Stress = Weight Gain?


There is a claim that hormonal changes from high stress lead to weight gain. Is this true?

Research does support some link between stress and weight. Stress often causes people to drop the good eating and exercise habits that helped them lose weight in the first place.

When people are stressed they can also have trouble falling asleep. Studies show that a lack of sleep leads to lower levels of the hormone leptin, which can cause an increased appetite. Tired people often turn to food, too, to replenish their energy.

The hormone most often mentioned in connection with stress is cortisol. When we feel threatened or stressed, cortisol levels rise in a “fight or flight” reaction, making more fuel available to the body. Yet, in today’s world, we may never burn all the energy released by this hormone because stress is largely emotional and doesn’t require a physical response like it may have done in the days of the caveman. (Way back then when our beloved Paleo diet was invented! 😉 )

It has been said that cortisol may affect where body fat is stored. In one study, people whose cortisol levels jumped the most in response to stress tended to have proportionally more waistline fat-even if they were at a healthy weight. A greater proportion of fat at the waist was related to increased levels of ongoing stress related to work or finances, or lower levels of self-esteem. (**side note: Did you know that waistline fat that gives people an apple shape is said to pose the greatest health risks?**)

Although ads for some herbal products claim to lower cortisol levels and bring rapid weight loss, no evidence from respected research studies exists to support these claims. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission has filed a legal complaint against marketers of two herbal supplements in particular. They have agreed to stop making such claims, but the products still remain on the market. Hmmm… I’m sure I don’t need to tell YOU to refrain from taking store-bought weight loss supplements though… All you Zoners are smart enough to know that already, right??

The solution to this stress related weight gain conundrum is to try and do your best to ease your stress in natural ways! To control stress and its influence on your weight, first try to remove the sources of stress in your life. If you can, scale back on your commitments, learn better time management, or become more assertive. Exercise, some ‘me-time’, and yoga can also be used to cope with stress that you can’t eliminate. (Meaning: maybe you should try to come to CrossFit more often!)

Additionally, another way to counteract stress is to change your psychological responses. For example, if you tend to overeat when stressed, develop a list of nonfood ways to handle the pressure. Learning to wait out the urge to eat-usually just 10 to 15 minutes-can be a simple psychological change that makes a significant difference.

Do your best to discover what stress-reduction methods work for you, and then try to stick to them! Your mental health, and your waistline, will thank you!

Today’s Workout:

Buy-in – 2 x (2min row @ 26 strokes per min, wrist, forearm, and quad stretches directed by coach) – row 2min, then do some of the stretches, row 2 min more then do the rest of the stretches.

WOD – “All Jack(i)ed Up”

This is based off of the famous “Jackie” workout but we’ve mixed it up a bit and beefed up the thrusters for extra fun.  Enjoy!

Elite: 4 rounds for individual time of:

  • 10 thrusters (75/115)
  • 300m row
  • clock set on a 4 minute timer, rest remainder of the 4 minutes in each round
  • score is your fastest and your slowest time combined

Zone 3 – scale thrusters to 65/95

Zone 2 – scale thrusters to 45/65, scale row to 200m

Zone 1 – scale as needed

Cash-out – Group stretch – glutes, hamstring, quads, lats


Friday July 9th: 6:30pm
Skills: Front and Back Levers, Handstands, Kip on P-bars

WOD: (30) Dips, Log rolls with V-Snaps, (20) Pull-ups or iceCream scoops

For more information click the link :


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