We’re about to go on a journey… How Stress Can Hinder Your Fat Loss Goals…

Are you struggling to lose those stubborn pounds despite your best efforts in the gym and the kitchen? 

While you may be following your diet and exercise plan, there could be an unexpected gremlin sabotaging your weight loss efforts… it’s name… STRESS.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the link between stress and weight loss and discuss how underlying stress can hinder your fat loss.

I was first introduced to the concept of stress and fat loss by the strength and nutriton coach, Charles Poliqiun. His teachings, although dogmatic in some areas were in essence based around the truth of science.

It all starts with understanding the |”Stress Response”.

To understand the impact of stress on weight loss, we need to first understand the body’s stress response. 

When you experience stress, whether it’s from work deadlines, relationship issues, or financial worries or even training, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. 

Cortisol is often referred to as the “stress hormone” because it’s released in response to stressors and helps the body prepare for fight-or-flight situations.

While cortisol serves a vital role in short-term stress responses, such as escaping from a dangerous situation, chronic stress can lead to persistently elevated cortisol levels. And as with everything, too much of a good thing leads to… a bad thing!

This chronic elevation of cortisol can have a variety of negative effects on your body, including:

  • Increased Appetite

Cortisol has been shown to stimulate appetite and increase cravings for high-calorie, comfort foods, particularly those rich in sugar and fat. This can lead to overeating and weight gain, especially around the abdomen.

  • Fat Storage

Cortisol promotes the storage of fat, particularly visceral fat, which accumulates around the abdomen and internal organs. This type of fat is associated with an increased risk of various health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. This is the one that in particular for health, we must act!

  • Muscle Breakdown: 

In addition to promoting fat storage, cortisol can also lead to the breakdown of muscle tissue. This can impair your metabolism and make it harder to burn calories and lose weight.

  • Metabolic Dysfunction:

Chronic elevation of cortisol can disrupt normal metabolic processes, including insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation. This can contribute to metabolic dysfunction and increase the risk of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain.

What on earth do we do about it?

Given the impact of stress on weight loss, it’s hugely important to incorporate stress-reducing techniques into your daily routine, stress will always be there but, can we change our perception to it, our response to it and therefore our chance of fat loss… 

Here are some widely backed strategies for managing stress and supporting your fat loss goals:

  • Meditation: Regular meditation practice has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, promote relaxation, and improve overall mental and emotional well-being. Set aside time each day for meditation to help alleviate stress and support your weight loss journey. It doesn’t have to be complex, there are loads of apps liek Calm or Headspace.
  • Yoga: Practicing yoga combines physical with breathwork and meditation to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels. Incorporating yoga into your weekly routine could also enhance flexibility, strength, and mental clarity.
  • Deep Breathing Exercises: Deep breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing or box breathing, can quickly reduce stress levels and activate the body’s relaxation response. Practice deep breathing exercises whenever you feel stressed or anxious to promote feelings of calmness and tranquility. I do it daily in the van on the way to work, its perfect for dialling in to how your body feels!
  • Mindfulness: Cultivate mindfulness by paying attention to the present moment without judgment. Mindfulness techniques, such as mindful eating or body scan meditation, can help reduce stress and emotional eating behaviors.
  • Physical Activity: You dont have to tell me but physical activity is a powerful stress reducer and can help improve mood, increase energy levels, as well as overall well-being. Most importantly do activities you enjoy, walking, cycling, dancing, Crossfit, running with friends whichever you feel you need, incorporate them into your routine.

These stress-reducing techniques can be incorporated into your daily life, you have to want to though. If you do, you can help reduce the negative effects of stress on your weight loss jounrey and support your fat loss goals. 

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is not just about diet and exercise—it’s also about managing stress and prioritising some self-care. 

By taking care of your mental and emotional state, you’ll create an environment for results to occur, overall health and happiness.

Hope you found this useful as a bit of a deep dive into some of the tactics we might use to help our clients and members acheive optimal living!

Remember if you need help, reach out!

Oh and…Stay consistent, stay focused, and remember that progress takes time #buildthechain


Founder- Priority 6 www.p6gym.co.uk

Head Coach- The OC Method

Author- Build The Chain

Life Longer Learner

PS: Keen to get involved, apply for our program here:



Priority 6 is THE fat loss and transformation centre in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. We have a hybrid approach to fitness through CrossFit classes, personal training, sports massage therapy and Hyrox classes.