The Large Link Between Stress and Putting On Weight


Dr. Jason Fung on Stress and Weight Gain [OBESITY AND STRESS]

Video taken from the channel: Weight Loss Motivation


Gaining Weight From Stress? ⇢ HOW TO STOP IT

Video taken from the channel: Megan Elizabeth


Stress and Weight Gain

Video taken from the channel: 2 Keto Dudes


How Stress and Anxiety can Cause Weight Gain

Video taken from the channel: Improvement Path


Stress and weight gain: Hormone “cortisol” associated with higher weights

Video taken from the channel: LOCAL 12


Stress, Hormones, and Weight Gain

Video taken from the channel: St. Mark’s Hospital


The Cortisol, High Blood Sugar, Inflammation & Weight Gain Connection with Dr. Stephen Cabral

Video taken from the channel: BRMI (Bioregulatory Medicine Institute)

When stress peaks or becomes difficult to manage, more serious, long-term health-related consequences can occur. Depression, high blood pressure, insomnia, heart disease, anxiety, and obesity are. That’s because one of the functions of cortisol is to shuttle glucose out of storage so your brain and body can use it for the expected battle ahead. But under chronic stress, the body doesn’t need all that extra glucose, so it releases insulin to deal with it. More insulin can lead to weight gain, and it becomes an ongoing cycle, Kingsford says.

The Big Connection Between Stress and Weight Gain. 1. Apart from stress eating, what mechanisms in the body might come into play when it comes to stress? Stress triggers our brain to tell us to overeat, and not broccoli and carrots – junk food. Stress and Cortisol One of the hormones secreted during stress is called cortisol.

Cortisol has been linked to weight gain as it alerts your body to hold onto fat as well as slows down your metabolism, all because of this phenomenon of needing to fight or flee. Stress and Weight Gain Involve Cortisol Cortisol is a stress hormone that is released when your body is undergoing the fight-or-flight response. Cortisol causes you to crave less healthy food options such as sugary snacks and fat-filled meals, which will likely lead you to gain weight. Multiple studies have now associated chronic stress with weight gain and higher body mass index (BMI).2 And now you know why – it’s a result of persistently elevated levels of cortisol and insulin caused by chronic stress. In it, she makes the case that stress likely does play a central role in weight gain by affecting both appetite and the way the body stores fat and offers a fairly simple antidote to the problem.

Others know all too well the stress and weight gain connection due to the stress eating phenomenon. I’ll get into all of this shortly. Behind the wide range of both physical and mental reactions to stress are a number of hormones. These are in charge of the myriad of (generally bad) physical and emotional sensations. The Link Between Stress and Cortisol Researchers have long known that rises in the stress hormone cortisol can lead to weight gain.

Every time you’re stressed, your adrenal glands release adrenaline and cortisol, and as a result, glucose (your primary source of energy) is released into your bloodstream. How Stress Causes High Cortisol and Weight Gain There’s this idea that all weight gain must come from overeating or under exercising. While food is certainly an important part of the weight gain puzzle, it’s not front and center for most people.

List of related literature:

Effects of stress on weight gain may differ across demographic characteristics and health-related variables such as baseline BMI, or physiological stress levels such as cortisol reactivity, which may lead some individuals to gain more weight than others under stressful circumstances (Harding et al., 2014).

“Handbook of Obesity Treatment, Second Edition” by Thomas A. Wadden, George A. Bray
from Handbook of Obesity Treatment, Second Edition
by Thomas A. Wadden, George A. Bray
Guilford Publications, 2019

Research demonstrating a link between stress and weight gain37 is also pertinent here.

“Handbook of Obesity, Two-Volume Set” by George A. Bray, Claude Bouchard
from Handbook of Obesity, Two-Volume Set
by George A. Bray, Claude Bouchard
CRC Press, 2019

stress was associated with increases in overall calorie and calorie from fat intake, at least among the girls in the sample.

