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Can Stress Keep You From Losing Weight?

It may sound surprising, but stress actually plays a large role in your waistline and how easily you can lose weight. For example, multiple studies show how stress and lack of sleep can lead to an increase in your cortisol levels (the stress hormone). Having higher levels of cortisol in your body can cause you to:

  • feel hungrier; and
  • crave foods that have a lot of sugar, calories, and fat.

Higher cortisol levels can also cause people to build up fat around their bellies.

Learning to reduce stress through exercise and meditation—while also being more mindful about food—can have a large impact on your well-being and help you keep weight off in the long-term.

Stress Management Services

We offer mindfulness-based stress management classes to help you:

  • respond to stress and food cravings by using healthier, more effective strategies; and
  • recommit to healthy living after experiencing a setback or challenge.

Classes last eight—12 weeks. These classes are offered through Wellness & Integrative Health

Where Are Classes Held?

Stress management classes are held at the L.S. Skaggs Patient Wellness Center.

What Will I Learn In Class?

You will learn to:

  • stop unhelpful behaviors and patterns that cause you to gain weight,
  • use simple mindfulness strategies in your day-to-day life,
  • learn how to manage the stress and discomfort that comes with change, and
  • approach life with more flexibility, openness, and self-compassion. 

We'll encourage you to experiment with different mindfulness strategies to relieve stress, like mindful eating, brief meditation, or connecting with others in a meaningful way.

How Does Managing Stress Help Me Lose Weight?

When you're stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. Increased amounts of cortisol can:

  • raise your blood pressure,
  • raise your blood sugar, and
  • make you crave fatty and sugary foods.

All of these things can make it harder for you to lose weight.

Learning how to respond to life's ups and downs with stress reduction activities (like mindfulness exercises) helps you manage stress in a thoughtful, healthy way. This can make it easier for you to lose weight and stay healthy.

Make an Appointment

To schedule an appointment for stress management services, please call 801-447-1195.

Our weight loss team will help you determine what services you need and the best classes for you.

Find a Location

L.S. Skaggs Patient Wellness Center

530 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

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Sugar House Health Center

1280 E. Stringham Avenue
Salt Lake City, UT 84106
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University of Utah Hospital

50 N. Medical Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84132

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Food As a Stress Reliever

There are strong connections between the brain and stomach. Many times, people overeat because they’re stressed, anxious, or depressed. To make things worse, we learn from a very young age that food brings us comfort. Because of this, some people mindlessly eat to relieve stress—even when they’re not hungry.

Our stress management classes will help you reflect on whether you have an emotional relationship with food and then learn how to turn to other activities besides eating to handle stressful situations.

Resources for Our Patients

Meet the Team

Our comprehensive weight management team is here to help you successfully lose weight and support you in your weight loss journey. We can provide all the care you need, from surgeons and physician assistants to dietitians and even financial advocates.

Meet the Team

What to Expect During Your Appointment

During your first appointment, your weight loss doctor will talk with you about your goals and help you find the best treatment so you can keep weight off in the long-term.
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