Stress not only have Psychological impact but also does a great physical damage if not managed and treated early. It can be one of the reasons behind the prevention of weight loss.
Studies have suggested that stress does prevent weight loss and promotes weight gain.
So, How Does Stress Promotes Weight Gain?
Cortisol (along with its partner epinephrine) is best known for its involvement in the “fight-or-flight” response and temporary increase in energy production, at the expense of processes that are not required for immediate survival.
The resulting biochemical and hormonal imbalances (ideally) resolve due to a hormonally driven negative feedback loop. The following is a typical example of how the stress response operates as its intended survival mechanism:
- An individual is faced with a stressor.
- A complex hormonal cascade ensues, and the adrenals secrete cortisol.
- Cortisol prepares the body for a fight-or-flight response by flooding it with glucose, supplying an immediate energy source to large muscles.
- Cortisol inhibits insulin production in an attempt to prevent glucose from being stored, favoring its immediate use.
- Cortisol narrows the arteries while the epinephrine increases heart rate, both of which force blood to pump harder and faster.
- The individual addresses and resolves the situation.
- Hormone levels return to normal.
So what’s the problem? In short, the theory is that with our ever-stressed, fast-paced lifestyle, our bodies are pumping out cortisol almost constantly, which can wreak havoc on our health.
This whole-body process, mediated by hormones and the Immune system, identifies cortisol as one of the many players. But isolating its role helps put into context the many complex mechanisms that lead to specific physiological damage. Source: Todaysdietitian.com
Stress appears to influence eating behaviors differently by sex as well. In a study of high school students aged 15–19 years, caloric consumption increased on days with stressful events for girls but not for boys (though boys did increase their fat intake) . Similarly, among college students, women consumed more calories than men when exposed to a stressful film . Source: National Library of Medicine