“The Handbook of Stress Science: Biology, Psychology, and Health” by Richard Contrada, PhD, Andrew Baum, PhD
from The Handbook of Stress Science: Biology, Psychology, and Health
by Richard Contrada, PhD, Andrew Baum, PhD
Springer Publishing Company, 2010

Let us hypothesise that stress may increase body weight, though of course there may be a variety of mechanisms by which this might happen – for example stressed employees may eat more food or drink more alcohol.

“Quantitative Methods for Health Research: A Practical Interactive Guide to Epidemiology and Statistics” by Nigel Bruce, Daniel Pope, Debbi Stanistreet
from Quantitative Methods for Health Research: A Practical Interactive Guide to Epidemiology and Statistics
by Nigel Bruce, Daniel Pope, Debbi Stanistreet
Wiley, 2008

Of course, weight gain contributes to depression and a range of health problems, including the stress-related wear and tear on physiology that is part and parcel of the state of ill health related to trauma and depression.

“Coping With Trauma: Hope Through Understanding” by Jon G. Allen
from Coping With Trauma: Hope Through Understanding
by Jon G. Allen
American Psychiatric Publishing, 2008

Unwanted weight gain is also associated with stress.

“Alters and Schiff Essential Concepts for Healthy Living” by Jeff Housman, Mary Odum
from Alters and Schiff Essential Concepts for Healthy Living
by Jeff Housman, Mary Odum
Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC, 2015

Stress affects eating in a bidirectional fashion: a subset of stressed individuals (approximately 30%) decrease their food intake and lose weight during or after stress, whereas most stressed individuals increase their food intake [44] and exhibit an intensified preference for higher-fat, energy-dense foods [43,45].

“Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Abdominal Obesity” by Ronald Ross Watson
from Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Abdominal Obesity
by Ronald Ross Watson
Elsevier Science, 2014

Stress can also lead to weight gain though biological and behavioral processes (Ernsberger et al., 1998).

“The Fat Studies Reader” by Esther Rothblum, Sondra Solovay, Marilyn Wann
from The Fat Studies Reader
by Esther Rothblum, Sondra Solovay, Marilyn Wann
NYU Press, 2009

That is one of the reasons that it has been discovered that stress makes you gain weight.

“The Power of Your Metabolism” by Frank Suarez
from The Power of Your Metabolism
by Frank Suarez
New Leaf Distributing Company, 2009

Difficulty paying bills was also linked to stress-related weight gain.

“Visualization for Weight Loss: The Gabriel Method Guide to Using Your Mind to Transform Your Body” by Jon Gabriel
from Visualization for Weight Loss: The Gabriel Method Guide to Using Your Mind to Transform Your Body
by Jon Gabriel
Hay House, 2015

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • Megan Elizabeth what did you do to lose the 30 pounds you gained?? I gained about 30-40 pounds senior year in high school ( it was really stressful due to trying to stay in top ten I slept really bad and was really stressed) it’s been a year since then and I’ve lost like 10 pounds but I’m trying to shed off the rest and no luck ��

  • Absolutely top quality podcast. Finally some correct info on the subject. It seems so obvious now! Have supported on patreon. Can’t thank you enough.

  • I do not understand your language, but I believe it is a good thing to share, I come from vietnam to support you, my channel works very well, very welcome you

  • I really want to loose weight ��. I’ve been taking Charlotte Web. Can you let me know how often you took the CBD oil? More details.

  • Dr. Stephen Cabral and his Cabral Concept podcast has taught me so much about the human body, rebalancing, and healing! What a wealth of information!

