How Stress Relates to Weight Loss

Most people gain weight or find it hard to lose weight when they are stressed. Maybe it is just a few things not going well at work or at home; or you are disappointed with something in your life. Before you know it, you have already added a few pounds or feel a bulge in your waist and generally look bigger than you usually are. Well, there are factors going on in your body that make you gain you weight when you stress yourself. Here, we deal with these factors. Besides that, we deal with ways of dealing with stress so that you can avoid the negative effects that come with it. Stress will put in jeopardy your efforts at losing weight or make it simply impossible to lose weight.

Hormone Cortisol

When you are stressed, your body secrets the hormone cortisol which fastens the process of overeating. During stress, your body believes that you are using up a lot of calories. Whether that is true or not, the body will try to preserve itself by making you take in more calories. The secretion of this hormone is the reason for eating too much according to Pamela Peeke of the University of Maryland. This hormone increases the amount of insulin in the body. For this reason, insulin, which works by reducing the level of sugar in the blood, will lead to an urge of eating. And it is not just any type of food but sugary foods since you will be aiming to level the amount of sugar in the body although it is still there. Stress will thus make you hunger for sugary foods that will add weight to your body faster than if you had fed on normal foods.

Comfort Foods

It has been proven by science that, indeed, eating calms the body. According to Jason Perry Block of Harvard, the body releases certain chemicals that make you feel better when you eat. These chemicals are released in response to the ingestion of food into the body. Given the chain reaction set off by stress from the release of cortisol to increase in the insulin levels to the reduction of the blood sugar levels and hunger for sugary foods, you are likely to feed on sweet foods such as sodas, crisps and macs. This is the reason such sugary foods are called comfort foods. They are the only ones that will make sense and taste when you are stressed. For all you may know, you are adding weight slowly when you pile up on the sugars and the carbohydrates. What do you do then when you find yourself in a potentially stressful situation?

Dealing with Stress to Avoid Weight Gain

Taking a Break

When you find out that a certain situation will likely stress you up, you need to take some time off what you usually do to reset your perspective. You need to break your routine so that you can get out of the rut you would have created for yourself. They say the solution to getting out of a hole is to stop digging. The only way to stop a fire is to stop feeding it with fuel or oxygen. The first step to do so would be to stop doing whatever it is you are doing so that you can rethink things and see how to tackle the issue at hand. When psychologists deal with stress, this is the first step they advise people to start with.

Eat a Balanced Diet

We have already dealt with the issue of comfort foods and how they will likely make you add weight to your body or make losing weight an impossibility. To counter this downward spiral started by the release of cortisol, you need to feed on a balanced diet that does not focus on too much fatty foods or sugars since those are not good for your health. A balanced diet will involve having the right amount of every type of food namely proteins, carbohydrates, and others. Have enough water after each meal and during the whole day in between the meals. You will maintain your weight this way.

Avoid Drugs

By drugs it is meant any item that induces intoxication such as alcohol, tobacco, bhang, heroine and the likes. Be sure that you stay away from these items for several reasons one of which is to keep a level head to find your way through the problem. If you think alcohol or marijuana will help you resolve the problem, you are simply setting yourself up for failure and more disappointment. If you regularly partake of a few drinks, try keep it to the minimum and possibly go to the drinking place with another person to keep you in check.

Sleep Well

Sleep does so much good to the body that having too little of it even when not stressed will harm you very much. The problem is that stress tends to eliminate sleep rather give you more of it. You have to find a way to have enough sleep. At least 6 hours each day can really help you think straight and find your way out of the stressful situation. No matter how stressful the situation is, force yourself to sleep. If the need arises, ask your doctor to prescribe medicines that will help you sleep and keep to the dosage given.


One of the most effective ways to lose weight and deal with stress is through exercise. Exercise will help you manage weight by burning out the excess calories in the body. If you work out, you will release endorphins in the body that will make you feel good and thus do away with stress. Also, when you work out, you occupy your mind enough to stop thinking about the stressful issue for a while before you can tackle it anew. The fatigue you gain from working out will also make your sleep deeper and more rejuvenating.


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