Anxiety Can Trigger Unwanted Weight Gain

Woman Feeling Anxious

How you feel can trigger weight gain

If you experience anxiety, you understand that this is a real health concern that can affect many aspects of your daily lifestyle. If you have been gaining unwanted weight and wonder what may be the culprit, it could be at least partially due to anxiety you experience. Everyone experiences some degree of stress, but for those already struggling to maintain healthy weight, anxiety can play a larger role in weight gain.

Our primal response to stress

Since the beginning of time when we were running from dinosaurs, the body has been responding to stress in the same way. When potentially stressful incoming information signals the brain, it responds by releasing powerful hormones that control our fight or flight response. The hormones, epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol all behave together to protect us. However, while doing so, this release can artificially signal extreme hunger. In an effort to protect us, the body falsely assumes we need additional calories.

Instead of reaching for healthy, slow-metabolizing foods such as veggies or nuts, we often go for sugary and salty snacks. This is because that cortisol response invites insulin into the game influencing those intense cravings. If the cycle continues, muscle mass is traded for adipose tissues in unwanted areas. Bottom line- if stress continues, so does cortisol output. Like a leaky hose, cortisol will keep pumping out until the stress process has been intervened.

Recognizing and acknowledging environmental stress is the first step to stopping this weight gaining hormonal cycle. When we stop the cycle, we respond with a favorable hormonal response.

We understand that weight management involves many aspects of your lifestyle. With over 25 years experience, we're ready to help you manage your anxiety to keep you focused toward your weight management goals.


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