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Stress is your enemy to weight loss, Dr. Gioffre says. Emotional and mental stress produces a stress hormone, called cortisol, which puts your body into a state of “fight or flight.” When this happens, your body goes into survival mode, he adds. “In addition to storing fat, the digestive system will completely shut down. Both of these happen when your body gets stressed, because for all it knows, there is danger and it needs to hold onto everything (fat) for scarce times.”