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If you’ve been reading up on weight loss, you’ve probably read that reducing the stress in your life can help you lose weight faster. You may have wondered: How, exactly, does this relationship between weight loss and stress work?

Stress & Weight Gain: How Does Stress Thwart Your Weight Loss Goals Follow Me on Pinterest




There are, essentially, four aspects to the relationship between weight loss and stress.




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1. Stress-Induced Food Cravings

Stress & Weight Gain: How Does Stress Thwart Your Weight Loss Goals - Many People React To Stress By Eating, Because They Get A Feeling Of Comfort From Food Follow Me on Pinterest




Many people react to stress by eating, because they get a feeling of comfort from food.

They’re not eating because they’re hungry – they’re eating to ease the pain of an emotion like sadness, anger, or frustration. Unfortunately, most people who eat to relieve stress reach for unhealthy foods like ice cream, cookies, candy, chocolate, pizza, and potato chips.

These foods have little nutritional value, but do contain large amounts of fat, salt, and calories, contributing to weight gain.

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2. How Stress Hormones Influence Weight Gain

Stress & Weight Gain: When You're Stressed, Your Body Produces A Stress Hormone Called Cortisol, Which Contributes To The Storage Of Abdominal Fat, Hence Causing Weight Gain Follow Me on Pinterest




Cortisol is a stress hormone that your body produces in response to stress. Cortisol production has been shown to contribute to the storage of abdominal fat.

One study of women with slim figures showed that those who were unable to deal with the stress they encountered in their lives were much more likely to gain weight. This is because stress causes physiological changes, such as hormone production, that can alter your eating habits and cause you to crave certain foods.

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3. How Stress Hormones Affect Metabolism

The cortisol that your body releases when you are under stress has been linked to a slowdown in metabolic processes.

Stress & Weight Gain: Stress Slows Down Metabolism, Causing Your Body To Burn Lesser Calories And Any Excess Calories In Your Body Not Burned Is Stored As Fats, Causing Weight Gain Follow Me on Pinterest

Therefore, during stressful periods of your life, you may gain weight without any change in your diet at all – your body may simply not burn as many calories as it did previously. As you know, when calories are not burned, they are stored as fat.
 
 
 
4. Stress And Appetite Loss

Stress & Weight Gain: Stress May Cause A Decrease In Appetite, Resulting In Weight Loss For Some Individuals Follow Me on Pinterest

In general, stress creates changes and cravings in your body, which tend to lead to weight gain. On the other hand, for some people, stress may cause a decrease in appetite, leading to weight loss instead. For still other people, stress may lead to over-stimulation of the thyroid gland. This not only increases the appetite, but also causes the body to burn through calories faster.
 
 
If you suspect that stress may be a reason why your weight-loss results aren’t what you hoped they would be, your first step toward solving the problem should be to figure out why you’re eating, every time you eat.

Stress & Weight Gain: Ask Yourself Whether You're Really Hungry When You Have The Urge To Snack Follow Me on Pinterest

Whenever you sit down to a meal or feel the urge to snack, ask yourself: “Am I really hungry?” If the answer is “no, I’m just stressed out,” don’t eat right at that moment. Instead, do something else that helps you relieve your stress, such as reading a good book, going out for a walk, meditating, or hanging out with friends.




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