Does Too Much Stress Make You Gain Weight?

Learn more about ‘Does Too Much Stress Make You Gain Weight?’ You may not be aware that stress can cause weight gain. Here’s how stress can cause the wrong hormones to be released, which can result in weight gain.

People become stressed to the point where it begins to negatively impact their mental and physical health while trying to manage the hustle and bustle of life. Did you know that stress can contribute to weight gain? Millions of individuals around the world are impacted by these two extremely common issues, and to make matters worse, they are issues that are closely related to one another.


Does Too Much Stress Make You Gain Weight?
Does Too Much Stress Make You Gain Weight?


You’ve already heard that stress may damage your health, but it can also be a factor in the unexpected weight gain you may have noticed around your midsection. Health Shots consulted Dr. Shobha Subramanian-Itolikar, Consultant-Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, Mumbai, to learn more about the connection between stress and weight loss.


The Link Between Stress And Obesity

Many people today suffer to stress on a daily basis, making it a common problem. If it didn’t cause health issues, it wouldn’t be a concern, which gets us to the subject of discussion: obesity. Dr. Itolikar notes, “Stress is experienced by all age groups in today’s fast-paced and competitive society, whether it is peer pressure among children, economic and societal pressure among middle-aged people, or health concerns faced by the elderly. The stress is further increased by obesity because it carries a social stigma. Therefore, we must comprehend how to solve this issue and dissuade the deadly pair.

stress and weight gain
stress and weight gain


So, How Does Stress Lead To Obesity?

Stress can cause obesity in multiple ways, not just one. Three effects of stress are discussed by the expert.

1. Impaired Behavioural Response

Stress has an impact on our cognitive (processing) capacity and self-control. According to Dr. Itolikar, this serves as the foundation for stress eating, binge eating, and other factors that contribute to obesity.

2. Stress Hormone

Cortisol, the fight-or-flight hormone, causes havoc in our bodies by working against insulin, the body’s natural glucose-lowering hormone. As a result, there is an increase in appetite, low cellular glucose, and high blood sugar levels, all of which contribute to obesity.


3. Fat Deposition

According to the expert, cortisol causes obesity by relocating fat from its original locations and moving it throughout organs and visceral areas like the abdomen and thighs.


stress and weight gain
stress and weight gain


How To Avoid Stress And Reduce The Chances Of Obesity?

To make sure that stress isn’t causing issues in your life that you don’t want, the expert advises doing the following:

1. Stress management

  • Ensure good and adequate sleep
  • Deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation
  • Cardio and resistance training
  • Wherever appropriate, expert advice in the form of psychological counselling
  • Develop a hobby like singing, music, gardening, or painting, and nurture it

2. Make dietary changes

  • Follow low carbohydrate and low-fat diet
  • Avoid trans fats and saturated fats
  • Consume a fibre-rich diet which gives you antioxidants and phytonutrients
  • Ensure adequate hydration because thirst is often confused with hunger


3. Behavioural modification especially while eating

  • Watch your speed of eating
  • Control the portion or amount of meals
  • Load your plate with fibres and proteins
  • Develop coping mechanisms when stressed to avoid over-eating or binge-eating
  • Do not give in to sugar cravings
  • Stress-eaters should consume small, frequent healthy meals and snacks

You may have a healthy body and mind by following these easy guidelines.

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