Shedding Stress Weight: Your Guide to Overcoming Stress-Induced Weight Gain

Aishwarya Aneesh

Aishwarya Aneesh
Jul 2023

2 min read
How To Get Rid Of Stress Weight Gain

Table of content

Hey there! Have you ever noticed how to get rid of stress weight gain and those extra pounds creeping up on you during stressful times? 

Don’t worry; you’re not alone! 

Stress weight gain can be a real bummer, but fear not, we’ve got your back! In this article, we’ll share ten tried-and-true techniques to help you shed those stress-induced pounds.

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Is Stress Related To Weight Gain Or Weight Loss?

Stress can be related to both weight gain and weight loss, depending on the individual and how they respond to stress.

  • Weight Gain: For some people, stress can lead to weight gain. During stressful times, the body releases the hormone cortisol, which can increase appetite and lead to overeating, especially foods high in fat, sugar, or calories. Additionally, stress may disrupt sleep patterns, and lack of sleep can also contribute to weight gain.
  • Weight Loss: On the other hand, stress can cause weight loss in some individuals. Extreme stress can lead to a loss of appetite and reduced food intake. Some people may experience stress-induced nausea or digestive issues, leading to decreased nutrient absorption and weight loss.

It’s important to note that the way stress affects weight can vary from person to person. Some individuals may gain weight in response to stress, while others may lose weight. 

It is essential to manage stress levels through healthy coping mechanisms to avoid potential negative impacts on weight and overall well-being.

What Stress Does To Your Body?

Stress can have significant effects on the body, both in the short term and over prolonged periods. Here are some common ways that stress impacts the body:

  • Increased Heart Rate and Blood Pressure: When stressed, the body activates the “fight or flight” response, leading to an increase in heart rate and high blood pressure. This reaction gets the body ready to deal with perceived dangers.
  • Hormonal Changes: Stress triggers the release of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can affect various bodily functions, including metabolism, immune response, and blood sugar levels.
  • Digestive Issues: Stress can lead to digestive problems like stomachaches, cramps, and diarrhea. It may also affect nutrient absorption and contribute to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Weakened Immune System: Stress that is ongoing can weaken the immune system, leaving the body more vulnerable to diseases and infections.
  • Muscle Tension and Pain: Stress can cause muscles to tense up, leading to headaches, neck pain, and back pain.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Stress can disrupt sleep patterns, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, leading to fatigue and reduced overall well-being.
  • Weight Fluctuations: As mentioned earlier, stress can lead to weight gain or weight loss in different individuals due to hormonal changes and changes in eating habits.
  • Mental Health Impact: Chronic stress can contribute to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. It can also impair cognitive functions, such as memory and concentration.
  • Skin Problems: Stress can worsen skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
  • Cardiovascular Effects: Prolonged stress can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and stroke.
  • Reproductive Issues: In some cases, stress may affect reproductive health, leading to irregular menstrual cycles in women and decreased libido in both men and women.

Why You Crave Comfort Food When You’re Stressed?

Craving comfort food when you’re stressed is a common phenomenon, and it has both physiological and psychological reasons behind it:

  • Hormonal Influence: When you’re stressed, your body releases stress hormones like cortisol. These hormones can trigger cravings for high-calorie, high-carbohydrate foods. Consuming comfort foods can lead to a temporary reduction in stress hormones, providing a sense of comfort and relief.
  • Brain Chemicals: Comfort foods, especially those high in sugar and fat, can activate the brain’s reward centers and lead to the release of “feel-good” neurotransmitters like dopamine. This can create a sense of pleasure and temporary distraction from stress.
  • Emotional Connection: Comfort foods are often associated with positive memories and emotions from our past. Consuming these foods may evoke feelings of nostalgia and provide a sense of emotional comfort and security during stressful times.
  • Psychological Coping Mechanism: Food can be used as a coping mechanism to deal with stress and negative emotions. Eating comfort foods may temporarily distract from stressors and provide a sense of control and comfort.
  • Quick Energy Source: During stress, the body may seek quick sources of energy, and high-calorie comfort foods provide a rapid energy boost, albeit temporarily.

While indulging in comfort foods occasionally can offer some comfort during stressful periods, it’s essential to be mindful of their consumption. Overeating comfort foods can lead to weight gain and other health issues.

How To Get Rid Of Stress Weight Gain?

