Why Does Stress Make You Fat?
Stress can cause you to have a greater number of fat cells, especially fat cells in your abdomen and thighs, and you become more likely to gain weight.
Studies on weight gain, especially when taking into account the other contributing factors, such as a genetic predisposition and the way your body works, suggest that one of the most important reasons that stress causes you to gain weight is that it increases your insulin levels and thereby increases your appetite. If your insulin levels are low, insulin means more food is available to your body. If you have a very low insulin level, then when you have your next meal you will have a big appetite and will feel full. Insulin is important for energy metabolism. However, insulin may be just one of many factors in your body. When your body uses insulin it is called "metabolism" and it requires a lot of energy (in calories) to make it work. If you are in a calorie-restricted diet where you have little or no calories coming in, your body will not be able to use as much insulin, therefore your hunger will remain high and you will end up gaining weight.