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Stress and Weight – Why stress causes different weight outcomes in different people?

Stress and Weight – Why stress causes different weight outcomes in different people?

Why is it that many people gain weight when they are under stress, whereas others lose weight? The answer lies in their chemical response to stress.

People respond to stress in vastly different ways. But it is not only the obvious external and visible response that is different, it is also the internal physiological response that differs. Some people are high cortisol responders. They react to stress by releasing larger amounts of the stress hormone - cortisol. Others, on the other hand, are low cortisol responders, and release much less cortisol when they are stressed. High levels of circulating cortisol have a significant impact on metabolism and on eating patterns. They cause people to eat more, and also to burn fewer calories. This, of course , causes them to gain weight.
  • High cortisol responders – eat more
  • High cortisol responders – burn less calories (reduced thermogenic response)
  • High cortisol responders – gain weight more easily
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