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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, 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’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 the Body Weight DNA Report and get started on your physical fitness journey!

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

As a kid, Joe suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, mood and other issues that were poorly understood in both conventional and alternative medicine.Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a journey of self-experimentation and self-learning to improve his health--something that has since become known as “biohacking”. With thousands of experiments and pubmed articles under his belt, Joe founded SelfHacked, the resource that was missing when he needed it. SelfHacked now gets millions of monthly readers.Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, author and speaker. He is the CEO of SelfHacked, SelfDecode and LabTestAnalyzer.His mission is to help people gain access to the most up-to-date, unbiased, and science-based ways to optimize their health.

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