Can Stress Make You Fat?

In the daily active life, we hear the word “stress” come and go. Perhaps in some cases with diluted meanings, of so much naming it, but it is a real condition that affects us and us often ignores it.

Stress is not a chimera and is not something we can ignore and already, because it has the power to affect us, not only in our professional performance, but even in the development of our body. In fact, connections have been established between stress and the difficulty to lose weight, even with a weight gain due to deregulations of normal processes in our body.

Therefore, it is imperative to explore the effect that stress may have on our weight and act with respect to it.

Causes of stress

This is a subjective issue, since everyone experiences life in their own way and will have different reasons to feel stressed. However, there are characteristics that are always at the top of the lists when someone is asked the reason for their stress.

Among the main causes of stress we have professional or entrepreneurial responsibilities, family conflicts, economic problems and, finally, health problems. However, although these are the most common reasons, it does not mean that they are the only ones.

Anyway, this type of problems, which affect more the psychological part, are not the only reasons to be stressed, since there are also physical deficiencies that can lead to high levels of stress . For example, if we are not receiving the necessary sleep hours every night, we will feel tired throughout the day, producing more stress.

Why stress can get fat?

When we feel stress, the body is affected by an overabundance of cortisol or hydrocortisone, a hormone with steroid properties that raises blood sugar levels and suppresses the immune system, in favor of helping to metabolize fats, proteins and proteins. Carbohydrates Here we see the direct connection of stress with the control of our weight.

1.Cortisol makes the cells less reactive

High cortisol levels make the insulin and leptin receptors less sensitive, so they lose reaction levels and cannot do their job well, since the nervous system does not read their signals.

In the case of high insulin, the body will not release the fat from your fat cells, so that the fat will be trapped inside your cells. On the other hand, leptin is the hormone that regulates the fat we have and how fast we are losing it. When their levels are high, we feel full and feel no need to continue eating.

Now we can clearly see the problem. If our brain can not read the signals of insulin and leptin because of cortisol, we will gain weight. On the one hand, we will not be releasing the fat from the cells of our body, and on the other hand we will always have a feeling of hunger.Relationship of stress and cortisol to gain weight

2.Cortisol increases inflammation

In the body there are several types of fat. For example, the fat under the skin, which we can touch and grasp, is subcutaneous fat; while the deeper fat, the one that surrounds our organs, is the so-called visceral fat .

When we are under stress and our body experiences high levels of stress, it is normal to retain much more visceral fat, which is more dangerous than the subcutaneous, since it is around the organs and can cause different problems.

Similarly, retaining more fat is directly related to signs of inflammation in the body, which creates a cycle, where fat helps inflammation and inflammation to fat. This can become a serious problem quickly.

3.Cortisol deregulates hunger hormones

Leptin, which we already named above, helps control our appetite. Therefore, when their levels are low, we will feel hungry, and when their levels are high we will feel satiety. But there is also another hormone that regulates the appetite, called ghrelin, which is released when we feel hungry, accentuating this feeling.

Both hormones are affected by cortisol, so that the body loses control of the regulation of these hormones. These results in a high anxiety that leads us to overeat, and by giving free rein to that feeling, we can quickly gain weight.


Stress can be caused by various physical and psychological reasons. Once we experience high levels of stress, our body will increase its cortisol levels, which can result in various problems related to the regulation of the body in our body.

Therefore, stress does not directly cause fatness, but it does create the stage and platform necessary for us to lose control of our weight. Now the problem is not to focus on regulating our weight, which is important, but also to eliminate the root problem and attack stress.

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