Fact or Myth: Can Stress Make You Fat?

How to Control Stress and Weight Gain Naturally

Recent studies confirm that stress can contribute to weight gain, and cortisol is the primary stress hormone responsible. When we’re under a lot of stress or threatened, cortisol levels rise to a “fight or flight” state, releasing a burst of energy we need to respond to the situation. And because this causes dramatic changes in metabolism and blood flow, prolonged state of stress, or chronic stress, can lead to bad eating habits and even put your health at risk.

According to the report submitted by the American Institute of Stress, “chronic stress may result in increased appetite, leading to weight gain.” Too much cortisol can slow your metabolism, causing you to gain more weight than you normally would even when your diet remains the same.

Chronic stress can also make you crave fatty, salty and sweet foods that aren’t good for you. And because it affects where our body stores fat, studies show that people with higher levels of cortisol have more abdominal fat, which puts them at a higher risk. Here are three tips on how to reduce your stress (and waistline!) naturally:

Tip #1: Take a break. Remove the sources of stress in your life, if at all possible. Cut back on your commitments and learn to delegate. Sometimes, we feel overwhelmed with work because we are too scared to trust other people’s talents. Manage your time more effectively. You’ll achieve more with less amount of stress if you plan ahead.

Tip #2: Be active. Start a fitness program you can really commit to. Play your favorite sport more regularly, or go walking or biking more often. Remember, exercising can help you cope with stress that you can’t eliminate.

Tip #3: Monitor your responses. If you are an emotional eater, develop a list of non-food ways to handle pressures from work and home. Learning to wait out the urge to eat (about 10 to 15 minutes) can be a simple psychological change that makes a significant difference.

For a sensible plan that guides you on a healthy diet and exercise routine best for you to reach and keep a healthy weight, contact me today! I am an in-home personal trainer primarily for women. I provide these fitness services in the mid Cities area of the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex, including the cities of South Lake, Colleyville, Grapevine, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, (HEB area) and  North Richland Hills.