Getting rid of stress weight gain requires a multi-faceted approach that focuses on both managing stress and adopting healthy lifestyle habits. Here are some effective strategies to help you shed those extra pounds caused by stress:

  • Mindful Eating: Watch what you eat and refrain from emotional eating. Listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, and choose nutrient-dense foods that nourish your body.
  • Regular Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity to burn calories, reduce stress hormones, and boost mood-enhancing endorphins. Find activities you like to do, like yoga, dancing, or walking.
  • Adequate Sleep: Prioritize getting enough sleep as it plays a crucial role in regulating hormones and managing stress. Spend 7-9 hours each night getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Stress Management Techniques: Add stress-relieving activities to your regular schedule. This may include meditation, deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, or spending time in nature.
  • Social Support: Talk to friends, family, or a support group about your stressors. Sharing your feelings can help reduce stress and prevent emotional eating.
  • Limit Sugar And Processed Foods: High-sugar and processed foods can lead to weight gain and worsen stress symptoms. Reduce their consumption and opt for whole, unprocessed foods.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink a lot of water all day long. Sometimes people confuse their thirst for hunger, which causes them to overeat.
  • Set Realistic Goals: Avoid severe weight loss plans and crash diets. Set achievable and sustainable goals for yourself.
  • Limit Alcohol And Caffeine: Both alcohol and excessive caffeine can exacerbate stress and disrupt sleep patterns.
  • Seek Professional Help: If stress and weight gain are significantly impacting your life, consider seeking support from a therapist, counselor, or registered dietitian who can provide personalized guidance.

What Are The Risks Associated With Stress and Weight Gain?

Here are some of the key risks associated with stress-induced weight gain:

  • Obesity: Prolonged stress can lead to overeating and the consumption of unhealthy comfort foods, which may contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of obesity. Obesity associates a higher risk of various health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
  • Cardiovascular Problems: Excessive weight gain due to stress can strain the cardiovascular system, leading to an increased risk of hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, and stroke.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: Stress weight gain can contribute to insulin resistance, raising the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, especially in individuals with a family history of the disease.
  • Metabolic Syndrome: Stress-induced weight gain can be a component of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, and excess abdominal fat. Diabetes, heart disease, and stroke risk are all increased by metabolic syndrome.
  • Mental Health Issues: The combination of stress and weight gain can negatively affect mental health. Stress can contribute to anxiety and depression symptoms, while weight gain may lead to body image issues and reduced self-esteem.
  • Sleep Disorders: Stress and weight gain can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to insomnia and other sleep disorders. Poor sleep can, in turn, exacerbate stress and contribute to further weight gain.
  • Digestive Problems: Chronic stress can cause digestive issues like acid reflux, stomach ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Unhealthy eating habits during times of stress can worsen these problems.
  • Joint Pain: Excess weight can put additional strain on joints, leading to joint pain and an increased risk of osteoarthritis.
  • Fertility Issues: Stress and weight gain can affect reproductive health, leading to menstrual irregularities in women and decreased sperm quality in men.

How Is Stress-Related Weight Gain Diagnosed?

Medical professionals do not typically diagnose stress-related weight gain as a specific medical condition.Instead, healthcare professionals may assess and diagnose the underlying factors contributing to weight gain, including stress and its effects on eating habits and metabolism. Here’s how stress-related weight gain is typically evaluated:

  • Medical History: During a medical evaluation, a healthcare provider will take a detailed medical history, including any recent or chronic stressors, lifestyle changes, and eating habits.
  • Physical Examination: A physical examination may be conducted to assess overall health, body weight, and potential signs of stress-related health issues.
  • Weight Tracking: Keeping a record of weight changes over time can provide valuable insights into stress-related weight gain.
  • Symptom Assessment: The healthcare provider will inquire about symptoms related to stress, such as changes in appetite, mood, sleep patterns, and any digestive issues.
  • Stress Assessment: The healthcare provider may use various stress assessment tools, questionnaires, or interviews to evaluate the individual’s stress levels and how they may be impacting eating habits.
  • Blood Tests: In some cases, blood tests may be ordered to assess hormone levels (e.g., cortisol), blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, which can provide information about how stress may be affecting the body.
  • Mental Health Evaluation: A mental health evaluation may be conducted to understand the individual’s emotional well-being since stress and weight gain can be interconnected with mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

