The Relationship Between Stress and Weigth Loss and Weight Gain

stressed exercise

stressed exercise

If you are stressed and anxious, two things can happen. You either eat much more than usual to cope with the stress and you gain lots of weight, or you experience sudden weight loss because of the way you cope with anxiety.

Why Does Anxiety Cause Weight Loss OR Weight Gain?

1. Your body’s stress response is activated.

This causes your body to pump stress hormones which in turn activate physiological or psychological changes; these changes affect your emotions.

When this happens, your body is in high alert, and it’s ready to either fight or run (fight or flight response, as this is popularly called). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight-or-flight_response

When and why weight loss or weight gain happens: Stress hormones stimulate your body and cause it to burn calories quicker. This makes you feel hungrier than usual.

Some people react by overeating and gaining weight. Others eat as usual and lose weight.

2. Too much stress can overstimulate the body.

When this happens, you may start to experience digestive problems or even intolerance to certain foods.

When and why weight loss or weight gain happens: When this happens, most people eat less, thus lose weight. Or, they figure out that they can eat more junk food, which they have no problems digesting, which causes further weight gain.

3. Nervous energy causes your body to crave more food.

When you experience a lot of stress, you are abundant with energy which makes it hard for you to relax. That is why you spend more energy, and thus require more food.

When and why weight loss or weight gain happens: Again, some people eat more than they should, others react by eating the same as before, or even less. Your reaction will lead to either more weight gain, or weight loss.

4. Less sleep = more stress.

restless sleep

A catch 22 is that when you are stressed, you have a hard time sleeping. And when your sleep is disrupted, your body produces cortisol, a hormone you need to increase the body’s stimulation.

When and why weight loss or weight gain happens: This makes you become more restless and active, and makes some people crave more food, while others spend more time moving about.

5. Stress stops body from absorbing the nutrients from food.

This means that your body consumes less calories, or it consumes only junk calories.

When and why weight loss or weight gain happens: Depending on your system, you might either lose weight, or consume significantly more food than usual to make up for the calories that you are now unable to process properly, meaning you gain weight.

How to combat stress or food intolerance.