  • I tried number one and immediate weight gain I cant seem to tolerate it. When I mix it up I get better results. I hate cooking. I was overweight in 2017 despite running 17km. It took two years of counsellor for me to eat 1200 calories. Now I have the same issue again. I’ve gained weight during quarantine despite lots of walking a run and an hour of housework daily up almost 7 pounds, I’m disgusted and mu joints are not thanking me and I counted my calories. My neoghboues horrible and I had major setback with health over the weight gain. It did not help me. My life depends on me being healthy again

  • I am 15 in 9th grade and I am very stressed because nothing I do can help my grade in a significant way. I always missed the last class of the day because of the dentist and it caused my grade to drop. My teacher keeps giving me bad grades and 50% for late grades. And all my 100% are in the 10. category. So I have been so stressed that I have been crying every day in class because of how mad I am and how I have a failing grade at the most important time of the year. So I then gained 10 pounds (and still gaining) even thought i eat relatively healthy, and have P.E. but I guess the food at my home doesn’t serve me well. So I started eating sugar. In conclusion I am just extremely unhappy with myself and I just have all this resentment and stress which I feel like is literally killing me because of the weight gain, crying, headaches and pressure I feel all over my body. Also how often it happens.

  • OMG! Thank you for this podcast! This may be the answer to my over one year stall. I am five years in top being a caregiver to my currently 91 year-old mother who has Alzheimer’s. It’s exponentially, the most stressful time in my life. I also lost my job during this last year and now make less with much more effort. I am still 100% Keto (18 months in). When my hunger kicks in, I indulge low carb only, so I am not putting weight back on. I just can’t finish this last 40lbs of belly fat, and I want it gone! I now know that I need to work on managing the stress and to increase my fasting. Hopefully, I’ll be closer to goal at KetoFest 2020!

  • i am your new subscriber.������ but weight loss is my worst symptom,, because I a’m also underweight ������ my all reports are normal,,��

  • I have lost much weight because of stress. In my country we use kg measurement for weight…so I lost 10 or 12 kg…I had 50 kg and now I have 40, 39. And this stress is because of a painful breakup….(1 year stress period and I still do not move on it) people used to bring me a toxic positivity but it didn’t comfort me anymore….I always was skinny but fit and now I am skinnier and I am no fit….sorry for bad english

  • I cut back my exercise I gained 7 pounds on 1800 calories was walking an hour and a half daily and running 30 minutes as well. It was beyond frustrating. I assume the stress of training contributes. I’m sticking to 30-60 minutes or I really overdo it on the butter. I’ll see how it goes. Just tracking intake food it’s not the best but it’s a start.

  • The things I find exceptional about metabolic food recipes collection is it allowed so as I was able to quite simply plan in advance my daily meals and in addition work the prep time frame into my very own frenzied timetable. I really could cook certain portions of the dishes early on to cut back on the prep while i was hard-pressed for time. The electronic copy on my smart phone made searching for the ingredients simple and nearly all those ingredients are easy to locate and commonly lower priced. I looked and just couldn’t come across these kinds of a high quality range of tasty recipes of this magnitude anywhere. Read about my journey at the following link

  • I have an anxiety from latst 3 years and it put impact on my social life m not able to manage my home nd work.i feel hugry in every two hours which makes me to gain weight I don’t want to eat but I receive signals from Brian that I should eat. what would you suggest me to do.

  • Thanks for the interview. I too lost a son, so I can somewhat understand her grief, although everybody is a bit different. I think it is terribly sad that she always thought she would lose her son. I hope that didn’t permeate her thought process and how she lived her life, that would be a shame. I am happy for her that she got her health back.

  • Wow. This is the first video I’ve seen on this topic that explains in detail. You’ve answered so many questions, and your advice seems sound. Thanks!

  • You make everything so easy. I love the way you explain things. I have lost 14kgs in last 6months. I adore you. You hold special place in my life. Love you doctor ❤️.

  • I was losing weight too, because I had no appetite at all. But once, I am able to control my mind, the appetite came back. It felt so blessed the first time I could eat well. It is surprising how much we never feel grateful when we can eat with a great appetite.

  • Thanks for watching guys! Hope you enjoyed the video and found it helpful �� if you are new to the channel consider subscribing and if you have any questions don’t hesitate and just leave a comment below and I will get back to you for sure.

