How Stress Prevents Weight Loss—and What You Can Do About It


As we all know, stress is a major factor when it comes to weight gain and obesity. But what does that actually mean? The stress we experience as humans is a result of the things we encounter in our day-to-day lives. We face these challenges by virtue of the decisions we make, and the stress we encounter in our life is a direct result of the choices we make.

If you’ve ever found yourself in a stressful situation, you can probably relate.  Being stressed out means you’re less likely to eat right, and it can actually make you gain weight.  That’s because stress messes with your brain, making it more difficult to stop eating.  In a recent study, it was shown that people who are stressed eat more than people who are happy.  So how do you deal with stress?  Many people take a bite out of their diet.  And of course, this only makes things worse.  Here’s what you need to know: To combat stress in a healthy way, it’s important to find a way to relax.  You can do

Do you find that as soon as you put on a few extra pounds, you find yourself more stressed than ever? If so, you’re not alone. If you tend to be more stressed than average, it’s almost impossible for you to lose weight. Because stress is a toxin that can lead you to overeat, stress can prevent weight loss in two ways: by interfering with your eating habits, and by interfering with your ability to exercise.

If someone is having difficulty losing weight, this may reveal a lot.

It’s like a warning light on your dashboard that flashes when there’s a problem.

This alarm, unlike your car’s dashboard, does not provide information to assist you in locating the issue.

Of course, the issue may be caused by a variety of factors.

Perhaps someone consumes more unintentionally than they realize. They’re z. B. oblivious to the amount of their servings.

Alternatively, if someone has been on a diet for a long period, their metabolism may have changed, requiring a reversal diet.

But what if the issue isn’t caused by food?

Let’s just say it has little to do with what you eat and everything to do with how you cope with a variety of stresses, such as fear, anger, sadness, or a lack of sleep.

Consider the following scenario:

  • Because of the workload, they sipped lemonade all day.
  • Because of the challenges of new motherhood, they don’t get enough exercise.
  • They self-poison at night… out of a profound hatred that lies just under the surface.

It’s almost difficult to address a secondary issue without first resolving the first. In reality, lifestyle stresses make fat reduction difficult, if not impossible, for certain people.

So much so that they may become the X-factor of fat loss: the single most important element in determining success.

Of course, many nutritionists are aware of this.

But what about our customers?

They often see us as experts on carbohydrates, vitamins, and portion sizes, rather than as counselors who can assist them with their more serious personal issues.

What can we do to assist our customers in achieving this goal? Have I offended you in any way? Alternatively, have them ask, “Are you a nutrition coach, not a psychiatrist?”

And how can you turn a discussion about stress into activities that may help you lose weight?

Continue reading to learn more. This article contains the following information:

  • Coaching situations to assist customers in identifying the stresses limiting fat loss.
  • Over 30 suggestions on how customers may decrease stress, anxiety, and ultimately make healthier diet and lifestyle decisions.
  • A simple coloring activity that enables customers to come up with their own stress-reduction strategies.

All of this is done to assist anxious and irritated customers in slowing down their pace and speeding up their development. (Watch the video below to hear the authors explain this topic in more depth.) If not, just scroll down in the video player or click here to go on to the next part).

Robin Beyer discusses stress and fat loss with Jason Bonn and Alice Bowman at a round table for NP educators.

Coaching individuals under duress is tough.

Most individuals are aware that too much stress is harmful to their health.

However, their stresses are often so far upstream that people do not connect them with fat loss stagnation.

Perhaps they attribute it to a lack of willpower and think that all they need to do is try harder, be less lethargic, eat less, and exercise more.

As a coach, it’s easy to slip into the trap of believing that all this individual needs is a little more responsibility.

However, as you surely know, acting like a sergeant-at-arms when it comes to diet seldom works – at least not long-term.

So, what are your options?

Check to determine whether your client is displaying any of these stress indicators.

Sign 1: They seem, sound, and behave distressed.

