Why stress makes you put on weight – and how to prevent it

A MAJOR cause of over-eating and weight gain is stress, because when we’re anxious our brain releases a hormone called cortisol which takes control of us and make us do things we wouldn’t normally do – like dive on the cakes and chocolate.

I think we’d all agree that the last eight or nine weeks have been some of the most stressful times of our lives.

During lockdown, most people have been feeling very anxious about the whole situation.

It was something we’d never experienced before and the fear had hijacked our minds. 

A lot of people in our Slimpod community found they were doing a lot of mindless snacking and comfort eating – something they had stopped doing before the crisis had started.

This made things worse and they were panicking.  Then about a month ago, a psychotherapist within our community called Lynsey Lowe posted a very helpful description of how stress drives you to eat and stops you being in control.

While there are videos in phase two of the Slimpod programme about stress and its effects on the body, it was great having a fellow professional offer advice to our lovely Slimpodders.

Now, I know not all the people on our programme are in the group so I asked Lynsey to record a video with me with the aim of helping anyone who didn’t see the Facebook post.

Here it is…

Lynsey had been a yo-yo dieter for 45 years until she found Slimpod just over a year ago.

Like most people who join us, she had “done every diet under the sun” and always put the weight back on.

A year later she doesn’t worry about her weight any more. 

During the chat, Lynsey and I talk about how stress hormones prevent us from losing weight and we go into detail about the effects of stress and it’s full of tips on how to deal with it.

Please leave a comment below to let me know how stress has been affecting you and how your Slimpod (and your Chillpod) are helping ease the anxiety for you.

*** Lynsey Lowe is a psychotherapist, counsellor & trainer working in Nottingham.  She works with individuals or couples either short or long term and specialises in working with childhood & adult trauma.

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11 thoughts on “Why stress makes you put on weight – and how to prevent it”

  1. Louise Goldsmith

    Lovely lady and a nice reminder of how trauma affects our nervous system and therefore hormones . Thankyou

  2. I have really struggled throughout lockdown and before actually and losing weight has not been straight forward. I am going through Menopause and although I attend Slimming world the weight has been very slow to come off.
    During these last few months I was okay initially but eventually gained weight. Coupled with this I developed eczema which I know is my indicator I am stressed.
    After so much confusion about what, should/ could I eat to lose weight I can across Slimpod.
    Initially I gave it a wide birth scepticism telling me it wouldn’t work… however I know where my problem lies And over eating is just the consequence.
    I am now well in… week 3 approaching and I am feeling positive… I am aware that I am eating healthy food but still enjoying something nice. I am not thinking about food from morning TIL night, I am not hiding food and when I eat I am not stuffing food in whether I want it or not.
    It’s early days, I worry about not working and feeling of impotence raise their ugly head now and again but I try to not over think things.
    I have a wonderful family who don’t see or think the way I do but who are supportive. I have lovely friends, one in particular who ‘ gets me’ She never judges and we can talk.
    Optimism keeps me going and I have enjoyed the journey so far. Everyone shares and it makes sense….. I am not the odd one out!
    Information from the experts is comforting but clear and helpful… I may take longer than others to reach my goal but I feel it is in sight.

    Thank you everyone x

  3. That was extremely useful. Thank you! I shall think harder when those chocolate cravings strike.

    I have found this past few weeks very hard to leave the chocolate alone and combined with this last 5 years, life has been quite challenging due to a break-up with my partner of 12 years due to his alcoholism and then myself adjusting to a 70 mile a day round trip to work I now have to undertake. So as you can probably imagine, the stubborn fat around my middle, has become even more harder to shift.

  4. Elisabeth Ioele

    A great video , very insightful. I have experienced childhood trauma and didn’t really connect this with my stress and eating now as an adult. This has unpicked another factor regarding my relationship with food. Thank you xx

  5. Good to hear Lynsey experience, very brave to mention the loss of her Dad. My husband died just a year ago, since his death I have not been eating healthy food, binging on Crisps mainly and drinking too much alcohol. I am hoping Slimpod will help me to change all that!!

  6. I’ve really struggled during the lock down with having my 93 year old Mum moved into my home, so having the stress of keeping the peace at home and looking after everyone else my self esteem has gone through the window. I have been alternating between the slim pod and the chill pod and not sure which helps more. Stress or food and after listening to the video I thought it’s time to ask for help. Thanks Sandra.

  7. Thank you so much Sandra and Lynsey for making me feel a great deal better!Slimpod has been an amazing experience for me, I lost a stone within the 12 week period, which for me was really something!
    Then came lock down and as Lynsey said crisps and cake crept in, I am now back on track and desperate to continue with my Slimpod and all it has to offer.
    Thank you for popping up in my email box Sandra, just what I needed!

  8. Stress comes from looking after my family, cooking for them, cleaning/ironing for them which I love to do. My mum has Alzheimer’s so I’m constantly round there, giving her the tablets, shopping for her etc – I do this alone as my sister has turned her back so she can live her best life in Portugal which is something I definitely stress about. I do listen to the chillpod/slimpod every night when I go to bed which sends me to sleep for a couple of hours as I do suffer with restless nights

  9. sallybeck.branch

    hi, I bought Slimpod over a year ago and because I felt it wasn’t working I abandoned it. My head was in a bad place at the time. I have since decided (due to putting on almost a stone during the past 11 weeks) to give it another go. I am on day 5 and already I have noticed the urge to visit my husband’s ‘treat’ cupboard has gone! I am working from home and I was feeding my face constantly. I was at a loss what to do then realised I had a valuable resource at my fingertips (or ears!) and I am using it nightly with my Chillpod. I do feel so much better – this can’t be a coincidence!

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About Sandra
Founder of Thinking Slimmer
Food addiction expert
Member of All-Party Parliamentary Obesity Group
Huffington Post contributor
DipCHyp HPD NLP MasterPrac
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