Stress, Anxiety, and Weight Gain

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

Are you a stress eater? You know, when you’re upset, overwhelmed with work or in a fight with your partner and you suddenly find yourself in front of the fridge or on the couch with a bag of potato chips before you even know what happened?

Well, you’re not alone. In fact, 27% of adults admit to using food as a way to manage stress.

But, not everyone feels this urge to eat when life starts throwing curveballs at you. So, why do you find yourself with an extra 5 lbs after a stressful week at work while your equally stressed-out coworker just lost 5 lbs?

Your genes.

Your DNA plays a big role in determining your body’s response to stress, but the good news is that you can control how your genes function and therefore change your body’s response to stress.

The NPY Gene and Stress Eating

One of the main genes responsible for this is the NPY gene, which plays a role in appetite regulation and stress reduction.

NPY gets triggered by mood problems like stress and depression as a way to counter these feelings.

Excessive levels of NPY causes stress eating to occur, which then results in weight gain.

Fortunately, there are specific foods you can add to your diet if you have the negative NYP variant that can help regulate your appetite and decrease stress eating.

>>Check your NYP gene scorecard on the Personalized Genetics Blog and find your personalized suggestions to optimize your weight.

CNR1 Gene, Weight Gain and Anxiety

Another gene related to your mood and weight is the CNR1 gene. The CNR1 gene codes for the Cannabinoid 1 receptor, which is famously activated by THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

I carry a variant of this gene that causes me to be naturally thin, while also increasing my anxiety and lectin sensitivity.

Having a variation of my CNR1 gene that makes me thin is why I get a green face for this gene as it relates to obesity:

But the same variants that are good for weight management are actually bad for anxiety and lectin sensitivity, which is why my lectin sensitivity scorecard comes out with a red face.

Why is this the case? Because the cannabinoid receptor activation actually causes you to gain weight. Think about marijuana, which is a potent activator of the cannabinoid receptor.

Marijuana is famous for being an anti-inflammatory and for improving mood, but it also can cause people to gain weight (did someone say the munchies?).

A significant portion of the population suffers from an overactive cannabinoid system, which causes them to gain weight. Then, it’s even harder for them to lose the weight, even when they try many of the “right” things.

Fortunately, by understanding what genetic variant you carry, you can follow specific tips to counteract the negative effects of the gene.

That’s why it’s so important to know how your own genes operate so that you can implement changes to your daily regimen that will help you meet your weight goals.

>>Check your CNR1 gene on the blog to find out whether you need to increase or decrease your cannabinoid system in order to balance both your weight and mood.

Pro tip: If you really want to dig into your health data and see how your cannabinoid system is operating, you can check and track your blood levels of adiponectin to make sure they get in the optimal range. Just upload your lab test results to the SelfDecode lab analyzer tool and follow the recommendations. Adiponectin goes up when your cannabinoid system is underactive and vice versa.

Build Your Personalized Diet Regimen Today

Getting started on your weight journey can be overwhelming, scary, and complex.

But with the Body Weight DNA Report and Anxiety DNA Report, it doesn’t have to be.

You don’t have to do your own research on macro or micronutrients and then guess and choose what might work best for you, the Body Weight report will give you all the information you need. You won’t need to guess which supplements will help reduce your anxiety most effectively, we’ll give you a prioritized list of suggestions so that you know right where to start. 

You’ll get personalized diet recommendations based on your genes, so instead of following a diet plan that was built for somebody else, you’re going to be following a plan that was specifically built for you.

With A SelfDecode membership, you’ll be able to download reports on all the health areas you want to optimize like Weight, Anxiety, Mood, Fitness and more! 


About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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