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Stress And Weight Gain | Learn More

Stress And Weight Gain

Have you suddenly gained weight?

Are you suffering from anxiety or stress?

Do you know that you can gain weight due to stress?

It's always important to understand the science behind stress and weight gain.

So when you are stressed, the level of stressed hormone-cortisol increases. As a result, the level of insulin also increases causing the sugar level to decrease.

Once the insulin level decreases to a certain extent, you will start starving for sugar-rich food to maintain the sugar level.

So in short, high level of cortisol encourage overeating leading to weight gain.

You have stress at work or at home. You are ignoring the triggers of stress. Slowly and gradually stress starts building up and finally one day it started showing up by a sudden increase in your weight.
If the stress is mild and short term then you will lose appetite but as mild stress changes into chronic stress you will feel more hungry than ever before.

According to Jason Perry, Assistant Professor, Harvard says eating can be a source of solace and can definitely reduce stress.

You never gain weight overnight because of stress. Long exposure to high-level stress converts overeating into your habit.

stress and weight gain cortisol

A research was conducted by PLOS on 523 undergraduate medical students.

Aim: The aim of this entire research was to find a relationship between perceived stress and high fat intake.

Size: The size of the sample was 523. Among the sample size, 52 percent were women and the mean age group was 19 years. 

Location: Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC), in Lima, Peru.

Method: Poisson Regression.

cortisol stress and weight gain

Findings: The findings of this research was mind-boggling. Men were more prone to high fat intake as compared to women. It was found that 40 percent of the same size were exposed to heavy fat intake under a severely stressed condition.

Can stress cause weight gain without overeating?

Any guess? 

The answer is definitely YES but with some constraint or under certain condition. Let me tell you when stress causes weight gain. Short-Term stress with a low intensity will never cause any weight gain. I mean to say suppose you had a couple of bad days at the workplace then it will not add to weight gain. But at the same time if you are exposed to chronic stress due to loss of a high paying job or a breakup or a loss of a very close one then definitely you will suddenly gain weight.

According to Fatima Cody Stanford, M.D., M.P.H., instructor of medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and obesity medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital when you are stressed out your body wants to defend itself and so it starts to gain weight.

The worst part is even though you are exercising regularly and eating properly, you will gain weight because your body wants to ward off an unseen threat.

She further says that there are a threshold and capacity of an individual body and immune system to handle daily stress or certain intensity of stress beyond which the weight gain can't be ignored.

Adding to the trouble, stress can even skew your perception, you may think that you are eating less and working out more but the reality may be vice versa.

It's very important to check for the triggers behind the stress. It's always good to find a job with less stress or quit a relationship even if you think these are the stressors.

One of the biggest problems with chronic stress is that your weight will be shooting up and up. Slowly and gradually, your body will accept the weight gain as new "normal" and it will further aggravate further complications.


Today I will be talking about a product named "WELLNICITY". This is a home stress kit. This is one product I recommend to people struggling with chronic stress or someone who isn't able to track the intensity of stress.

cortisol testing at home

This product is definitely one of its kind. It NOT only measures the cortisol level but also DHEA.

Moving further, it helps you to find out what really is going in your body by providing you with real data about your health.

The product also provides you easy to understand report along with nutritional and lifestyle recommendation.

In short, it's a complete package. Know more...

How do you lose stress weight?

It's a very common question and there is no doubt that at once point in time in my life I was fervently searching for the answer for this inquisitive query.

stress and cortisol and weight gan

As discussed, stress and weight gain are NOT only very common for a big problem in today's world.

Choose your fat wisely: Now we know that stress leads to the storage of fats in the body so the selection of fat can helps to some extent. I will suggest you consult a nutritionist and ask her suggestion as well as a recommendation regarding the selection of fats.

stress and weight gain in stomach

I have seen many of my friends telling me that they have ordered a healthy salad for lunch, but you will be surprised to know that the toppings include both olive oil and avocado. Guys, I am not saying to complete ignore fat in your meal but try to have only one high-fat item per meal.

Keep a track of your meal proportion: Ask yourself a few questions before planning your diet plan.

How many calories can I burn every day?

Can I increase my physical activities?

and so on...

Ask yourself questions related to yourself and your lifestyle. The kind of lifestyle you live also plays a crucial role in the selection of your diet.

You will be surprised that there are many fruits which helps in reducing the cortisol level. A combination of these fruits taken at an interval of 3 to 4 hours or as your nutritionist recommends will definitely work for you.

  Related: How to manage stress using fruits?

In short, try to inculcated vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and fibers in the proper ratio.

A complete plan of food is very important for a healthy body and mind.

Before we conclude, let's have a look at some of the handpicked articles.

Include metabolic booster: It has been scientifically proven that adding metabolic booster like pepper can really do wonders. I know you will not trust my words so easily.

I have come up to this conclusion based on some facts and figures. I am talking here about cayenne pepper. I have been consuming it for a long time and it has shown some incredible results in the past.

You will be surprisingly happy that this red pepper may curb your appetite, speed up your metabolism, and help burn calorie faster.

Capsaicin is the main ingredient in the red pepper.

According to Researchers, capsaicin is a thermogenic chemical. The feature of a thermogenic chemical is to fasten the metabolism and reduce the appetite.

can stress cause weight gain and bloating

A study showed that the people who took pepper with every meal felt less craving. 

A study on the fresh chili pepper suggests that the intake of it increases the rate of metabolism for 30 minutes after the meal when it comes to women. An increased rate of metabolism further leads to the conversion of nutrients into energy. As a result, the probability of storage of fat drastically decreases.

Similarly, another study on Dihydrocapsiate-a chemical similar to capsaicin shows that regular intake of Dihydrocapsiate supplements for a month can increase the metabolism rate up to 50 calories.

A study highlighted some interesting facts related to cayenne capsules. People who didn't like spicy foods have a far better result with cayenne capsules as compared to those who liked spicy foods.

Just to remind you, cayenne capsules are used with a motive to increase the metabolism.

Can you guess the logic?

I know most of my readers are very important and they would have definitely guessed it.

When you eat a spicy pepper it raises the body temperature and as a  result, the body mechanism goes into cooling down mode. As an outcome of this process, your body loses weight.

Learn the breathing technique: Most of us have no idea about proper breathing. 

Can breathing reduce cortisol level?

stress and cortisol weight gain

Before the meal, it's advisable to seat on a chair and breathe slowly and deeply. You need to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.

Definitely, you will be amazed to see the outcome of this exercise in a couple of weeks. 

In case you want to check the effectiveness of this exercise then use wellnicity to check the cortisol level before and after the breathing exercise.

Post-meal walk: As per a study, done by the students of George Washington University, it's great to have 15 minutes walk post meal. By doing so your blood sugar level regularises for at least the next three hours.

stress and weight gain in stomach

What is emotional eating?

The first time when I heard the word "emotional eating", I was literally shocked. I said to myself what the f**k is this. 

Emotional word getting attached with the eating word was something my mind was NOT ready to accept.

I have always used word emotional in a personal relationship and few a time at the professional front also.


It's a digital world and anything and everything can happen.

Anyways let's understand emotional eating.

Emotional eating can be described as a phenomenon in which an individual keeps on eating to just fulfill his or her emotional needs. It mostly happens during chronic stress.

Let us know your opinion in the comment section.

Conclusion: As discussed in this article, stress and weight gain are correlated and to get rid of weight gain due to stress, you need to find the triggers that aggravate the stress level. 


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