Some individuals make things as simple as possible for themselves. They may just remark at the front desk, “You know, stress is a major issue for me.”

Or maybe they converse: I’ve tried everything. I’m beginning to believe it’s stress-related. What are your thoughts?

Other customers, on the other hand, are more subtle.

They don’t always show their tension with words, but rather through their voice tone, facial expressions, or the way they text at midnight. And this is at 2:00 a.m. And it’s three o’clock in the morning.

They may also express it in their writing style, such as using a lot of exclamation marks, using a lot of capital characters, or using furious emoticons. They don’t seem to have the time to care about punctuation or capitalization. They’re very busy.

Character #2: Only someone with superpowers has the ability to create their own destiny.

Your customer may remark that he or she works full-time and part-time in passing. A short time later, the same guy informs us that he is the father of three lovely children, all under the age of five.

And one of them suffers from a long-term sickness.

Oh, and his parents just relocated.

These individuals may proudly display their tension. But you’re still perplexed: how are they still able to walk?

Character #3: When it comes to diet, health, and exercise, they are perfectionists.

When we think about stress, we typically associate it with negative outcomes. There are financial difficulties. Concern for the well-being of family and friends. The dread of a bleak future.

However, if we don’t exercise control over many of the things we consider to be beneficial for us, they may turn out to be harmful. Consider the following:

  • Working out at the gym too hard and too frequently without taking enough recovery days. This may harm your body, resulting in injury, tiredness, lowered immunity, poor performance, reduced metabolism, and fat accumulation. 1
  • Extreme and long-term regimens. Diets that are strictly low in fat tend to raise levels of the stress hormone cortisol2.
  • Concerns regarding the food’s hygiene. According to one research, individuals who are obsessive with healthy eating (a condition known as orthorexia) had a higher BMI and waist circumference than those who aren’t. 3.

Any of these stresses may make it difficult to lose weight, particularly when they’re coupled with additional issues like sleeplessness, nutritional inadequacies, and dietary intolerances.


Be interested if your customer can’t get rid of the fat.

Even when consumers are aware that they are anxious, they seldom consider the following: Do you know what I truly require? More unwinding. Coping techniques that are more successful. The therapist, to be precise.

As a trainer, this puts you in a tough situation, particularly if you’re dealing with a new client.

For the time being, disregard any attempts to bring tension to the client’s attention – it won’t work.

Instead, concentrate on establishing trust and raising awareness.

How do you go about doing that? Continue reading to learn more.

Allow time for trust to develop.

The typical individual seldom tells others about their traumatic upbringing, bad relationships, or financial difficulties. They usually only share their secrets with individuals they’ve known for a long time.

This will take some time.

However, you may hasten the process by enhancing the abilities and methods that have previously shown to make you a successful teacher. To put it another way:

  • Prioritize your customers.
  • Pose intriguing inquiries.
  • Pay close attention.
  • Tell me what you heard once again.
  • Empathy.
  • Work with your client to set nutrition and fitness objectives that he or she wants, can, and will accomplish.

Even if you have a good idea what’s going on with your client, try to remain inquisitive. Take on a humble attitude. You may be correct in claiming that your customer needs stress alleviation. They may, however, be mistaken. As a result, work together to solve the problem.

(More details on how this works, as well as samples of discussions, are provided later in this article.)

Use dietary techniques to raise awareness.

Consider it a game in which you are assisting the customer in becoming aware of the issue without revealing your own views and opinions on the subject.

You may assist your client in adopting certain dietary habits, which will also raise awareness:

  • Slowly eat to get used to your new eating habits and appetite signals.
  • Technique Become aware of and identify the thoughts, feelings, sensations, and emotions that may contribute to stress eating.
  • Raise behavioral awareness to help people understand how stress, anxiety, thoughts, and environmental factors affect what and how much they eat.
  • Nutritional tests to see whether their living circumstances and surroundings have an impact on their nutrition, energy level, and other factors.