10 Proven Techniques On How To Get Rid Of Stress Weight Gain Today?

  • Exercise For 20 To 30 Minutes: Engage in physical activity to reduce stress hormones and boost mood-enhancing endorphins. Go for a brisk walk, do some yoga for stress, or enjoy a quick workout session.
  • Get Outdoors And Enjoy Nature: Spending time in nature can have a calming effect on the mind and help reduce stress levels. Take a walk in the park or sit in your garden for a refreshing break.
  • Nourish Your Body With Healthy Food: Choose nutrient-dense foods that support your well-being. Opt for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to fuel your body and mind.
  • Cultivate Social Support: Reach out to a friend or family member for a chat. Connecting with loved ones can provide comfort and alleviate stress.
  • Eliminate One Item On Your To-Do List: Lighten your load by crossing off one non-essential task from your to-do list. Prioritize what truly matters.
  • Take A 10-Minute Yoga Break: Practice a short yoga session or deep stretching to relax your body and mind.
  • Ask Family For Help: Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance when needed. Sharing responsibilities can reduce stress and create a sense of support.
  • Practice Mindfulness Meditation: Spend a few minutes in mindfulness meditation to center your thoughts and find inner calm.
  • Listen To Music: Enjoy your favorite tunes to uplift your mood and reduce stress.
  • Ditch The Caffeine And Alcohol: Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol, as they can exacerbate stress and disrupt sleep patterns.

Remember, incorporating these techniques into your daily routine can take time, so be patient with yourself. Consistent practice can lead to significant improvements in managing stress and its impact on weight gain.

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Discover Anuja’s incredible 21 Kg weight loss journey with Dietitian Mac Singh. Watch the inspiring video below for details.

A Word From Fitelo On How To Get Rid Of Stress Weight Gain

Congratulations, you’re now equipped with some fantastic tools on How To Get Rid Of Stress Weight Gain! Remember, it’s essential to be patient with yourself and take small steps toward your wellness journey. 

Embrace healthier eating habits, prioritize sleep, and indulge in relaxing activities like yoga or meditation. Surround yourself with positive influences and don’t forget to ask for support when needed. 

The road to shedding stress weight might have its ups and downs, but with determination and these proven techniques, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier, happier you. Here’s to your well-deserved success!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Stress Affect Weight Gain And How To Reduce It?

Stress can lead to weight gain through hormone imbalances and emotional eating. To reduce stress-related weight gain, practice stress management techniques like exercise, meditation, and social support. Adopt a balanced diet and prioritize sleep to improve overall well-being and minimize the impact of stress on weight.

What Are The Ways To Get Rid Of Weight Gain Due To Stress?

Combat stress-related weight gain by engaging in regular physical activity, practicing mindfulness, and seeking emotional support. Prioritize healthy eating habits, limit comfort foods, and avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption. Creating a balanced lifestyle and managing stress effectively can help shed those extra pounds.

How Long Does It Take To Lose 2-Kg?

The time it takes to lose 2 kg depends on various factors such as individual metabolism, activity level, and dietary changes. A safe and sustainable weight loss pace is around 0.5 to 1 kg per week. Therefore, it may take approximately 2-4 weeks with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Is Good Sleep Important For Stress Management?

Yes, good sleep is vital for stress management. Poor sleep can exacerbate stress levels and impact hormonal balance, leading to weight gain. Prioritize sleep hygiene by maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and avoiding screens before bedtime to enhance stress management.

Why Are Stressful People Prone To Emotional Eating?

Stressful situations trigger the release of cortisol, which can lead to increased appetite and cravings for comfort foods. Emotional eating results in a loop of comfort eating that temporarily relieves stress. Identifying alternative coping mechanisms and addressing stress directly can help break this pattern.

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We’re never leaving you hanging with doubts, queries, as well as confusing questions. We understand how all this information gets overwhelming as well as a little confusing on your way to a healthy lifestyle. Hence, you can always contact us at any time as our experts are here to guide you 24/7. Also, we will help you achieve your weight loss goals.


This blog post was written to help you to make healthy and better food choices altogether. So, be aware and take care. The important thing to consider is your health before starting a restrictive diet. Always seek advice from a doctor/dietitian before starting if you have any concerns.

Eat Healthy, Live Healthy as well as Enjoy a long happy life.

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