How Stress Causes Weight Gain?

You’re having problems at work or at home or just in your mind. You’re stressed, and it’s beginning to show in more ways than one. You’ve noticed a bulge around your mid-section that wasn’t there before. Where are these extra kilos coming from? Stress could be one of the culprits. It plays a major role in weight gain. While it can make you have less of an appetite at first, long-term chronic stress actually boosts your hunger.

Its crucial to understand the root cause of this global epidemic if you wish to keep healthy weight. Here I have listed the Five Step Process to explain the relationship between Stress and Weight gain.

Five Steps To Weight Gain

Step 1:  Stress Takes Over You

A stressful event, like the loss of a loved one, a breakup or divorce, or a financial crisis may lead to weight change. Chronic stress may also lead to weight change over time.

When your brain detects the presence of a threat, no matter if it is a snake in the grass, a massive pile of paperwork, or a big credit card bill, it triggers the release of a cascade of chemicals, including adrenaline,  and cortisol.

Step 2: Stress Hormones Are Secreted  

Adrenaline prepares your body to take action and minimizes your desire to eat. Once adrenaline effects diminishes, Levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, rise during tension-filled times.

Step 3: Increase in Appetite

Chronic stress may lead to an increase in appetite. This can turn your overeating into a habit. Because increased levels of the hormone also help cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods. Slowly, over the course of several months or even a year, the weight gain may accumulate.

Step 4: Consumption of Unhealthy Junk Food

When we are stressed, we also may be more likely to drive through the Fast Food place, rather than taking the time and mental energy to plan and cook a meal at home. We crave comfort foods, such as a bag of potato chips, a can of Coke or a tub of ice cream. So instead of a salad or a banana, you’re more likely to reach for cookies, Burgers and cheese. These foods tend to be easy to eat, highly processed, and high in fat, sugar, or salt.

Step 5: Slowed Metabolism and Increased Belly Fat

A 2015 study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University found that stress was linked to a slower metabolism in women. They found that on average, women who reported one or more stressor during the previous 24 hours burned 104 fewer calories than the non-stressed women. That difference might mean a weight gain of almost 11 pounds in one year. The stressed women also had higher levels of insulin, which contributes to the storage of fat.  Higher levels of stress are linked to greater levels of abdominal fat, which can be particularly tough to shed. 

So even if you aren’t eating more than usual, experiencing high levels of stress may cause you to gain weight in long term.

Moreover, Carrying around extra kilos can lead to greater long term health risks and more serious problems, including: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Heart Diseases, Strokes, etc.

If you think your weight has gone up due to stress, tackle some good habits that can help you get back to your old self or even better. Take help if needed. Learn the simple techniques which can prevent further accumulation of stress. Release physical and mental toxins. Build new habits and hobbies.  Eat healthy, get active, and do things that make your relaxed and happy.

Wishing for you a very Happy, Slim and Stress-Free Life!

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