Is stress causing you to gain weight?

Are you feeling stressed out lately and along with it you start to see changes in your weight? The relationship between stress and weight gain is evident

Is stress causing you to gain weight?

We live in an increasingly fast and agitated world that alters our mind and body, generating psychological and physical problems. Many people believe that by being nervous all day at work and running, they will lose weight, but the reality is different.

Stress plays an important role in weight gain; although it can cause you to lose your appetite at first, chronic stress, in the long run, affects your ability to maintain a healthy weight.

Stress generates more cortisol, cortisol generates a greater appetite for sugary or fatty foods, and this is often transformed into fat in the abdominal part of our body.


Cortisol, also known as the "stress hormone," is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland that increases blood sugar; this hormone is released in response to stress.

During episodes of stress and tension, the cortisol levels rise because the increase in this hormone also increases the levels of insulin; the levels of sugar in the blood decrease, and consequently, we crave sugary and/or fatty foods.

Stress leads to unhealthy habits, for example:

  • Eating emotionally: Eating more or snacking on food can provide temporary relief from your stress or tension, but over time you will find that it is a habit that gets in the way of a healthy weight.

  • Skipping meals: Being busy at work, running from place to place, and doing many things at once may start you falling into the trap of skipping meals to stay at work longer or to avoid being late for your next meeting; however, this is not the best solution.

  • Eating fast food or accessible food: in the middle of a stressful episode, we rarely take the time to think about what we can eat carefully. We eat what is easy, fast, or most accessible, knowing that this does not always include the healthiest option.

  • Sleeping less: stress can also cause sleep problems, which is closely related to a slower metabolism.

If we also eat poorly and our bodies are deficient in micronutrients, the stress is not resolved and causes us to rest poorly, and the quality of our sleep suffers. The quality and quantity of nightly rest also have a significant influence on weight gain.

It is demonstrated that between 5 in the morning and 5 in the afternoon, the body generates the necessary energy to carry out physical and intellectual activities. In contrast, from 5 in the afternoon, the body is dedicated to repairing and regeneration.

The amino acid Tryptophan is responsible for Serotonin's release, which will give us a sense of well-being. This, in turn, Melatonin helps regulate sleep cycles. This amino acid is abundant in eggs, oats, sesame seeds, among others.


That is why it is important to eat at our hours, to sleep enough; but above all to realize that stress does not generate anything beneficial for our body, so it is better to try to relax and let the problem flow until a solution is found and not to worry too much; if we do not want a problem for our organism.

Consult a specialist in Nutrition to decrease the possibilities of developing some health problems related to eating problems. 

Regular exercise, a balanced and nutritious diet, breathing exercises, and meditation, as well as reducing your to-do list, can help you keep your stress levels in check as well as your weight.