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Can Stress Lead to Weight Gain?

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Perhaps you feel that you could lose your job and your credit card bills keep on accumulating. You get home tired, but you find it messy. When you turn on the TV, the increasing tensions bring you down. Stress will always be a part of life, especially in this century. For some people, the effects are not just about discomfort and anxiety. Stress can cause them to be very hungry and therefore they gain more weight.

Stress Eating

Admit it or not, you find it difficult to maintain healthy eating habits when you’re under stress. During high times of stress, many choose high-calorie foods and they eat a lot of them even when they are not hungry. Regardless of what you do, stress eating is not a part of a healthy lifestyle. This is because it can lead to weight gain due to the high amounts of sugars and calories you consume. However, weight gain when you are under stress is not just about eating more. It can also be due to hormonal imbalances and can signal that your body’s system is out of control.

Avoiding Exercise

When you have a lot on your plate, you may not have enough time to exercise. In fact, you might eliminate this from your schedule and eventually have a sedentary lifestyle. Obviously, when you just sit for hours in front of your desk or watch TV nonstop, you will eventually gain weight.

Weight Gain Due to Stress

There are some factors that contribute to weight gain when you are stressed, including the following:

1. Cortisol Hormone

One of the probable reasons why you have gained weight when you are stressed out is because of cortisol. This hormone is responsible for many actions in your body, including the maintenance of your blood pressure and your energy. The cortisol hormone can stimulate the metabolism of both fat and carbohydrates, so you get energy. Plus, it stimulates the release of insulin and helps maintain your blood sugar levels. While it does these tasks, it increases your appetite, which could lead to weight gain.

2. Location of Accumulated Fat

It may sound strange, but when you are stressed, your body may react severely, causing it to store fat elsewhere. One common location is right in your abdomen, which in turn makes you undesirable. Apart from this, having a huge belly can increase the risks of getting health diseases.

3. Blood Sugar Levels Alteration

When you are under stress for a long time, your blood sugar levels change, which can cause hyperglycemia, mood swings, and fatigue. Aside from gaining weight, you should avoid being exposed to too much stress because it is connected to metabolic syndrome, which can cause heart attacks, diabetes, and other health problems.

4. Metabolism Problems

If you are under stress and you go on a diet, you may find that you are not actually losing weight. This is often because of cortisol, which can affect your metabolism. Even if you eat the same food in the same amounts, you will still gain weight because there is something wrong with your metabolic processes.

5. Junk Food Cravings

It is typical for people who are under stress to go for salty, sugary, and fatty foods. It’s very rare to grab healthy salads when you are cranky and tired. Prolonged stress and eating when you are stressed will not give you benefits. In fact, you will become less healthy and you will experience some weight gain.

You can combat stress-induced weight gain by first recognizing the warning signs that you are under stress. While it may not be easy to stop yourself from eating, ask yourself first why you want to eat in the first place. If you’re not hungry and you just feel anxious or stressed, it is wise to not give in to the temptation.