3 Ways Stress Can Impact Your Weight (Plus 3 Tips on How to Deal)

by | Jan 28, 2021 | 1 comment


We are excited to share this special guest post from Rebecca the Dietitian! We recognize how much the way you fuel your body influences your exercise results, and are excited to be able to bring you Rebecca’s sound eating advice to help you optimize your health, enjoy eating and get the most out of your workouts. We hope you will check out her post below and look forward to learning more from her. If you are in need of more guidance when it comes to nutrition, her comprehensive course, “Nourished & Fit” teaches you everything you need to know in order to lose weight, increase your energy, and balance your hormones (while enjoying delicious food of course)! Along with the course you will be invited to monthly group calls and a private Facebook community of amazing, supportive women. Please check out this link here to learn more (be sure to use the code ‘JSTV’ for a 30% discount).



Hi! I’m Rebecca, a registered dietitian, and I help women learn to balance their hormones to achieve their best weight while enjoying delicious food.  My own struggles with weight loss and dieting have inspired me to help my fellow females learn the truths and misconceptions about cravings, self-care, food, and how to optimize hormone levels so that they can lose weight for good while living their best lives.  


Have you had a bit more stress recently than you’ve had in the past?  


(And, if you haven’t, can you please give us all some tips in the comments below… ; )  


For most of us, there has been a lot going on lately that has made life feel a bit more overwhelming, so I want to take this opportunity to talk about how stress may impact your weight. I will also offer a few pro-tips that might help you manage when circumstances feel out of control.


Here are three ways that stress can impact your weight:


#1: Hormonal imbalance.  

This one is especially for the ladies.  As we age, our adrenal glands play a key role in assisting with hormonal balance.  Unfortunately, during times of extreme stress our adrenal glands can be overwhelmed with the “fight or flight” response, leaving them with no time to help optimize our other hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Chronic stress can lead to chronic hormonal imbalances that can lead to weight gain.


#2: Increased Cortisol.  

Along with the fight or flight stress response comes an increase in cortisol.   Cortisol increases energy during stressful situations, but unfortunately it also increases your appetite. Additionally, elevated cortisol levels can cause cravings for sweet, fatty and salty foods. So, when you’re stressed you are more likely to choose some less-healthy options.  Increased cortisol can also lower testosterone which can lead to loss of muscle mass and a slower metabolism.  


#3: Stress Eating.  

Are you someone who wants to say “yes” to everyone and help everyone with everything all the time?  We may want to take on all the things and do everything perfectly, but unfortunately when we give everything we’ve got to everyone else all day, sometimes we just don’t have the energy to put together a healthy satisfying meal.  The combination of hunger, fatigue, and stress can be the perfect storm to have us simply give in to sitting down and drowning our sorrows in a pint of ice cream. Not taking any time for ourselves is not a great plan to help with weight loss.


So, what the heck can we do about the stress when it feels like it’s all out of our control?  It can feel challenging when everything seems to be external circumstance and we don’t have any choices.  


Here are some tips that may help get you started feeling a bit better:


#1: Start by taking a moment to breathe.  

Simply get somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed for a few minutes (hide in the bathroom if you must).  Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose counting to 4.  Hold the air in your lungs and slowly count to four. Then release the air through your mouth to a slow count of 4.  Repeat a few times.  This simple act of slow, purposeful breathing has actually been shown to shift your body from hormonal stress mode to hormonal relaxation mode.


#2: Take a few minutes to think about 3 things you’re grateful for.  

I like to do this when I first wake up to start the day on a positive note.  It’s also a great way to end the day.  If you live with someone, consider asking everyone to name some things they are grateful for each evening.  Focusing on gratitude can relieve stress and shift your energy from anxious to positive.


#3: Figure out a simple, healthy food and fitness routine that you love.  

Nourishing your body will help balance your hormones and having an easy routine will help relieve stress about what to eat, when to eat, and how to fit in movement.  It’s not about perfection or forcing yourself to do things you don’t like to do.  It’s about finding a routine that makes you happy so you look forward to it and it relieves the worry about taking care of yourself.


If you would like extra-special support in shifting your nutrition to get optimal results this year, I would be so honored to work with you. I have put together a fun and super-comprehensive course that teaches you everything you need to know in order to lose weight, increase your energy, and balance your hormones (while enjoying delicious food of course)! Along with the course you will be invited to monthly group calls and a private Facebook community of amazing, supportive women.  Please check out this link for a special price only for the Jessica Smith community. 








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1 Comment

  1. Joanne Preston

    This is just such solid and beautiful advice!! <3


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