Did you know stress can cause an unhealthy weight loss?

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This may come as a shocker to you as the general belief is that stress causes you to gain weight. People with high stress levels tend to over eat and hence put on weight. But sometimes stress leads to weight loss. It is a known fact that our body weight keeps on fluctuating, but persistent weight loss over a short period of time should be a matter of concern to you. Especially, if stress is one of the main factors responsible for this.

How can stress cause weight loss?

  1. Loss of appetite– When you worry about something too much, for example work, you prioritize it over everything else. The stress of it makes you forget about something as basic as eating your meals. Eating less or skipping meals would mean a dip in your blood-sugar levels and consuming fewer calories which in turn can cause weight loss.
  2. Stress Hormones– Under stressful situations, your body releases corticotrophin-releasing hormone. Too much concentration of this hormone can not only boost your metabolism causing the body to burn down calories much faster, but it also acts as an appetite suppressor. All of this leads to weight loss.
  3. Exertion and Fatigue– Stress can also make you feel lethargic and tired very often. You will either not feel like doing anything, or will just not have the energy to. This can lead to you losing track of time and forgetful of whether you have eaten or not.
  4. Exercising too much– It may be possible that when you resort to exercising to cope with stress better, it might deliver positive results. Although, sometimes we opt for the extreme towards these coping mechanisms. Exercising too much will lead to more calories burning. And burning more calories at an alarmingly high rate will make you lose weight, albeit not in a healthy way.
  5. Feeling Nauseous– Stress can also have a poor impact on your digestive system. It activates neurotransmitters and hormones that affect the digestive system and keeps nutrients from getting absorbed. This can cause nausea. Now you wouldn’t eat if you feel like throwing up already, right?

This is why we cannot emphasize how important it is to look after your mental health. We often accept stress as part of life. Because we know everyone feels it, we think there’s no escape from it.

You cannot do away with the stress-inducing factors entirely, we get that. But, how you program your mind and body to respond to these factors is totally in your hands. If you don’t allow them, those factors will never lead to stress. Introducing daily meditation in your life, taking breaks from work and watching over your emotional health will be immensely helpful in this regard.

 

References:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/unintentional-weight-loss/
https://www.everydayhealth.com/weight/diet/how-gain-weight-healthy-way/
http://www.health.com/nutrition/5-ways-to-beat-stress-induced-weight-gain

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