    Check out my Patreon page if you want to support the channel and help me create more and better videos on anxiety and mental health whilst getting some awesome benefits in return. Here is the link:

  • Interesting video, have tried the low sugar and no unfortunately. You retain some water anyway. I lost three pounds in a week, when I removed all stressors..Had a deficit and I still gained weight!!! 1400 calories and 1 hours run a day I burn off any unhealthy foods and I eat way under training needs. Ive abusive relatives. 3 years ago I ate the same trained more or les the same and was ripped, people give me no space and I am not allowing them visit for a few weeks, I also got told I looked well fed. This has to endI think its my environment and too much sugar but i could have a cheat meal. I get poor sleep and people putting me under pressure, My aim was to lose two pounds these are possibly dangerous numbers and gained 2. My body water is low so my fan heater may be to blame. My mum is a bad influence she sets the table for dinner and leaves the dog outside to bark its head off creating a toxic environment Id to put it with that after a memorial mass. She gulps her drinks and I then pick those habits. I probably have gained nothing. I think a cheat meal is nice or removal if the stresors, removing all the sugar isn’t the soltution,. I was like a ballon even on a sugar free diet. My big brother helped me as its endangered my health before. I often try to burn off my food under 1200 cals yes its dangerous.I felt worthless so I am asking for help from an irish ED clinic. People use up so much time I dont even have enough water.Its particularly devasting as I am a binge purge type anorexic,. Need to put a total ban on people stressing me out. In 3 years I have doubled my body fat and my bones are damaged as fat eats bone tissue. I cant keep muscle. Most of my binges are not over maintenance just too much sugar, I have so much fat that my health is damaged it ate my bone mass. Thats why I am desperate to stop adding more fat. I am beyond angry with everyone at the moment, My metabolism sucks at least I can find a way to fix that. For all you ladies trying to fix your shape stay away from people that will make it harder.

  • Speaking of stress, I’m still working on how to get consecutive episodes all in a row. I have to keep searching google for episode 2 or 3 or whatever. Not strictly for this podcast but for all of them.

  • I dont need meditation to easy stress, just a smile and laugh works like a miracle, better than any meditation (and medication) thing for me.:P

  • Thank you. This has been helpful. I deal with chronic stress as well as depression. I live in CNY and the weather is dreary. I started using CBD oil because of your videos and I really needed to hear this today. I have been guessing my cortisol level must be through the roof.

  • Hi Megan. Congratulations on your quote “Gaining Weight From Stress? •••> How To Stop It” inspirational thanks for sharing. I Morine Barnes got 25kg fat to lose due to Stress on diet and exercise on prescription Dr RB Chitre care I care. Morine. ������������.

  • There is nothing wrong with pizza…. just leave out the crust!:-) Yeah, there are ‘keto pizza’ recipes, but we find that the melted cheese, with or without a tomato sauce or paste (watch out for sugar in the sauce!), with onions and/or garlic, maybe some olives, soe spices, and whatever else we feel like gives us the experience, smell, and flavor of a pizza without the carbs in the crust. We make it in individual pans and eat it with a fork. It’s quick and easy and without any sugar in the sauce or the crust it’s keto!

  • How long would you say it took you to get over the fatigue symptom once you started exercising? And did you ever experience heart flutters sometimes after exercise?

  • This explains so much. I have recently gained 15 pounds. The other day something very stressful came up with my coursework and I immediately started craving desserts and I feel like this explains it. I’m sure everyone is extra stressed out lately, but I have started to retreat back to old toxic ways and I want to be healthier. Thanks for all the info.

  • One of my superpowers is to not be hampered with stress. I see people that carry a load that would sink a camel and don’t let stress get to them, and then I see people that break a fingernail and react as if they lost a kidney. I think having a couple of real passions make me immune to most potential stresses. I don’t have the time for it, because I want to spend that time enjoying my life’s desires.

