Saturday, December 3, 2022

Can Stress And Depression Cause Weight Loss

How To Tell If Your Stress Is Causing Weight Loss

Can stress or anxiety cause weight loss?

When I was 22 years old, my father lost his battle with cancer. I had just graduated college and had no plan for my immediate future, other than paying my rent and hanging out with friends.

After he died, I was spiraling. The stress of my grief and lack of a plan for my life took a major toll on my health. Even though I thought I was eating regularly a slice of pizza here, a bowl of Easy Mac there it turned out that I was barely consuming any food. I was so completely overwhelmed that I dropped weight in a matter of weeks.

People deal with stress in a multitude of ways . Its important to monitor your response to anxiety, grief or any other negative emotion in order to keep your health in check, according to experts.

Below are a few stress-related behaviors and effects that could lead to unhealthy weight loss:

How Does Grief Affect Weight Gain Or Loss Studies Show That Appetites Are Often Diminished Which Can Lead To Serious Weight Loss

  • A common effect of grief on ones physical health is a loss of appetite and, in turn, significant weight loss.
  • This change in appetite often comes with other changes in normal functioning grieving individuals also typically experience an inability to focus, as well as a lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities.
  • With time, their normal functioning is restored: their appetite returns, they are able to concentrate at school or work again, and they again enjoy once beloved activities.
  • While this loss of appetite and weight might be characteristic of some grieving processes, its important you do what you can to continue to take care of yourself.
  • Do what you can to keep your body nourished: you could even get help from some friends who will gladly accompany you to dinner! Whatever you do, listen to your body and give it what it needs.

If youve ever suffered from a major lossthat of a loved one or even the loss that comes with a breakup or job changeyou mightve experienced a change in appetite: in most cases, a loss of it. When my boyfriend of a few years broke up with me, I didnt eat. For weeks. I stuffed a few pieces of food down each day to keep from feeling completely and totally empty, but my appetite was seriously diminished, and I lost a substantial amount of weight because of it.

So When Should You Worry About Weight Loss Due To Stress

Most of the time, it isnt a major cause for concern. Typically a change of less than 10 pounds or 5% of body mass isnt considered clinically significant, because most peoples weight naturally ebbs and flows within a range, rather than being a fixed number, says Rosmarin.

Plus, when things calm down, your body usually goes back to normal functioning and your appetite, or desire to eat, returns. When eating returns to normal, because there is less muscle to burn calories, the weight can come back quickly, Goodpastor says. As your life stabilizes, your weight likely will too.

Also Check: How To Let Go Of Anger And Stress

Avoid Sleeping Too Much

Sleep is important we all know that. However, too much sleep is as bad as too little good nights rest. Getting too much sleep can, in fact, make your depression even worse. This also means it can aggravate symptoms associated with this common mental health problem. Although there comes the time when all you want to do is sleep, you should still strive to do something such as take a walk or go for a jog.

Exercise will also boost your energy, keep you alert, and help you focus more on your work, life, and you name it. As a result, youll feel more motivated at the same time. Its needless to mention sufficient sleep is important for weight management as well.

Examples Of Good Stress

Dec 6 Dr K Reverse Insomnia Anxiety Fatigue Weight Gain

Good stress happens when we feel excited, but there isnt any potential threat to your life, or fear involved. It can be a very motivating force when we want to do better and achieve more. Typical examples of this healthy level of stress are when you go on a first date, or get on a roller-coaster ride. Or, maybe youre preparing to sit an exam, or have an interview for a new job. This sort of stress is short-lived, and makes us feel alive and excited about life.

Read Also: Is Acupuncture Good For Stress Relief

The Role Of Cortisol In The Body

Stress can significantly impact your ability to maintain a healthy weight. It can also prevent you from losing weight. Whether it’s the result of high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, unhealthy stress-induced behaviors, or a combination of the two, the link between stress and weight gain is glaring.

Do Something You Find Enjoyable

When it comes to weight loss and exercise, options are endless. We have plenty of exercises to do and workouts to try. Dont do some exercise for the sake of it, do it because you like it. Somehow were led to believe that only certain types of exercises or activities can help us lose weight and eventually manage depression. Then, we do things we dont really like and end up losing our motivation to continue. One way to avoid this scenario is to find exercises, activities, and workouts you find enjoyable. Theres always something you like, exercises and activities you find fun. Focus on those particular activities, and youll notice motivation keeps growing. Thats because youre doing something you like and its natural to want to keep doing it.

You May Like: What Is The Meaning Of Phobia

Don’t Miss: Can Stress Cause Seizures In Dogs

Can Stress And Anxiety Cause Weight Loss: What Is Stress

Stress is how your body and brain respond to demand . There are so many things that can make one stressed, such as their job, spouse, children, health, school, finances, and so much more. Prolonged periods of stress can affect our health, relationship with others, and how we handle life.

