (possibly why your rings don't fit) and make you weight more even if you have not gained extra fat. Another effect of constant stress can be depression and depression can be associated with pronounced weight gain or loss depending on the individual's reaction. If you think that you are suffering from either of these reactions or both, please consult a clinical psychologist to assist you with coping with the stress and turning this situation around. Eating bread is not going to make you fat, but the things added to bread like margarine, butter, etc will cause weight gain. Your craving for chocolates and sweets could also indicate that you have a deficiency of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is what is called a "neurotransmitter' which lifts the mood, so when people feel down and blue they tend to eat sugar, sweets, chocolate and carbs because carbs increase the serotonin levels in the brain. The best thing is to ensure that you have some low-fat, high-fibre carbs at every meal (rather than cutting down on carbs). You can try an energy-reduced, low-fat, high-fibre diet (click on 'Diet' at the top of this page, 'Weight loss', ‘Balanced diet’ and then on 'Slimming Diet' for a copy of such a diet), and also increase your energy output by doing regular exercise (running, jogging, skipping, cycling, swimming, join a gym or Walk for Life) for 30 min a day. While you are on the ‘Weight loss’ site, read about every aspect of slimming (the dangers of diet pills, slimming aids, psychological aspects of slimming, etc) by surfing on this site. The exercise is important because it also lifts your mood, makes you feel more positive and motivated to stick to your diet.
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