Stress not only gets in the way of weight loss goals—it can cause them to backfire entirely. Then, your weight-loss plan ends with weight gain, leaving you more stressed. Instead of continuing that tortuous cycle, it’s time to identify how exactly stress is messing with your life.

Stress Destroys Self Control

When you’re stressed, the energy you would have had to turn down a milkshake or cookies is already used up. Little things like misplaced keys or spilled coffee get under your skin. Then, you give into things a healthy mind would have had the power to say no to.

Worrying Makes You Hungrier

People who worry eat more, says a recent study published in Appetite. That’s because worrying causes the body’s “hunger hormone”, ghrelin, to increase. So, if you’re worrying, you feel hungrier and you eat, regardless of if you’re actually hungry. Stop worrying and you’ll stop eating.

Missing Out On Sleep Can Cause Weight Gain

Sleep promotes weight loss by making sure your metabolism is running at a healthy rate and keeping your body from storing too much fat. If stress is causing you to lose sleep or not sleep well, which it commonly does, your weight loss goals could easily be affected as well.

Over-Caffeinating Can Also Cause Weight Gain

People who are stressed often over-rely on caffeine to get them through the day. That can be a problem. More than five cups of coffee per day can actually lead to weight gain. Plus, if those coffee drinks contain a bunch of sugar, the calories can add up quickly.

Stressed People Miss More Workouts

It can be hard to make time for the gym when you’re stressed and feeling like you’re already scrambling to get everything done. Yet, missing your workout will not only deter weight loss, but you’ll miss out on the much-needed stress relief that naturally comes with it.