Depression, Fatigue, and Belly Fat – the triple threat of Holiday Stress

The average person gains about 5-10 pounds between Halloween and New Year’s Day, but then only loses a few pounds over the rest of the year. This gradual accumulation of “holiday weight” is related, of course, to over-consumption of treats and sweets during the myriad holiday celebrations, but stress also plays an equally-important role.


Any type of stress, including holiday stress, can lead to overexposure to cortisol, our primary stress hormone. Cortisol is a potent appetite signal for the brain (specifically increasing cravings for sugar), as well as for fat storage in the abdominal region (belly fat). This is why most of us who study stress-related weight gain simply refer to belly fat as “stress fat.” In many ways, cortisol control is AS important for weight loss as regular exercise and proper diet – for many people struggling with weight loss, it’s the missing piece of the puzzle.


Here are two recent television segments where I talked about battling the holiday bulge by reducing stress and balancing cortisol.


KUTV – Salt Lake City (CBS) =


WFXT – Boston (Fox) = 


Thanks for reading…




About the Author: Shawn Talbott holds a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry (Rutgers) and a MS in Exercise Science (UMass). He trains for iron-distance triathlons and ultra-marathons in Utah – and is always sure to keep himself in biochemical balance and high vigor.


Shawn M. Talbott, Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACN, FACSM, FAIS

Nutritional Biochemist and Author


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My books related to stress, cortisol, vigor, and Feeling Your Best:

▪    Vigor Diet – The New Science of Feeling Your Best

▪    The Secret of Vigor – How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance, and Reclaim Your Natural Energy

▪    Killer at Large – Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat – an award-winning documentary film exploring the causes and solutions underlying the American obesity epidemic. FREE versions at

▪    The Cortisol Connection – Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health (Hunter House) – FREE text at

▪    The Cortisol Connection Diet – The Breakthrough Program to Control Stress and Lose Weight (Hunter House) – FREE text at

▪    Cortisol Control and the Beauty Connection – The All-Natural Inside-Out Approach to Reversing Wrinkles, Preventing Acne, And Improving Skin Tone (Hunter House) – FREE text at

▪    Natural Solutions for Pain-Free Living – Lasting Relief for Flexible Joints, Strong Bones and Ache-Free Muscles (Chronicle Publishers – Currant Books) –

▪    The Immune Miracle – The All-Natural Approach for Better Health, Increased Energy and Improved Mood (GLH Nutrition, 2012)

▪    The Health Professionals Guide to Dietary Supplements (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkens)

▪    A Guide to Understanding Dietary Supplements – an Outstanding Academic Text of 2004 (Haworth Press)



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  1. Eating to Fight Holiday Stress and Restore Biochemical Imbalance | Shawn Talbott
  2. Holiday Survival (stress fat) | Shawn Talbott

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