5 ways that chronic stress leads to weight gain


Stress can be one of the reasons for your recent weight gain. Check out five ways that chronic stress leads to an increase in weight.

Consuming more calories is not the only factor that contributes to the obesity epidemic. Stress could be one of the culprits. Long-term “chronic” stress actually increases your appetite, despite the fact that it may initially cause you to lose some of your hunger. Sadly, all of this added worry and tension can make people gain weight. Getting a handle on stress should be a top concern if you want to avoid stress-related weight gain, regardless of whether the excess weight is due to overeating and unhealthy food choices, or your body’s reaction to increased levels of cortisol. (Also read: Expert on surprising reasons behind weight gain )

“The chronic stress that so many people are living under is not just the psychological stressors we’re all familiar with, but the stress of living in ways that are foreign and unnatural to our biology including being indoors all day under artificial lighting, less physical activity, city living, screens at night, social media etc. Stress leads to widespread nutrient deficiencies that cause people to lose insulin sensitivity or the ability to metabolize carbs which leads to weight gain.” says, Kate William, Author and Metabolic Health Expert, in her recent Instagram post. She further shared five ways that chronic stress leads to weight gain.

1. Chronic stress causes chronically elevated cortisol levels. Cortisol increases Anti Diuretic Hormone (ADH), which causes fluid retention and ‘puffiness’.

2. Chronically high cortisol suppresses thyroid function, which slows metabolism and digestion, leading to weight gain, even though food intake has not increased.

3. Chronically high cortisol depletes us of minerals (like magnesium and potassium) that are required for blood sugar control. Without them, we become insulin-resistant, and our body stores fat.

4. Cortisol raises blood sugar. When blood sugar is chronically elevated, the body tucks away the excess sugar into fat cells (to avoid organ damage), leading to weight gain.

5. Cortisol suppresses progesterone, which leads to symptoms of ‘estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance promotes fat storage.


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