Aside from many of the negative effects of stress, it can cause you to gain weight. When we are under stress our body triggers a release of a variety of hormones. The "fight or flight" syndrome may be brought on by actual danger, but it also can be caused by the more mundane aspect of life, such as a demanding work schedule, relationship issues or lack of sleep.

If you remain in a state of stress for an extended period of time, you may be suffering from a chronic problem, putting your health at risk. Aside from many of the serious effects of long-term stress, chronic stress can have the more immediate effect of inducing weight gain.

Everyone should be careful about the amount of stress they all to be present in their daily lives. Aside from the general feeling of “overload” that we often experience when we are under stress, there are a variety of physical issues that can come about due to too much stress in our lifestyles. Chronic stress can contribute to weight gain in the following ways:

People experiencing chronic stress tend to crave more fatty, salty and sugary foods. These include sweets, processed food and other things that are not as good for you. These foods are typically less healthy and lead to increased weight gain. Try to identify patterns and replace your “stress eating” with the more healthy approach of eating wholesome, light meals at a higher frequency.

Blood Sugar
Prolonged stress can affect your blood sugar levels, causing mood swings, fatigue, and conditions like hyperglycemia. Too much stress can be linked to a variety of health concerns that can lead to greater problems, like heart attacks and diabetes.

Fat Storage
Excessive stress even affects where we tend to store fat. Higher levels of stress are linked to greater levels of abdominal fat. Unfortunately, abdominal fat is not only aesthetically undesirable, but comes with greater health risks than fat stored in other areas of the body.

Poor Nutritional Choices
Stress can put us into “shut down” mode; a mood where we will cut corners in our lives just to get by. Rather than investing the time and energy in grocery shopping or planning a healthy meal, we may just stop at the local fast food joint to avoid the hassle. This is a double-edged sword; not only will it lead to greater fat gain and, though it may give us the quick boost we need now, fast food does not provide the lasting energy needed to get through the day.

If you have a busy work schedule, try preparing a lunch the night before to take to work. It will help you control your diet and you may be surprised at the time and money you save.

The message is clear. Poor health choices brought on by stress will just lead to more stress in the long-run. Take time out of your busy schedule to take a deep breath, stretch, get in a workout or fitness class and make sure to plan a healthy meal.

Author's Bio: 

Chris Keith is a San Diego personal trainer and fitness expert with over 14 years experience in redefining physiques and enhancing the health of his clients. Chris has worked with individuals at all fitness levels and has dedicated his life to improving the lives of others by providing a practical and effective no-nonsense approach to health and fitness. If you want to improve your quality of life and results are what you are looking for, Chris is the San Diego personal trainer to contact. Find more information at