Chronic stress can cause weight gain

September 20th, 2007

Chronic stress can cause the body to create a certain hormone that contributes to a person’s weight gain. There are several ways in which stress causes weight gain.

One has to do with cortisol, a stress hormone. When a person is under stress, the fight or flight response is triggered in their bodies, leading to the release of various hormones. Cortisol contributes to weight gain in several different ways.

Chronic Stress

According to, too much cortisol can slow your metabolism, causing more weight gain than you would normally experience.

Whether it’s because of boyfriend/girlfriend problems, school or demands at work, the body responds as though it is about to be harmed.

To answer this need, the body experiences a burst of energy, shifting the metabolism and blood flow, and other changes.

If the body remains in this state for a long time due to chronic stress, a person’s health becomes at risk, according to

People experiencing chronic stress tend to crave more fatty, salty and sugary foods. These foods are typically less healthy and lead to increased weight gain.

Prolonged stress can alter blood sugar levels, causing mood swings, fatigue, and conditions like hyperglycemia.

Too much stress has even been linked to metabolic syndrome, a cluster of health concerns that can lead to greater health problems, like heart attacks and diabetes.

Too much stress even affects where the body tends to store fat. Higher levels of stress are linked to greater levels of abdominal fat.

Another way that stress and weight gain are connected is through emotional eating.

Increased levels of cortisol not only makes the body crave unhealthy food, but excess nervous energy can often cause people to eat more than they normally would.

Eating fast food and being too busy to exercise can also cause weight gain.

Fortunately, there are things that can be done to reverse the pattern of weight gain and actually reduce stress levels and waistlines at the same time.

Do things like go for a walk, call up a friend and go somewhere, walk instead of drive, eat more fruit, drink more water and less soda and bake food instead of fry it.