Why Does Stress Make You Fat? 5 Habits Related To Gaining Weight Due To Anxiety Or Stress

How can stress make us gain weight? Why can we gain weight due to anxiety? Discover the reasons behind gaining weight due to anxiety or stress and how to stop it.

Does stress make us gain weight?

Although it is not one of the best-known symptoms, stress and anxiety can make us gain a few kilos. The anxiety and stress make you fat if this is perceived chronically due to the role that the hormone cortisol has in our appetite. But what can we do when stress or anxiety makes us fat?

Why does stress make you fat?

Stress can affect people’s ability to maintain a healthy weight as well as be a barrier to preventing us from losing weight. In fact, gain weight due to anxiety or stress It may be due to the result of having high levels of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, in our body. Additionally, when experiencing chronic stress or anxiety, people may also be more likely to develop less healthy behaviors.

Research shows that more cortisol can lead to weight gain. This happens because when we are stressed, our adrenal glands release adrenaline and cortisol, resulting in a greater release of glucose (our main source of energy) into the bloodstream.

This entire mechanism is the response that our body makes to offer us the energy necessary to escape from a ‘dangerous’ situation (which our mind defines but does not necessarily have to be that way). This comes from our ancestors, since they did live in dangerous situations when faced with wild animals. Although this is not applicable in a society like ours, the unconscious works exactly the same for a bear as it does for a boss fight. Once the apparent threat is no longer as present, this blood sugar spike subsides. This is where cortisol kicks in to quickly replenish the energy supply you’ve spent.

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Thus, anxiety or stress can make you gain weight because it is the most sugary foods that provide our body with the quick energy that we need so much. Therefore, these types of foods are what we look for when we are stressed. This type of sugarier food is usually stored mainly in abdominal fat, which is why it can be more difficult to eliminate. So much so that this type of fat is sometimes referred to as ‘stress or anxiety belly’.

Furthermore, another reason why stress makes you fat In some cases it may be because cortisol also slows down our metabolism, making weight loss more difficult.

Why do we gain weight due to stress or anxiety?

Habits that make us gain weight due to anxiety or stress

In addition to all the hormonal changes that anxiety or stress can produce, experiencing an excess of these two conditions can also lead us to participate in the following bad habits, which influence weight gain.

  1. Emotional eating: Not only does increased cortisol cause people to crave unhealthy foods a lot, but excess nervous energy can often cause people to eat more than they normally would. In this way, the Stress and anxiety can make you gain weight since food can provide temporary relief from these types of feelings.
  2. Eating junk or fast food: When a person suffers from too much stress, it is likely that they do not dedicate too much time to their eating habits, turning more often to processed foods or what is known as ‘fast food’. This type of food provides us with a lot of calories and a lot of sugar, something that our body does not need. Therefore this can also cause people to gain weight due to stress or anxiety.
  3. Do less exercise: People who feel more stressed or suffer from more anxiety may have a very tight schedule. Because of all these demands, people may put physical exercise at the bottom of a long to-do list.
  4. Skipping meals: When people feel stress or anxiety because they are too busy, they may skip a wide variety of habits that are healthy for both their mental and physical health. Among them, skipping meals can be one of the most common.
  5. Sleep less: Sleep problems are often closely related to stress or anxiety. In this way, you can gain weight because lack of sleep is related to a slower metabolism. So much so, that this weight gain makes us slow down our sleep even more, which generates fatigue and a series of these types of symptoms. Furthermore, feeling tired makes people have less willpower, which means engaging in more unhealthy habits.
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How to stop gaining weight due to anxiety or stress

What to do to avoid gaining weight due to anxiety or stress?

When a person is stressed or anxious, it is likely that they do not resort to healthy habits such as a good diet or exercising regularly too often. In addition to combating the origin of stress or anxiety with a professional psychologist, people who suffer from it can do the following:

  • Make exercise a priority: Physical exercise is important not only to maintain good physical health, but also mental health. In fact, by doing regular physical exercise we will not only avoid gain weight due to anxiety or stress but we will also feel more encouraged and with more energy.
  • Don’t buy sugary or processed foods: It is important to avoid access to this type of food at all costs when we are experiencing stress or anxiety. Therefore, try to buy the healthiest and go to other types of food when you have these binges that are better for your body and for you.
  • Practice mindful eating: Conscious eating, or mindful eating, consists of trying to focus on what you are eating, all without distractions. This type of meditative eating can help you eliminate the consequences of stress or anxiety in your diet. .
  • Drink more water: When people experience a lot of anxiety or stress they may confuse hunger with thirst. Therefore, if you are still hungry after eating, try drinking water.
  • Cope with stress or anxiety: If you think that your anxiety or stress is making you fat, perhaps you have a mental health problem that you need to address. Therefore, it is important that you go to a mental health professional.
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Constantly experienced unmanageable stress or anxiety situations can lead to a weight gain because of what we have explained. Addressing these disorders will give you more control over your weight.