An Unhealthy Connection between Stress and Weight Gain

Last Update on December 20, 2022 : Published on May 12, 2020

Being a science student, I have observed that people stress out a lot. Recently, I visited my aunt and saw that she is following a diet to lose weight. And, when I asked her about the diet plan that she follows, she told me that she is following a diet chart found on social media through her favorite influencer’s account.

I observed that she was following everything to lose weight. Like, she was blindly eating whatever it was mentioned in the post and still feeling obese… how even that is possible when she is doing everything do lose weight. The answer is stress! Yes, Stress and weight gain are actually co-related with each other.

The correlation between stress and weight gain might shock you. And, do you know when I started researching on this topic I found that it was not only my aunt who was not getting the proper results of dieting, every 3 out of 4 American shows the result of stress and weight gain… shows the data of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2017.

stress and weight gain

Moving ahead, I found that nowadays, people intake diet suggested by anyone on social media, without even consulting with nutritionists or doctors who in turn lead to various disorders and alleviation in stress levels. The fact is the body acts differently to different types of foods.

Maybe someone has included Chia seeds or Flax seeds in their diet, might be you are allergic to Chia Seeds or Flax Seeds. And when the food does not suit your body type, you start stressing out…right!

Through this blog, I am going to tell you about the unhealthy connection between stress and weight gain with my personal experiences. Let’s get started.

The Connection between Stress and Weight Gain

The stress is not noticeable until it converts to observable effects on our bodies. Feeling of irritation, overwhelm, tight muscles to headaches, stress takes a toll on mental, emotional, physical health.

The body responds to stress in the form of weight gain. Weight gain takes time to observe or notice but it does affect our body in a negative way.

Studies show that whenever we feel stress, the body increases the Cortisol (a stress hormone released by our body in contact with a threat) which gets our body to “fight or flee.”

Moreover, when our body continuously experiences stress, the body increases the level of Cortisol. Even if you are under diet or not the excessive Cortisol leads to excess consumption of calories and gets deposited in the middle. Additionally, the body metabolizes food slowly when under stress.

Connection between Stress and Weight Gain

You’ll be amazed that there is a study which shows that women who participated in the stressor program burned 104 calories in 24 hours than stressed women. Additionally, the result shows that stressed females had increased levels of insulin.

Read More: Best Stress Relieving Games : Online & Offline

Risks Associated With Stress and Weight Gain

When stress-related to not getting into a shape increases, the stress results in long-term health-related problems like:

  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Heart disease
  • Anxiety
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Reproduction issues

I don’t want to stress you out but studies show that there is a connection between obesity and cancers. Additionally, with the increase of such stress, the risk of mental health increases and can cause depression or anxiety. This is all the result of dieting… when you unintentionally gain weight by taking stress.

What do We Learn from the Stress and Weight Gain Connection?

Stress and Weight gain connection

When I speak about the mental stress that we take during dieting or let’s say any kind of stress, such stress can really turn into a big monster for a lifetime. Therefore, before starting with any food regime, we should discuss the plan with our nutritionists or healthcare workers.

Additionally, if you are prone to mental stress, you should discuss and consult with your psychologists as well before starting any regime. Moreover, there are various ways to manage stress naturally.

Calm Sage suggests you eat properly and take care of your mental health with natural stress management techniques. And, whenever you face issues with stress or diet controls, consult with your psychologist and nutritionist.

The reason behind consulting your psychologist or nutritionist is that they know you personally, they know your body demands, and they actually know your mind-body connection. Therefore, do not include anything in your regime which is not prescribed by the authority.

Stress Reducing Techniques to Include in Your Schedule:

There are various ways to reduce stress naturally. Additionally, if you are already on diet and still feel obese, you can try these techniques to reduce stress and obesity.

Stress reducing techniques

Whenever you feel stressed, try one of the below-mentioned activities to keep you calm throughout the day:

  • 20-30 minute exercise
  • 10-minute body scan meditation and yoga
  • Enjoy nature and get yourself out from suffocated places
  • Give yourself a treat with healthy food
  • Ask for support
  • Eliminate the negativities around
  • Ask your family for support
  • Go for mindfulness meditation
  • Listen to music
  • Netflix binging
  • Read a self-help book or any book
  • Go to bed early
  • Be kind
  • Learn to say ‘NO’
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Go on a dinner date with your partner
  • Start your day with juice
  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Keep yourself surrounded by positive people
  • Focus on hobbies
  • Avoid late night working
  • Opt for digital detox at least once a week

Read More: A Complete Guide to Group Therapy

A Small Takeaway from Calm Sage:

In a world full of slim bodies, we should accept our flaws and should not torture our bodies from the depreciation of food. Because we got only one life and let’s make most of it! What about embracing chubby and curvy?

No Kidding! It’s your life and body and you should take complete care of it. Additionally, when I say take care of your body, I meant physical and mental health both. Therefore, if you still feel like going on a diet, please consult with your nutritionist; do not ever listen to influencers on social media platforms because it might turn into a bad disaster. Save yourself from stress and weight gain connection.

Small takeaway from Calm Sage

Additionally, if you see someone doing this… please aware of the connection between stress and weight gain. With this, our blog comes to an end. I hope this blog was informative and motivational.

For more such content, follow Calm Sage on all social media platforms.

Be Positive!

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".


  1. Ishita saini
    Ishita saini

    This article is really helpful, I will definitely refer to this whenever I feel stressed.

    1. Aayushi Kapoor
      Aayushi Kapoor

      Thanks... keep reading :)

  2. Mansi Vijay
    Mansi Vijay

    Liked it! Thanks for sharing ?

    1. Aayushi Kapoor
      Aayushi Kapoor

      Thank you so much for your kind words...keep reading more

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