These activities are ideal for your nutrition coach’s toolkit. Your customer will understand why you… B. Suggest maintaining a food journal. Even so, this technique may assist your customer realize that he only eats a gallon of ice cream after a really bad day at work.

There are about 150,000 licensed health and fitness professionals in the United States.

Save up to 30% on the finest nutrition education curriculum in the business.

Learn more about nutrition, the power of coaching, and how to convert your newfound knowledge into a successful coaching practice.

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How do you know whether you have enough faith in yourself to go?

To be honest, there is no particular test that can predict how your client will respond after you solve their major issue.

However, if your customer no longer displays indications of resistance, you’re generally in excellent shape. In other words, your customer continues nodding and saying things like “Yes!” “Yes!” “Yes!” “Yes!” “Yes!” “Yes!” “Yes!” “Yes!” “Yes!” “Yes!” “Yes!” “Yes!” “Yes!” “Yes!” To me, that’s precisely what it is! When you work together on the action steps, your client will put them into practice in a methodical manner.

If this occurs on a frequent basis, consider the following: Are you ready to put the three-step procedure outlined below to the test?

If not, stay a bit longer at nutrition-focused practices. You may not be directly treating mental stress, but you may be indirectly addressing physical stress, such as dietary inadequacies, food intolerances, or overtraining.

Consider what you can do (or not do) to elicit opposition. What can you do to ensure that your consumer is heard and seen? Is there anything you can do to show greater empathy for your client’s situation? Could you spend less time teaching and more time listening and telling?

Step 1: What have you observed thus far?

A poor effort to diagnose and propose a remedy to the customer’s problem? This is more likely to have the opposite impact.

However, you are probably aware of this.

Instead, think of yourself as a mirror that reflects your thoughts. Inquire about the customer’s opinion. Then come to a halt and observe whether your customer is able to connect all of the dots.

For instance, you might say:

  • Your records indicate that you check the freezer every night at 7:00 p.m., as if it were a clock. What are your thoughts?
  • I’ve observed that you’ve taken on a lot lately: you work part-time, babysit every night, and your in-laws reside with you. That seems like a lot of work.
  • So you’re preparing for a marathon, hoping to get a promotion at work, and experimenting with intermittent fasting, right? That’s a lot to process at once. What, if any, effect does it have on you?

This may be sufficient for certain customers. They may take it, put it to good use, and tell you, “Yes, it seems that my load is heavy.” Continue to step 2 if you have this answer.

Other customers may reject it by stating, “No, it’s not that terrible.” I’m OK with it.

In such situation, take a step back and redirect your attention to something else. You might, for example, discuss how to start a diary.

Don’t be too concerned about where you end up. You’ve planted a seed by beginning a discussion, and that’s enough.

Your client’s mind is now whirling with inquiries. The seed will ultimately germinate and grow into a plant.

Step 2: Conduct further research on the issue.

Now that your client is aware that stress is often an issue, you should ask them some questions to assist them establish the link between stress and weight loss.

  • To assist your customer in exploring alternatives, ask open-ended inquiries.
  • Pay attention to whatever your client says and thank them for it.
  • To fill up any gaps in the client’s knowledge, ask for permission.
  • Involve the client in the problem-solving process.

This is how the discussion could go:

Coaches: Stupid question: You said that you were under a lot of pressure. Could this have an impact on your weight or diet? What do you think you’ve noticed?
Client: I’m not sure. Normally? When I’m anxious, I eat out more since I don’t have time to prepare.
Coaches: It’s fantastic that you took attention. You are correct. Surprisingly, stress has a variety of additional effects on body mass. Is it okay if I share it with you?
Client: Without a doubt.
Coaches: You’ve previously said that it may cause you to eat in a different way. Many individuals are unaware, however, that stress may deplete the energy in your muscles, leaving you weary and weak. It may also cause your metabolism to slow down and your sleep to be disrupted. What are your thoughts on all of this? Is this something you’re dealing with right now?
Yes, the client says. I believe you have a valid point. It’s possible that this is the case.
Coaches: How do you intend to do this? Do you want to discuss it right now? Or do you want to put it off and see what else we can accomplish first?

