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Are you having problems at work or at home, you  feel stressed and it is beginning to show in different ways than one. Recently you have also spotted a bulge at your mid –section which was not there earlier. You may be wondering from where these extra pounds are coming from. Stress is one of the culprit which play a pivotal role in weight gain. Initially, when you are stressed you have lesser appetite and have weight loss, but in the long run; the chronic stress can boost your hunger and increase your weight.

Why does stress cause over eating

When we feel lot of pressure we tend to become over eaters. Due to stress, our body goes into survival mode, here body thinks that, it has used calories to deal with the stress, hence body needs to replenish with the lost calories. In reality, you may not require to replenish your body with extra calories.

How Stress Can Cause Weight Gain?

During tension or worry, the levels of the “stress hormone” Cortisol increase, this leads to higher insulin levels and your blog sugars starts to drop and you crave for fatty as well as sugary foods.  Individuals prefer cheese or cookies instead of banana or salad; hence they are referred as comfort foods. These foods can lower the stress and can be a source of solace. Our body releases chemicals when individual consume comfort food; these foods might have a direct calming effect. The major big culprits are fatty foods and sugars, many of us have a strong love for them.

Why stress leads to weight gain?

Below are the four major reasons why stress leads to weight gain

When your brain detects there is a threat, it can be a snake in the grass, a big credit card bill, a grumpy boss, it triggers the release of chemicals which include adrenaline, CRH and Cortisol. Both your brain as well as body prepares to handle the threat by making you feel alert, makes you able to withstand an injury and also makes you ready for action. In short, the adrenaline makes you feel less hungry, the reason being your blood flows away the internal organs to the larger muscles, by doing so, it prepares the body to flight or fight. In sometime, the effects of adrenaline wears off, cortisol, also known as “stress hormone” hangs around and it begins to signal the body to replenish food supply to the body. Earlier our ancestors, fought wild animals, they used up a lot of energy, so their bodies required more stores of glucose and fat. In today’s world, individuals are more worried about as to how to pay the bill or work for long hours so that they can meet the deadline and do not work off much of their energies to deal with the stressor. Unfortunately, we are all struck with the neuroendocrine systems that do not get the update, hence your brain would ask you to reach for the plate of chips or cookies.

Belly fat

Earlier, our ancestors were fighting tigers and famine, hence their bodies were adopted to learn to store fat supplies for longer period. But what is unfortunate is, when we are chronically stressed by life crisis and also work life demands. We tend to get an additional layer of visceral fat, deep inside our bellies. Our belly has ample supply of blood vessels as well as cortisol receptors so that the whole process can flow more efficiently. The downside is that, excess belly fat is both unhealthy as well as difficult to get rid of. The fat releases varied chemicals, which trigger inflammation, this increases the likelihood which would develop heart disease or diabetes. And this will make it very difficult for individuals to fit into those lovely jeans they splurged on, which would lead to more stress about the money wasted.


Anxiety can make you eat more without much thinking, this happens when individuals churn having worrying thoughts and they do not focus on the taste of the food. They do not much worry about how much they have eaten or whether they are full. When you start eating mindlessly, you would eat more, yet feel less satisfied.

Lack of sleep

The Blood sugar level decreases when the individual is stressed, it leads to fatigue. If you drink caffeinated soft drinks, tea or coffee to stay awake or alcohol to feel better, your sleep cycle would be even more disturbed. Sleep is definitely an influencing factor which makes the individual gain or loses weight.  We find, lack of sleep might disrupt the functioning of leptin or ghrelin-these chemicals control appetite. We also crave for carbs when we feel grumpy or tide due to lack of sleep.

Weight gain can lead to varied health problems

When an individual carries excess weight, it can lead to numerous health problems including

  • Diabetes
  • Heart diseases
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure

If you believe your weight has increased due to stress, then you should inculcate some good habits which can help you get back your old self. You must start eating healthy, become active and indulge in those activities that would make you more relaxed and happy. The more determined and focused you are, the faster you can be your old self.

How can I reduce my stress levels?

IV Simple and effective ways to relieve stress

I . Mediate

You can either meditate or you can do some mindful breathing exercises such as yoga and tai chi.  When you practice this, it can help clear your mind and curb comfort food impulses.

II. Get emotional support from loved ones

If you are feeling stressed about something, it is always better to talk to someone whom you can lean on.

III . Reading

You can also indulge in reading your favorite novels or any informative books which interests you. Reading helps you to relax your body by lowering the individuals heart rate and at the same time it eases the tension in their muscles. According to 2009 study conducted by University of Sussex found that, reading can help reduce stress nearing to 66%.

IV . Listening to music

Many feel relaxed when they tend to hear music. It has been found that, individuals when they to listen quite, slow classic music, it offers tremendous relaxing effect on both body as well as mind. The classical music also helps the individuals to beneficial effects on physiological functions such as slowing the heart and pulse rate as well as lowering blood pressure and decreasing the stress hormone levels.

Do not stress, this would only further increase your weight, follow the above simple and effective ways to relieve stress. That’s not all, you can also take expert’s help from us, we would help reduce your weight without much struggle.

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