Stress and Weight Gain: How Are They Correlated?

Stress and Weight Gain

We’ve all felt the effects of stress at some point in our lives. Whether it’s due to work, family, or social life, stress can have a significant impact on our overall health and well-being. One of the ways it can manifest itself is through weight gain. 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss 10 ways that stress can cause weight gain, as well as what you can do to prevent or reverse it. If you’re someone who has struggled with managing your stress levels or finding yourself dealing with unwanted weight gain, this post is for you.

How Does Stress Contribute To Weight Gain?

◾ When you’re stressed, you crave unhealthy foods

When stress is present in our lives, it can lead to unhealthy eating habits and weight gain. Our bodies naturally respond to stress by producing cortisol, a hormone that tells us to seek out energy food. 

Unfortunately, this often results in cravings for unhealthy, high-calorie foods that provide little to no nutritional value. Learning how to manage your stress can help you avoid craving these types of foods, which can in turn prevent weight gain. 

By practicing mindful eating, focusing on healthy options, and finding ways to reduce stress, you can make lasting changes to your diet and health.

You eat more when you’re stressed

Stress can cause us to consume more food than usual, and many of us turn to comfort foods such as chips, cookies, and candy when we feel overwhelmed. This type of stress eating can cause weight gain, so it’s important to learn how to recognize and manage your stress levels. 

If you find yourself reaching for junk food when you’re stressed, try taking a deep breath and consciously deciding to replace unhealthy snacks with healthier options like fruits and vegetables.

Stress and Weight Gain
Source – Getty Images

Stress can lead to emotional eating

Stress can often lead to emotional eating, which can result in weight gain. When you’re stressed, it’s easy to turn to food as a coping mechanism, but this doesn’t always lead to healthy eating habits. Eating large portions of comfort foods high in sugar and fat can cause you to gain weight quickly. 

To avoid stress-related weight gain, try to take steps to reduce your stress levels such as meditating, exercising, and spending time with friends. It may also be beneficial to create an action plan for how you’ll address triggers that cause you stress.

You don’t make time for breakfast

Do you often find yourself skipping breakfast? You’re not alone. Many of us have busy mornings, and breakfast is often the first thing to be cut from the schedule. Unfortunately, missing out on breakfast can be a major contributor to stress-related weight gain. 

Eating a nutritious breakfast gives your body the energy it needs to power through the morning and helps you to stay focused and alert. It also prevents you from reaching for unhealthy snacks later in the day when hunger sets in. Start your day off right with a balanced breakfast and take the first step towards reducing stress-related weight gain.

You skip meals when you’re stressed

When we’re under a lot of stress, our body’s instinct is to try to conserve energy in any way it can. One way this manifests is by skipping meals, either because we don’t feel hungry or because we don’t have time. 

Unfortunately, this can cause our metabolism to slow down and lead to weight gain. If you find yourself skipping meals due to stress, try to get into a healthier routine of eating regular meals and incorporating more nutritious foods into your diet. 

Additionally, take the time to manage your stress levels through relaxation activities like yoga or meditation.

You make poor food choices when you’re stressed

When you’re stressed, your brain’s reward system is activated. This makes it more likely that you’ll reach for high-calorie, unhealthy foods as a way to cope. Eating these types of foods can lead to weight gain, as well as an increased risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. 

To prevent stress-related weight gain, focus on eating healthy, balanced meals and snacks. Try activities such as yoga and deep breathing to reduce stress levels. Additionally, talk to a therapist if you need more support in managing stress.

You don’t get enough sleep when you’re stressed

When we are stressed, it can be difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep for a full night. Poor sleep habits due to stress can contribute to weight gain.

Not only do you feel tired and lethargic from lack of sleep, but your body’s metabolism slows down, making it harder to burn calories. To combat this, make sure you’re getting enough rest each night, even if that means taking time out of your day to relax and practice calming activities like reading or meditating.

Stress and Weight Gain
Source – Getty Images

You don’t have time to cook when you’re stressed

Stress can lead to unhealthy eating habits and weight gain. When we’re feeling overwhelmed, it can be hard to find time to prepare healthy meals. 

Instead, we often turn to unhealthy, processed snacks or take-out food. To avoid the weight gain caused by stress, try batch cooking and prepping meals ahead of time so that you always have something nutritious to grab and go. Making a meal plan for the week can also help ensure you get proper nutrition.

You don’t have time to exercise when you’re stressed

Stress can lead to unhealthy behaviors, including decreased physical activity. When we feel overwhelmed and overworked, we may not have the time or energy to exercise. This lack of exercise can contribute to weight gain, as well as putting us at risk for other health issues. To combat this, set aside a specific time each day for a brief physical activity. Even if it’s only 15 minutes, it’s a great way to start your day off on the right foot!

You gain weight when you’re stressed

Stress can lead to weight gain by increasing levels of cortisol. This can lead to overeating and weight gain. Stress can also cause us to make poor food choices, skip exercise, and sleep less. 

All of these can contribute to weight gain. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce stress and help prevent the extra pounds from piling on. Exercise, relaxation techniques, proper sleep, and a healthy diet can all help keep stress under control and your weight in check.


Feeling stressed can take a toll on both our physical and mental health, with an increasing number of studies showing a link between stress and weight gain. From emotional eating to a weakened immune system, stress can have a variety of detrimental effects on our bodies. 

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *