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How Stress Causes You to Gain Weight

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How Stress Causes You to Gain Weight

How Stress Causes You to Gain Weight

Stress exists in your life for good reason; when you need to handle emergency situations, the physiological changes caused by the spike in the stress hormone cortisol can help you respond and adjust to situations. However, if stress is chronic, and your cortisol level remains elevated, it can cause a lot of negative health impacts, including weight gain.

Have you ever noticed that after being highly stressed for a period of time, and when that stress is over, you tend to become sick?  The constant state of stress can weaken your immune system and bring on the illness.  If your body is in a weakened state, it is more likely to not be able to fend off viruses.


Here are some health implications of stress and elevated cortisol level:

  • Nutrient deficiencies due to decrease in nutrient absorption and increase in excretion of certain minerals
  • Increased chances of cardiovascular disease by increasing LDL, triglycerides, high blood pressure and aggregation of blood platelet
  • Reduced good gut flora, which can lower immunity and cause digestive issues
  • Reduced metabolism and increased fat storage, leading to weight gain
  • Decreased healing ability
  • Increased oxidative stress which increases premature aging

You may be suffering from chronic stress if you notice the following:

  • Digestive complaints such as sudden onset of cramps, diarrhea and nausea
  • The feeling of suffocation and shortness of breath
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Physical weakness
  • Behavior changes and challenges
  • Unexplained anxiety, tears, inappropriate nervous laughter
  • Inability to communicate and focus
  • You may also use these measures to cover the feeling of burn out: use of stimulants such as coffee to “wake up”, use of alcohol or sleeping pills to wind down, midnight snacking, overworking, oversleeping, or signs of depression.

What Can You Do? 

Cultivate mindfulness around the time that you feel stressed. What are your triggers? Some of the more common ones are:

  • Money
  • Work
  • Family issues

Find ways to naturally reduce stress in your life. Some suggestions are:

  1. Find an exercise outlet. Sometimes something as simple as going for a walk can reduce stress immensely.
  2. Practice the art of self-care. Getting regular massage or taking soothing baths can work wonders on anxiety. Adding in calming essential oils such as lavender and roman chamomile can aid in stress reduction.
  3. Supplement with vitamins and minerals that have anti-oxidant properties, such as Proflavnol C from my product partner. Adding in a high quality bioflavonoid supplement which contains grape-seed extract and the free-radical quenching power of Vitamin C will help to combat the negative effects that stress causes upon your body. Stress causes you to create your own free radicals.
  4. Set aside time for quiet. Whether you meditate, write in a journal, or sit outside for just a few moments a day to reflect, make sure you take time to pause and relax. (note……not with alcohol as that increases the negative effects of stress).

What are some other proven stress-busting methods that you have tried?

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Be well,




headshotJanelle is a Certified Health Coach, Nutrition Consultant, Autoimmune + Weight Loss Specialist. Janelle is based north of Boston but helps clients nationwide via phone, skype, and online programs. Janelle helps busy women restore health naturally for increased mental clarity, improved sleep, better digestion, management of autoimmune issues and natural weight loss. Janelle graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City and teaches Nutrition courses at the New Hampshire Institute for Therapeutic Arts. Her education and experience has equipped her with extensive knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching, and preventative health. Her signature Nourish 21 online program is a crash course in nutrition that helps folks navigate through all of the contradictory nutritional information available while teaching the overlapping truths. To learn more about her work and her available programs please visit



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