Here are a few things to remember while stressed:

Stop Spiraling And Get Your Health Back On The Rails

Can anxiety cause weight loss? Try this simple technique

Emotions like anxiety and stress are part of life, and all people experience these two emotions at various times in life. Our mental health has a way of affecting our physical health. Therefore, it is important to know how these two emotions affect our bodies. What is stress? What is anxiety? Can stress and anxiety cause weight loss? All these questions will be tackled in this article.

Read Also: Can Stress Bring On Parkinson’s Disease

Stress Can Cause A Decline In Body Weight

Stress is known as the symbol of weight loss. Most people who suffer from this situation usually have weight loss problems. Although some people may get an increase in their weight mostly stress causes a decline in the overall weight of the body.

The main reason due to fats are cut down and people suffer from weight loss is that they missed meals as well as poor food choices. Moreover, some people completely lose their desire to eat and ultimately reduce their weight. People who overcome the situation may regain their weight.

What Assessment And Tests May Be Done

Your doctor is likely to ask various questions. He or she may actually uncover other symptoms that you were either unaware of or did not think were significant. He or she may also examine you. Tests, such as blood tests, may or may not be appropriate. Following a doctor’s assessment, the likely cause may be clear and your doctor will advise on what to do next.

Recommended Reading: How To Deal With Marriage Stress

Exercising To Distract Themselves

One way of dealing with stress and anxiety is by either doing an activity that one loves or exercising. If the activity you love is exercising or workout to manage these emotions, then you are likely to lose weight. People with anxiety sometimes exercise because working out produces the feel-good hormone that makes one happier, hence better moods.

Working out can help one lose weight when incorporated as part of an intentional healthy weight loss plan. However, unintentional weight loss due to anxiety because of excessive exercise or any of the other reasons listed here can be dangerous.

Before you get into an exercise program, it is always important to consult an expert.

If youve mustered up the courage to crush your weight loss goal, let Betterme take the sting out of this demanding process. Our app will help you restructure your habits, remold your life and crank up your fitness results!

Causes And Symptoms Of Stress And Depression

Stress Cause Weight Gain Or Loss

Stress and depression are more common than you think. It is estimated that around 34 percent of Americans suffer from some sort of mental issue, including stress, depression, or anxiety. The more severe the symptom, the more likely you are to seek some kind of help.

Stress and depression are caused by poor diet, lack of exercise, sleep deprivation, and lack of friendly relationships.

Stress can range from mild to severe, but its usually caused by an event that causes us to feel tense. This can be anything from a disagreement with a coworker or boss, to a relationship ending or a family member passing away. While its true that stress can cause depression, scientists have yet to discover the link between the two.

Recommended Reading: How To Help Someone Relieve Stress

Stress Causes Gastrointestinal Distress

Another thing that causes one to lose weight is distress in the gastrointestinal system. Stress affects most of the parts of the GI system. It causes symptoms like :

  • Abdominal pain
  • Feeling of nausea and vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain while swallowing food

All the symptoms shown above will affect a persons eating habits and may result in them eating less. This would then result in weight loss since it creates a calorie deficit.

Learn How To Manage Stress

While stress can actually be beneficial in some cases, Poon says extreme stress is usually just bad for your health. One of the best ways to avoid extreme symptoms of stress is to learn to manage your stress through meditation, breath work, and exercise.

Once you have a regular practice in place, itll be much easier to draw upon it when you need it. Learning how to meditate or do breathing exerciseswhile youre stressed out may be asking too much of yourself.

Read Also: What Is The Best Treatment For Anxiety And Stress

Stress Can Be Managed

This is the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to stress it can be managed. There are many ways one can use to cope with stress.

Here are a few of them:

  • Talking to a doctor or anyone equipped to help you deal with stress. One can choose to speak to a counselor or a psychiatrist. These are people trained to handle such situations and will better guide you on how to deal with stress.
  • Recognizing your stressor and trying to avoid it . Just as we said earlier, there are different causes of stress for different types of people. As a person, you need to identify what causes your stress and look for ways to avoid them.
  • Keep in touch with friends and family. Family and friends are good distractions unless they are the ones causing your stress. When you are stressed, try spending time with your family or friends.
  • Try a relaxing activity. There are many activities that one can do to relax. You can go swimming, dancing, cycling, or try yoga, meditation, and so much more. When you are stressed, look for an activity that gives you joy and try doing it.
  • Workout. Working out can lift your moods. Hence you can use exercises to lose weight and also to deal with stress.
  • Emotions And Weight Loss

    Can Anxiety Cause Weight Loss?

    Most of us have good intentions when it comes to eating right and exercising more often. And most of us know the basics of what to eat and what to avoid. But even with the best of intentions, we often end up derailing our progress when we feel tired, or stressed, or bored, or frustrated. And let’s face it…these emotions pop up often.

