If you’re worried about gaining weight, maybe you should be tracking your mood! A study published in the January 2014 Obesity found that high levels of stress can result in weight gain—but not weight loss—especially in normal weight and overweight people. Researchers reviewed the records of 5,118 participants of the Australian Obesity, Diabetes and Lifestyle longitudinal study (AusDiab) from 2000-2005. They found that people who had the highest levels of perceived stress at the inception of the study, as well as those who had experienced stressful events during the study, had gained more weight than those who did not experience higher than average levels of stress. Those who started off feeling stressed out and had the additional burden of stressful life events during the five-year period gained the most weight of all. What caused the weight gain? If you think it was emotional eating, think again. To quote the authors, “We did not find that diet, measured by daily energy intake, or physical activity, could explain the weight gain in those people with high stress levels.” The researchers note that since this study relied on self-reporting of behavior, it could have skewed the results. However, they add, “energy intake and physical activity may not be in the causal pathway between stress and weight gain.” They note that other factors, like “inflammatory markers” could also play a role in stress and weight gain.