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How Stress Leads to Weight Gain (And How to Stop It)


Everyone deals with stress these days in one form or another. Some of us may be dealing with multiple types of stress and intense situations. If you’re constantly stressed out, you might notice yourself gaining weight steadily because you aren’t dealing with the stress and anxiety in a healthy way. Here are some common forms of stress-induced weight gain and how to stop them from happening to you.

1. If you’re a worry wart, you might be gaining extra pounds. Stressing and thinking about an event before it happens can actually increase your levels of the hormone ghrelin, which causes you to feel hungrier. Try different ways to curb worrying, such as talking to someone about it, pinching yourself every time you worry about something you can’t change or simply choosing to focus on the present.

2. When you’re stressed and busy, you might forget to eat or be too busy to make a meal. You might wonder how this causes weight gain. Skipping meals slows your metabolism because your body isn’t sure when you will eat next and it can set you up to binge later on unhealthy foods. When you don’t eat regularly, your blood sugar dips and can cause more stress and anxiety. Make snacks or meals ahead of time when you know you’ll be very busy and stressed out and make sure you take some with you wherever you go.

3. If you’re stressed or upset, you might become an emotional eater. Deal with your issues and remember that eating a gallon of ice cream won’t make you feel better. Chances are it will upset your stomach and just simply make you feel worse about your problems.

4. When you’re on a tight schedule, you might forgo sleep to get other things done. You need your sleep to help you get through your busy schedule and sleep can help prevent weight gain by giving you a healthy metabolism and preventing your body from storing too much fat. So get your zzzs!

5. Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry or stressed. Your brain will be preoccupied or just looking to eat anything, so you are less likely to make good choices, both healthy food wise and financially. If you have to make a trip when you’re feeling crazy busy, make a list and stick to it!

6. You might have coffee after coffee to keep you going some days, but too much caffeine will backfire. If you consume more than five to six cups of coffee or soda per day, it will greatly increase your chances of weight gain and health problems. So keep the caffeinated beverages down to a few cups a day. Try tea for a healthier boost too.

7. When you have little time, you might want to skip your workout to get other things done, but this won’t help you. When you’re feeling stressed, exercise is a great remedy. Even a few minutes of a high intensity workout or a simply a nice walk in nature can greatly reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety.

8. Not de-stressing will hurt you. If you find yourself continually gaining weight even though you exercise and eat right, your stressful nature might be the culprit. Learn new ways to de-stress by journaling, taking a bath, taking time for yourself or talking to someone. Chances are that when you get your anxiety and stress under control, you’ll start losing weight and feeling better.

Are you often stressed and feel your weight gain is caused by stress? What are some ways you de-stress?

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing