Today’s post is another excerpt from “Best Weight: A Practical Guide to Office-Based Weight Management“, recently published by the Canadian Obesity Network.

This guide is meant for health professionals dealing with obese clients and is NOT a self-management tool or weight-loss program. However, I assume that even general readers may find some of this material of interest.


Stress has both a psychological and physiological impact on weight management as it affects a patient’s eating and exercise behaviours.

Physiologically, stress increases serum cortisol, which in turn affects appetite. Eating can be an appropriate response to stress as it decreases serum cortisol levels.

Psychologically, stressed individuals may find themselves more distractible with decreased ability to focus, concentrate and plan — abilities that are essential to lifestyle-based weight management. As well, individuals under stress may fall into more disorganized patterns of eating and miss meals or snacks, thereby allowing hunger to influence their eating decisions.

Teaching patients stress-reduction techniques, or directing them to appropriate stress-reduction resources may help with their weight-management efforts. Meditation, yoga, deep-breathing techniques, exercise and professional counselling can all be considered.

© Copyright 2010 by Dr. Arya M. Sharma and Dr. Yoni Freedhoff. All rights reserved.

The opinions in this book are those of the authors and do not represent those of the Canadian Obesity Network.

Members of the Canadian Obesity Network can download Best Weight for free.

Best Weight is also available at Amazon and Barnes & Nobles (part of the proceeds from all sales go to support the Canadian Obesity Network)

If you have already read Best Weight, please take a few minutes to leave a review on the Amazon or Barnes & Nobles website.