Are you asking… Are stress and weight loss resistance linked? Does stress cause weight gain? Is stress keeping me from losing weight? Does stress cause belly fat? How can I lose my stress belly? How to stop stress eating?
You’ll find your answers right here. Plus, specific lifestyle and supplement recommendations to put an end to your chronic stress and weight gain, get rid of belly fat and stress eating – you know, that unstoppable urge you get especially at night.
Here’s what you’ll find on this page. Need a quick answer? Jump to the section that interests you most:
Table of Contents
- Stress and Weight Loss Resistance Related to Adrenaline
- How Does Stress Cause Weight Gain? (The Cortisol Connection)
- How Adrenal Fatigue Makes You Struggle & How You Cope
- 6 Tips to Banish Your Stress & Lower Cortisol to Burn Belly Fat Faster
- My 2 Recommendations for Quick Stress Relief
But before we dive in, let me ask you this.
Are you like most people who can’t resist stress eating during prolonged periods of stress while struggling to burn belly fat?
Because if during stressful times you either gain weight or find it’s impossible to drop it, you should know that’s just one of the many frustrating effects of stress on health.
And whether your stress is physical, psychological/emotional or social, your brain reacts the exact same way:
“Prepare for danger!” … “Get ready for attack – or RUN!”
As a result, cortisol (the main stress hormone) is released into your system to get your body ready for this state of high alert. During this state of high alert your body preserves its energy resources – a.k.a. any deposits of fat.
But there’s more when it comes to…
…Stress and Weight Loss Resistance Related to Adrenaline
Here’s the gist of it.
During a stressful situation, another stress hormone is immediately released into the blood: adrenaline (also known as epinephrine) – the fight-or-flight hormone.
Adrenaline prepares your body for an immediate stress response. It makes your heart race. Your blood pressure raises, you start to breathe faster, you may even start to sweat.
Also, glucose starts pouring into your bloodstream for quick energy while your whole body is ready for fight – or ready to escape.
But when no immediate, real danger is present, this extra energy has no use. Right away, this adrenaline rush causes a low level of blood sugar, jitters, anxiety.
It makes you feel physically and mentally exhausted.
Long-term, this excess of adrenaline can cause sleep problems and serious heart damage – but more about this in a moment.
So what’s going on here?
Believe it or not, this life-saving, genetically-programmed automatic response dates from thousands of years ago. A time when chronic stress and weight loss weren’t the widespread problem they are nowadays.
But in today’s world, our stressors don’t always come from life-threatening circumstances, like an immediate danger in traffic, for example.
Instead, we are dealing with a perpetually rushed lifestyle and mundane stressors, like:
- overwork, an imminent deadline, a difficult task, an abusive boss, even job loss
- a bad relationship, emotional trauma, a dreaded phone call
- conflicts with family or friends, worries about children or over finances
- lack of sleep, illness, and many other anxieties.
Fear of failure…. of not measuring up… of loss…
Fear of being judged, rejected, hurt, unloved, unwanted…
And on and on, relentless and neverending.
So if you’re asking…
Q: Is stress keeping me from losing weight? And… does stress cause belly fat?
A: The answer is YES, and YES. Very much so.
Not only will you have a hard time dropping the pounds, but you’ll likely put weight on during stressful times – especially around the abdomen. That’s actually known as “stress belly”.
Now, to address another question you may be asking…
Q: How Does Stress Cause Weight Gain? What’s the Cortisol Connection?
A: Well, let me answer by addressing your second question first.
Beyond controlling your body’s hormones and blood sugar levels, cortisol also regulates your sleep pattern and basal metabolic rate. Along with your body’s use of macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Specifically, how these macronutrients are used or stored.
For example, too much cortisol slows down your metabolism and signals the fat cells to hold on to as much fat as they can and burn for energy as little as possible – even during a lower caloric intake (if too low, this is a high stressor itself).
Reputable studies  confirm that endless psycho-social stressors induce long-term stress and weight gain by causing constant high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone responsible for the body’s fat-storing mechanism. 
Sadly, there’s more to this chronic stress and weight gain connection.
Cortisol signals your brain to increase your appetite and cravings for certain foods. Especially, fatty foods or sweets because of their high caloric content and energy potential.
You can see how this interferes with your weight loss efforts, yes?
Here’s another question I’m often asked:
Q: How to stop stress eating?
A: Well, you’ll want to remember this:
Chronic stress means continuous high levels of cortisol, hence the constant sweets cravings, mood swings, foggy thinking, accumulation of abdominal fat, and many other exasperating high cortisol symptoms.
So if you want to stop the urge to eat when you’re stressed out, end your chronic stress and weight loss resistance, reducing cortisol levels is really the first step you need to take.
Because if you don’t release stress keeping your cortisol balanced on a regular basis, long-term – chronic – high cortisol levels can cause your adrenal glands to wear out.
This is known as adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal Fatigue Makes You Struggle…
…with a cluster of frustrating symptoms: poor sleep, hypoglycemia, mind fog, frequent headaches, chronic fatigue, and many more.