Let’s say the discussion doesn’t go as well as it did in the last scenario. If you bring up the topic of stress, and your customer replies no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, It’s not my fault.

It’s all right. Set it aside and go on to another practice that your customer will embrace.

On the other side, what if your customer notices the link? They are both eager to seek answers, which leads us to the third stage.

Step 3: Get rid of tension.

This stage is quite comparable to the last semester of college. The hard work is nearly done if you’ve made it this far. You’re ready to think about stress management techniques and how to lower your client’s overall stress level.

Creating a list of stress-relieving methods

Use the same method as in step 2 to figure out which reassuring activities your client may try: Involve your client in the solution by asking an open inquiry, listening and acknowledging your client, asking permission to fill in any gaps, and including your client in the solution. This may appear as follows:

Coaches, what stress-reduction techniques do you use?
Client: I’m not sure, maybe some meditation… a stroll in the woods… a warm bath…
Coaches: Yes. You did a fantastic job. Here are a few of the most well-known. People have been doing this successfully for a long time. What kind of interactions have you had with them?
Client: Not a whole lot. This is something I’ve only heard of a few individuals doing. I’m not sure whether they’re appropriate for… Me.
Coaches: I see your point. This is reasonable. Other alternatives may be a better fit for you. I’m thinking about something else. Is it all right if I share them with you?
Client: I nod.
Coaches: Some individuals like keeping a diary, hugging a loved one after a hard day, or speaking with a friend on a regular basis. And some of my customers feel that speaking with a qualified adviser is very beneficial. Are there any that stick out and should be tried? Which do you think is the most straightforward?

If your client requests a psychotherapist, offer to assist him in finding one, particularly if you have no prior counseling expertise.

You may say it: “Of course, I don’t,” but “while we work on other things,” I can assist you in finding the appropriate individual. We can locate someone who is appropriate for you and provides you with the assistance you need if we work together.

(See the article 33 methods to relax the mind and body below for many more stress-relieving suggestions.)

33 ways to relax your mind and body

This is by no means a comprehensive list. Consider it a jumping-off place for brainstorming. It’s much more essential to work with the customer to figure out what’s appropriate for them, rather than trying to be a human encyclopedia of stress relief.

Free and quick >10 minutes with or without charge >30 minutes with a salaried expert
Take a deep breath in and out. Take a nap, using a weighted blanket or not. Make an appointment for a massage.
Slowly drink the infusion in tiny swallows. Watch a comedy film. Acupuncture is a good option.
Make a painting or a drawing. Organize a drawer or a closet. Seek the advice of a psychotherapist or counselor.
Make a call to a buddy. Exercise. Participate in a meditation session.
With a human or a pet, spoon up. Spend time in the great outdoors. Food allergies, intolerances, and/or deficiencies should all be evaluated.
In the grass, walk barefoot. Volunteer. Seek the advice of a sleep expert.
Sit in the sunshine. Visit an art museum and sit silently in front of a work of art. Consider taking music classes.
Concentrate on the scent of the soap, the sound of the water, and the feel of the plates as you wash the dishes in your mind. Check out the comics. Take Tai Chi, Qigong, Yin, gentle, or restorative yoga courses (online or in person).
Crochet or knit. Try guided imagination, yoga nidra, or other relaxation techniques. Learn how to hypnotize yourself.
Keeping a thankfulness diary is a good idea. Purchase and utilize an aromatherapy diffuser with relaxing essential oils (for example, lavender). REST (reduced environmental stimulation treatment) floating is something to look into.
Dancing to your favorite music is a great way to unwind. Register for the relaxing app and start using it right now. Take a look at Reiki.


Reduction of stress

Find methods to decrease your client’s workload to a reasonable level if they are too busy.