    We are all creatures of habit. We find comfort in routine. So, if your routine includes food and activity patterns that have led to an unhealthy weight, it is normal that you seek out those comfortable habits when times get tough. These habits relieve discomfortat least in the short term.

    What’s worse, is that you likely have strong rationalization skills to support the continuation of unhealthy habits. After all, why would you discontinue a practice that provides relief and comfort?

    In the case of food habits, it is particularly difficult to change our habits. Our bodies are designed to eat and we need food to survive. We also feel better when we eat.

    But all is not lost if you want to change your habits for weight loss. The psychology of weight loss works against you in some ways, but it can work for you in others. In order to get past your roadblock, you’ll first need to figure out specifically, what that roadblock is.

    Read Also: Can Stress Cause Heart Problems

    How The Study Was Conducted

    The researchers divided study participants into three groups, based upon their weight loss or gain during the four years covered by the data collection:

  • Those who had lost 5 percent or more of their starting weight
  • Those who had gained 5 percent or more of their body weight
  • Those whose weight remained within a 5 percent increase or decrease
  • Logistic regression examined changes in the following categories :

    • Depressed mood
    • Low wellbeing
    • Hypertension
    • High triglycerides

    Losing Weight When Stressed Despite Eating Well

    You may have noticed that when you are under stress, you tend to start losing weight even if you are eating all your meals every day. It is necessary to know why you lose weight when stressed even when you eat well, so that you can maintain your health and weight in a better way.

    Sometimes in life it so happens we suddenly come under a lot of stress and life demands a little too much from us. The reason for such a stress can vary from one person to another be it relationship issues, financial crisis, sudden illness, problems at work or taking care of a sick family member for example. However, no matter what the reason is, stress not only affects a persons body psychologically but it also has a negative impact on the physical well-being of the body in general. Many people often experience changes in weight during periods of extreme stress. Some may experience weight gain later on, while some may initially lose weight even when eating well.

    In some cases, people under stress tend to overeat, in order to find comfort in it and also to bury their worries and compensating for their life problems. One of the most common physical changes that people under stress experience is weight loss even after eating really well. Though this does not occur in one day, if you have been under a lot of stress for quite some time, you will begin to notice that you have lost a good number of pounds without compromising on your food.

    Recommended Reading: How Does The Body React To Stress

    Recognize Your Triggers And Responses

    When it comes to stress, knowing yourself is half the battle. Understanding what causes you stress and how you normally react to it can help you prevent serious scenarios.

    Try keeping a stress diary that details how your body and mind tend to react when you are experiencing stress, suggests Poon. With this knowledge, you can begin to nip some of the symptoms if you notice them beginning to arise.

    Stress And Depression: Likely Causes For Drastic Weight Loss

    What Do Weight

    Drastic weight loss is not always due to a physical illness. Sometimes, it could be caused by certain mood disorders. These disorders possibly root from a mental illness, which affects weight. Two of the most common mental illnesses are stress and depression.

    StressWe face stressors constantly. It can come in many forms: stress from commuting to work or school, getting a parking ticket, or not getting along with a co-worker and stress due to divorce, financial problems, or job loss. When stress becomes chronic and is not dealt with correctly, it could lead to a lot of mental and physical health issues. Losing weight is just one of many manifestations.

    Fortunately, weight loss caused by stress is the easiest to address. You just need to find ways to relieve it.

    • Getting a massage, going away for a short respite, or taking on a new hobby can be a good start.
    • There are foods that alleviate stress, too. You need to be more conscious about the foods you eat. It pays to stick to healthy and well-balanced meals.
    • Exercising is another proven stress buster.

    You dont have to carry out everything that is suggested all at once. Changing lifestyle does not happen overnight. Just like everything else, you can take baby steps. Whats important is youre consistent in taking the necessary actions toward dealing with stress more effectively.

    Help

    You May Like: How To Lose Stress Weight

    Weight Loss Anxiety Symptom Descriptions:

    • You experience a sudden loss of weight for no apparent reason.
    • Your weight dropped by several or more pounds in a short amount of time.
    • For no apparent reason, youve lost several or more pounds.
    • Due to your struggle with anxiety, youve lost a lot of weight.
    • Youve lost 10 or more pounds due to being anxious.

    Weight loss could have happened rapidly over a few days, weeks, or a few months, or could have happened over the period you have been struggling with anxiety disorder.

    You have experienced weight loss of a few pounds, several, or tens of pounds.

    All of the above combinations and variations are common.

    To see if anxiety might be playing a role in your anxiety symptoms, rate your level of anxiety using our free one-minute instant results Anxiety Test, Anxiety Disorder Test, or Hyperstimulation Test.

    The higher the rating, the more likely it could be contributing to your anxiety symptoms, including weight loss and sudden weight loss symptoms.

    When this symptom is attributed to anxiety, weight loss can occur for the following reasons:

    - Advertisement - spot_img
    Popular Articles
    Related news