An overall sense that the life has been sucked out of you.
To cope with these symptoms and get more energy, you start using stimulants like coffee, coke, energy drinks – even medication.
Also, your cravings for high-calorie foods, like sweets and refined carbs (a.k.a. “comfort foods”) become unstoppable.
No matter how much will-power you struggle to put forth.
Before you realize, a spiral of increased stress, overeating those comfort foods under stress and weight gain pushes you into a battle you simply can’t win!
So what can you do to provide a much-needed relief to your adrenal glands and lower your cortisol levels?
6 Tips to Banish Your Stress & Lower Cortisol to Burn Belly Fat Faster
Long-term stress and weight gain (or inability to lose weight) make you think you may have high cortisol levels? First and foremost, go see your doctor and ask for a cortisol test.
In the meantime, here are six simple ideas for melting stress – and belly fat – away:
- Use as many fun ways to relieve stress as you can daily.
- Do your best to install the habit of going to bed at 10:30 – 11 pm. This is more important than you think because between 11 pm and 1 am your hormonal system gets recharged, your adrenal glands getting the support they need.
- Use exercise to reduce stress, lower cortisol naturally, and burn belly fat faster. Way faster.
- Avoid stimulants, like harsh diet pills, too much coffee, black tea or caffeinated drinks. These overstimulate your adrenal glands, further raising your cortisol levels.
- Eliminate stress while you’re at your computer with a biofeedback-based desktop stress reducer game. Such guided relaxation techniques are backed by dozens of scientific studies . Solid studies showing how various relaxation techniques reset the brain’s response to stress, lower cortisol levels naturally. They improve a long list of health conditions safely, including the management of fat-storing stress hormones.
- Consider supporting your adrenals with adaptogens: these are totally safe anti-stress herbs that help your body adapt to stressful situations . You’ll reduce the effects of stress without any side effects – here are some of the most helpful ones:
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
- Eleuthero (Siberian ginseng)
- Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum)
- Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
- Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)
- Schizandra (Schisandra chinensis)
- Suma (Pfaffia paniculata)
For a faster – yet gentle – relief of chronic stress and weight loss around the abdomen, a combination of several of these adaptogens works best.
And don’t wait till your doctor puts you on some type of stress/anxiety medication. Because you’ll hate the side effects and dependence these drugs usually create .
At this point, here’s another question you may ask:
Q: How can I lose my stress belly quickly and lower stress without drugs?
A: To answer precisely this, I’ll share with you…
My 2 Recommendations for Natural and Fast Stress Relief
Affiliate disclosure: the links below are affiliate links, so if you choose to buy, I may get a small commission while you’re paying the same price. I only recommend what I’ve tried, and think you’ll love and find helpful, like me. Here’s the full affiliate disclosure.
If – beyond implementing the smart lifestyle upgrades listed above – you want a faster way of reducing cortisol levels naturally, here’s my…
#1 recommendation for the fastest natural stress relief supplement, Cortisol & Adrenal Support.
This is a safe, unique formula because it contains five of the adaptogens listed above working synergistically, with no side effects.
I know people who used to struggle with several high cortisol and adrenal fatigue symptoms for a long time. After using this adaptogenic supplement they’ve noticed significantly diminished stress eating, sweets cravings, and belly fat. Plus, the B-vitamins and magnesium it contains helped end fatigue, enhance mood, induce a positive calm and improve sleep. Give this stress relief supplement a try – you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Let me highlight something important here that you should keep in mind.
While quick fixes help you short-term, those extra pounds will fall off effortlessly when you commit to releasing stress regularly and to living a more balanced lifestyle.
A lifestyle with more meaningful “ME” time and healthy boundaries at work and at home.
Easier said than done, I know.
But never forget that your brain’s resourcefulness is unlimited.
In fact, your brain can work on autopilot making you release stress naturally and burn off stubborn belly fat without relying on willpower – if you know how to reset its automatic stress response.
That’s why my…
# 2 recommendation is a powerful mind-reset tool based on guided relaxation. I use it myself to stop stress eating and slash my sugary cravings when I’m overwhelmed because it’s a special type of guided relaxation that melts my stress instantly.
Plus, it brings more optimism, more joy in my crazy-busy days 🙂
From the first moment you listen to these delicious power-pause audio gems your stress and anxiety start to be automatically released at the core level, so you can finally get rid of that belly fat for good – take a look now to see if this is something you’d like to try too >>
The bottom line is this.
You are NOT condemned to a life of permanent stress and weight loss struggle.
By now you have your answers and several healthy options to end your stress eating intelligently, saying goodbye to belly flab for good.
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Sources for this Article Include:
1. Psychosocial Stress & Change in Weight Among US Adults – American Journal of Epidemiology
2. Relaxation Techniques for Health – National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
3. Medication Strategies for Stress Relief – MentalHelp.net – American Addiction Centers Resource
4. Long-term Stress Linked to Higher Levels of Obesity – Institute of Epidemiology & Public Health, University College of London (UK)
5. Preliminary Review of Studies on Adaptogens – National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine