A recent study suggests that stress is a contributor to weight gain and weight loss. Among other things, it can alter the appetite. A study of more than 800 women found that 81% of them felt an increase in their appetite when under stress. They also reported eating a higher volume of high-calorie foods and desserts, while only a small proportion of those women said they lost weight. People under stress tend to eat when they aren’t actually hungry.
It’s important to understand that stress has different effects on everyone. For some, it’s work-related, while for others, it’s related to relationships. Therefore, the best treatment for stress is unique to the person. Physical activity is a great way to cope with stress and release endorphins, which lift the mood. Just be sure to avoid overdoing it, though. Stress is not an excuse to give up on your healthy lifestyle.
Thankfully, the good news is that stress doesn’t necessarily cause weight loss. In fact, it can cause weight gain in people with higher BMIs. That’s because when people are stressed, their endocrine system releases the hormones cortisol and ghrelin, which make us feel hungry and satiated. And if we can manage our stress, we’ll be able to maintain a healthy weight in the future.
While stress-induced weight loss may not happen in everyone, it is still unhealthy. Proper digestion and metabolism are essential for proper health. When these systems are compromised, weight loss results. Stress-induced weight loss will also negatively affect other aspects of our health, including the cardiovascular system, the reproductive system, and the immune system. Chronic stress also affects sleep and digestion. This means that people under excessive stress are more prone to illnesses and obesity.
In addition to its ability to cause weight loss, stress can also increase physical activity. Pacing increases the number of steps taken each day, which burns calories. Similarly, involuntary stress tics can cause an increase in movement and burn calories. Moreover, stress can also cause the body to be incapable of absorbing essential nutrients from food. A lack of energy will reduce metabolism, causing an individual to lose weight.
If stress is a major contributor to your weight loss, it’s best to seek treatment. Therapy and self-care can help you identify your stressors and manage it. Moreover, it can give you a safe place to vent your thoughts. Ultimately, you can also seek help from a professional who specializes in mental health and can suggest effective ways to channel your emotions and work through your problems. Once you learn how to deal with your stressors, you can avoid weight gain and regain your health.