You might remark, “Looks like you’re putting in a lot of effort.” I’m not sure how you manage it. I’m curious as to how you feel about lowering your effort.

Use the network of exhibits (see below) to gather ideas if at all feasible.


1. Have the client paint the areas that are the most strained. (Click here to download and share our stress network.)

2. Examine the highlighted areas and ask yourself, “What causes you to be stressed in this area?”

3. Apply this concept to assist your client in making modest lifestyle adjustments that will lead to a more balanced existence. What, after all, might be a modest step that could make a difference?

Clients may benefit much from the stress web. Simply completing this activity may provide your customer with a picture that raises awareness and encourages fruitful thinking.

No, your customer cannot alter the fact that they have a dog or a baby. However, it’s possible that they’re ready to shift on from stress-inducing thrillers to something more relaxed.

If social media is one of the stresses, they may decrease but not eliminate it.

Alternatively, your client may inform you that he’s ready to take a mild yoga class instead of a regular aerobic session at the gym.

There are about 150,000 licensed health and fitness professionals in the United States.

Save up to 30% on the finest nutrition education curriculum in the business.

Learn more about nutrition, the power of coaching, and how to convert your newfound knowledge into a successful coaching practice.

Read more

It’s the trip that matters, not the destination.

Is the text above correct? It’s a tired cliche.

However, people say things like that for a purpose.

As a trainer, you may be tempted to concentrate on a magical set of methods that would transform your client into a calm yogi who is never agitated and therefore loses weight quickly.

In the actual world? There is no one correct path since best practices and solutions differ from one customer to the next. Certain work effectively for some individuals while others fail miserably.

There is no one technique that generates magic.

Rather, it is the result of a conversational process that raises your customers’ consciousness, self-awareness, and inner resources.

Keep an open mind. Pose inquiries. Pay close attention. Care.

If you do all of this, your customers will naturally gravitate toward the stress-relieving alternatives that are shown to work.


To view the sources of information used in this article, go here.

1. Cadegiani FA, Kater CE, Cadegiani FA, Kater CE, Cadegiani FA, Kater CE, Cadegiani FA, Kater CE, Cadegiani FA, Kater CE, Cadegiani FA, Kater CE, Cadegiani FA, Kater CE, Cadegiani FA, Kater CE (EROS-PROFILE). 2018 Aug;36(16):1902-10 in J Sports Sci.

2. Tomiyama AJ, Mann T, Vinas D, Hunger JM, Dejager J, Taylor SE; Tomiyama AJ, Mann T, Vinas D, Hunger JM, Dejager J, Taylor SE; Tomiyama AJ, Mann T Cortisol levels rise when you eat a low-calorie diet. May 2010;72(4):357-64 in Psychosom Med.

3. Grammatikopoulou MG, Gkiouras K, Markaki A, Theodoridis X, Tsakiri V, Mavridis P, et al. Grammatikopoulou MG, Gkiouras K, Markaki A, Theodoridis X, Tsakiri V, Mavridis P, et al. Dietetics students’ binge eating, orthorexia, and food-related stress. Eat a lot of ill food. August 2018;23(4):459-67.


If you’re a trainer or wish to be one,

It’s both an art and a science to educate customers, patients, friends, and family members to eat healthily and adjust their lifestyles to their bodies, preferences, and situations.

Consider Level 1 certification if you want to learn more about both.

Stress is a major weight loss blocker. Research has shown that stress can prevent you from losing weight, even if you follow all the right eating and exercise habits. This is because most people who are stressed out eat more and exercise less. The reason for this is simple: when you feel stressed out, you have a tendency to eat more comfort foods and miss out on activities that help you to burn calories. In this article, you will learn how to deal with stress and maintain your weight loss.. Read more about stress and not losing weight and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you lose weight from stress?

The best way to lose weight is by eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly.

Can stress really keep you from losing weight?

Yes, stress can keep you from losing weight. It is a common misconception that dieting and exercise are the only ways to lose weight. Stress can also be a factor in keeping you from losing weight.

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