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Stress and weight losss

If you have been struggling with your weight and are certain that what you are putting in your mouth is not adding up to what is showing up on the scale or on your body, you may be right. You may be becoming familiar with the theme that our body and mind are not separate and this topic continues to illustrate this concept. 

Stress and weight loss: Cortisol 

Cortisol is the flight or fight hormone that is released when our brain believes we are in danger. It can be triggered when we are under stress, feel anxiety, or panic. Cortisol works in conjunction with other brain neuroendocrine and inflammatory systems in our body when we our under stress to try and restore it to homeostasis. Among other things, cortisol has a hand in controlling  our blood sugar and our appetite.  Along with other hormonal changes induced by stress, cortisol can lead to weight gain by:

  • slowing down our metabolism
  • increasing our fat storage
  • increasing fat production
  • increasing cravings for bad food

Stress and WEIGHT loss: CHronic Stress

It's important to note that when your body is under constant stress, the system become taxed by responding as if it is constantly under danger. It is believed this is why stress is related to almost every major illness and disease out there. So mental illness, heart disease, stomach ailments, cancer, auto immune disease, and pretty much anything else you can think about is impacted by stress because your body can't function the way it is supposed to. There has even been research that shows your brain is impacted by chronic stress and it's pathways change. This is because resources are being diverted from the things they normally do. For example, your body is not able to function appropriately to fight off disease ( immune function) because it has been in overdrive fighting danger when you are under chronic stress.  Chronic stress can have a detrimental effect on your weight as well.

When you are chronically stressed you may be more likely to:

  • 1) have no time for exercise
  • 2) get less sleep
  • 3) grab unhealthy food on the run
  • 4) spend less time preparing and meal planning good nutritious food

Stress and Weight Loss: What to do

If you have tried to lose weight and have not been successful, it may make sense , especially if you are a women, to consider the benefit of seeking the advice of a doctor who understands the impact of hormones on your weight, as well as adding a protocol of stress management into your diet regimen. 

It's important to understand why you aren't losing weight and to not be hard on yourself because this will not help you. 

You may be able to successfully lose weight by breaking the cycle of chronic stress and shifting your body into more balance. Additionally there are many added benefits to this approach. A stress management inventory requires you to :

  • take stock of things in your life that aren't working and to work on replacing them with healthier habits and patterns
  • learn to prioritize yourself and practice self care
  • add in mindfulness practices such as medication and yoga or other ones that may be more attractive to you
  • get rid of toxic relationships
  • practice healthy eating and sleeping habits

Leave stress and weight loss for other pages about stress

Holiday stress

Stress reduction game

Definition of stress

Work stress

 Stress and hives

Dealing with stress

Stress awareness day: This is what long-term stress could be doing to your health. (2017, Nov 01). Kildare Nationalist Retrieved from

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