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Stress weight gain is an incredibly common problem—but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world!
We live with a lot of stress every day. Some of it caused by work, some by home life, some just part of the modern, fast-paced lives we lead.
Stress can interfere with your healthy eating choices and affect your metabolism, to the point where you end up packing on a lot more weight than you realize in the space of a few days, weeks, or months.
But you can fight stress weight gain!
You can take steps to not only protect yourself against the weight gain, but manage your stress so you don’t pack on those extra pounds.
Below, we’re going to take a closer look at what causes stress weight gain and how you can get rid of those extra stress pounds!
What Causes Stress Weight Gain?
There are a number of ways that stress can promote weight gain:
Increasing caloric intake. Stress triggers a “fight or flight” response, also known as survival mode. In survival mode, your body increases energy demands in order to have what it needs to fight or flee.
Unfortunately, for most of us, the chronic stress of our daily lives doesn’t actually use that extra energy. We’re neither fighting nor fleeing, just at the office or at home feeling stressed. However, because of the stress response, our bodies feel the need to eat more to produce that energy. We end up eating excessive amounts of calories simply because of our brain’s response to stress.
Cortisol (the stress hormone) is an appetite stimulant that makes you want to eat more, but not just any food. In fact, it makes you eat the WRONG foods.
Greater comfort food intake. When you feel stressed, what’s your go-to food? Probably not healthy fruits, veggies, whole grains, or lean proteins. More than likely, you eat snacks, cookies, cakes, chips, and other sugary and high-fat foods. The foods that make you feel comforted tend to be the least healthy and the most likely to encourage weight gain.
Stress triggers a higher release of insulin, which in turn causes your blood sugar to drop far lower than normal. This, in turn, triggers cravings that lead you to ingest unhealthy, high-fat, and high-sugar foods. As you’ve no doubt realized, these are the foods most likely to contribute to weight gain.
Slower metabolism. Science has proven that stress can lower your metabolism, decreasing your body’s ability to utilize consumed calories for energy. It can also trigger higher fat storage, meaning you store more of calories as the kind of inert body fat that is very difficult to lose!
How to Prevent Stress Weight Gain
If you want to prevent stress weight gain, here are a few things you can do:
Manage your stress. Meditate. Take a walk in nature. Watch a funny movie or TV show. Read a book. Take a nap. Do something that helps you to manage your daily stress levels. Managing stress is crucial for a healthy life!
Recognize the warning signs. You can usually tell when you’re feeling stressed—you’ll get irritable, anxious, nervous, or tense. When you feel the stress coming on, that’s when you need to be most careful with your eating habits.
Avoid comfort foods. No matter how you’re feeling, do your utmost to stay away from comfort foods—the high-fat, high-sugar foods that will contribute to weight gain. Stick to your healthy, balanced diet at all costs!
Learn to recognize cravings. There’s a difference between genuine hunger pangs and the cravings triggered by stress. Learn the recognize the difference between the two, and you’ll be far less likely to snack on the wrong foods at the wrong times just because you’re feeling stressed. If it’s just a craving, you can usually distract yourself for 10-15 minutes, and the craving will vanish.
Start the day off right. There’s something psychologically marvelous about starting your day off with a healthy, balanced meal. It sets the tone for the rest of the day and gives you a higher chance of sticking to your healthy, balanced diet all day long, no matter how stressed you get.
Purge your home. Get rid of all those unhealthy snacks and comfort foods that you might end up snacking on when you get those stress cravings. Make sure that only healthy, whole foods are available in your house.
Sleep well. A lack of sleep can not only elevate your stress levels, but also slow your metabolism and make you more prone to cheating on your diet. Make a point to get a good night’s sleep every night, even if that means sacrificing some other activity.
Exercise. Daily exercise can contribute to weight loss, prevent fat gain, and help you manage your stress. Make an effort to get at least the government recommended 150 minutes per week, but shoot for an hour every day, 5-6 days per week. The more active you are, the less you’ll have to worry about stress and weight gain!
Combat Stress Weight Gain by Relaxing With Yoga Lean
Yoga Lean is our solution to help you change your life for the better!
This program delivers simple, easy-to-do at-home training sessions that will reshape your figure, reboot your health, calm your mind, banish stress, and bring balance into your life. You’ll find that it’s not only an amazing physical workout—it’s awesome for your mental wellbeing, too.
Whether you’re a newbie to Yoga or a practiced Yogi, Yoga Lean will be exactly what you need to get your life and mind back on track. You’ll never have to worry about stress weight gain thanks to this amazing program!
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