  • So I have a past with not the healthiest eating habits, when I came to loosing weight. I am a vegan and I am 43 without much changing besides stress I have put on about 20 30 pounds. Its something that I struggle so much with because I can not go back to te way I was and looking at me most people would just think, oh she is healthy. But I am definitely not at my happiest weight. I’m changing a few things but if there are any healthy vegan foods that fill you up and will keep the weight off. I would totally appreciate it! Or anything that can make my cortisol level equal out, or would you recommend a supplement at all? Thank you

  • Hi Megan, I have stress from an unhealthy relationship, debt and being stuck at home with no job and a lot of shame from my aspergers and getting bullied in the past. I think these are my core stress issues. but the one issue is it feels like I cannot do anything to change my life. I am just stuck in a cycle of going to bed at 8am and waking up at 6pm. I hide from the world and will engage in eating sweets late at night while watching youtube for hours, and I feel like I engage too much in “feel good” things to counteract the immense stress of living at home and feeling fear. The last therapist I went to bullied me and forced me into taking meds and falsely diagnosed me since she knew the sessions were free and she was not making money she had to start prescribing me when in the consultation I told her that I needed talk therapy. After that experience my life fell apart and I was terrified to seek help, it was more the mortification of not feeling trusted in the health care system (she was also an old family friend who turned her back), and it just feels impossible to STOP the stress. I definitely think I could get my blood sugar in check waking up early again and maybe going out to a mall and sitting with my laptop and trying to write but I am terrified of people and being bullied again. I never leave the house lately. I have had extreme tension at home with my sister’s abusive boyfriend who lived with us and he was kicked out and arrested for physical harm to my sister last month. My boyfriend saw him at the grocery store while I sat in the car he told me the abusive man yelled at him in front of everyone in the store, and I started to shake from PTSD after what he put our family through weeks ago, and it triggered a huge amount of stress that continued for 3 weeks this february. All my healthy habits like going to the gym, sleeping early and fasting have stopped and I have been living on a wire ever since. Another abusive man from my sister’s past came to the house and my dad let him in. I heard a voice from downstairs on Feb 5. and it was this thug who tried to strangle my dad when I was in high school. Why would he open the door for him? I had a PTSD panic attack in my room that day when I heard his voice, I knew he was over and I called my dad hiding in my room asking who was at the house and he said “Matthew” and I started breaking down. I felt so unsafe in my house that day and every since all my habits have unraveled. This happens at least once a month that I’ll have a fight, or feel unsafe or threatened by my family in some way. I have been fighting with my sister lately trying to set boundaries and telling her she should not be allowing dangerous people over after the last guy was arrested but she got mad at me instead. So I am living in fear. Of course my only comfort is food and youtube. I look so different (45 pounds weight gain I started at 170 and now I am 216) and I can’t just get a job and leave because I know people would judge me and bully me for the way I look and how my clothes don’t fit. I am just trapped living here. I am scared my weight will just get higher and higher. I used to look and act so normal before everything in my family got worse in 2018. I kept gaining weight unexpectedly as I stayed up late hiding from them and going to bed at 5am and 6am in the morning which probably did it. Its a combo of having an abusive environment I cannot control, PTSD and aspergers, weight gain that makes me look different and preventing me from functioning normally because of the environment. If I took away the abusive home environment I’d probably function as normal after the PTSD went away. I am on a thread right now and living day to day with all of this.

  • Girl, I. can so relate to gravitating to sweets mixed with the fats. I feel it’s important to eat lots of greens and stick to lots of low glycemic fruits. I have my friend Tannyraw to thank for this. This was great info. Thank you again.

  • As always you are simple, clear in your explanation, you talk to everyone, I lost 10 kg with the intermittent fasting but lately I gained 2kg. I am 74 years old and I am worried but listening to you I understand the reason of why, ( because the covet-19 Virus I couldn’t go to work, gyms are closed, doing exercises at home I hurt a muscle,, etc. etc.) I do practice breathing relaxation but I think that should be more often. I am not discouraged for this encounter with this crisis, it is very rea jurying to hearing from you some of the reasons of the increases on my weight.and the solutions. Thank you very much Dr. Fung.