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14.01.2015
Does Stress Cause Weight Gain?Stress is a way of life and unfortunately, it can literally weigh you down. According to experts, chronic high stress can keep you from losing weight and even add extra pounds. What makes it worse is that during these times, we crave for salty, sweet, and high-fat foods because they stimulate the release of chemicals that reduce the tension you feel. While we can’t get rid of stressful situations, we can definitely manage how we deal with them.
More women are working outside of the home than ever before and many are working longer hours than they ever have.
In a study just published in the International Journal of Obesity, researcher followed some 9,276 Australian women aged 45-50 and tracked their  body weight and employment status for two years. The authors of the Australian study attribute weight gain among working women to inactivity, lack of time for food preparation, more use of prepared foods, high levels of stress, lack of sleep and consuming more alcohol. Since the majority of women in the US are working like I am, we don’t have the luxury of having lots of extra time and less stress in our lives. Vending machines rarely offer any nutritional options and the food that’s left in office kitchens is usually doughnuts, desserts or candy.  Steer clear!
Alcohol consumption is consistently linked to being overweight and is a triple threat to your diet.
What happens is that the body responds to stress the same way it responds to physical danger. The relief we get becomes addicting, so we reach for fattening foods during moments of stress.


Fortunately, there are natural ways you can break the cycle of stress eating and keep weight gain at bay. When you don’t get enough rest, your cortisol levels rise, which in turn will make you feel hungry and unsatisfied with the food you eat. It’s okay to give in to hunger brought about by stress as long as you make smart food choices.
If you need advice on weight management, call us at 894-2639 or book an appointment online. Women make up nearly half of our total workforce and 51% of professional workers, like doctors, lawyers, nurses and accountants, are women.
I’ll also add in travel, meals eaten out and working at night as other factors that can I find make balancing work with a healthy diet a challenge. Alcohol is high in calories (7 calories per gram), it stimulates your appetite while reducing your resolve to eat well. I thought for sure it would be the person at home more who has access to the fridge and pantry = being able to make gourmet lunches and snacks at will.
If you’re having a stressful day, your brain acts as though you’re in harm’s way, prompting your cells to release certain hormones. Plus, when you get moving, your body produces biochemicals that can counter the negative effects brought by stress hormones.
These will keep your blood sugar levels steady, which can help control your appetite and your weight.
Next time you give in to stress-related hunger pangs, reach for high-fiber foods like oatmeal, whole wheat bread, or fruits.


Whether it’s yoga, deep breathing or doing a marathon of your favorite TV series, if it calms you down, it will counter the biochemical effects caused by stress. Like many of you, I work.  As a self-employed nutrition communications specialist, I sit at my desk, in front of a computer, for hours on end. Those who worked more than 35 hours were likely to gain weight compared to those who worked fewer hours or were out of the workforce. I guess with working, particularly in the US, there are all sorts of incentives to keep you at your desk like takeaway lunches, vending machines, free snacks and soda. Sitting alone is one of the worst things you can do for your health and it’s directly linked to being overweight, increased ab fat, and metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Cortisol then tells your body that you need to replenish your energy, even if you haven’t really burned any calories in your stressed-out state. But those who reported working more than 48 hours a week, experienced a 1.9% increase on the scale. In addition, cortisol also promotes fat deposition which is why those with abnormal cortisol levels have “buffalo humps” (or excess abnormal fat in the back) and “pendulous abdomen” (or bulging and sagging tummy fat).
But many working women gained much more than that, indicating that for some women, work can be a real diet wrecker. In another study of female workers in Finland, 26% gained more than 10 pounds during the course of the 5-to-7-year study.



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