weight loss

Stress causes weight loss: Here’s how – HealthifyMe

Written by hana

We depend on efficiency, competitiveness and perfection in today’s world, which leads to high levels of stress. We face difficult situations no matter which direction we are facing. In addition, stress, turmoil and irritation caused by epidemics, war, crimes, problems at work or school, and domestic difficulties often test our tolerance and patience. Therefore, the stressors of losses borne by our mental and physical health need to be properly assessed.

For the vast majority of people, stress directly affects weight. As a result, many people experience unintended weight loss, which can usually be caused by stress. However, it is not a healthy way to lose weight because the long-term repercussions of stress on the human body are very serious and devastating. Therefore, it is essential to monitor your weight loss if it is caused by stress.

This article explores how stress causes weight loss, why this is unhealthy, and ways to combat stress-induced weight loss.

Understand stress and its negative effects

Stress is a state of stress, either emotionally or physically. Any circumstance or thought that causes you annoyance, anger, or anxiety can lead to stress. Sometimes stress comes in handy, as it can help you meet a deadline or push you to work hard. Your body responds to a challenge or demand with acute and chronic stress, affecting your lifestyle choices and internal biological processes.

The recognition that stress can cause serious illnesses has been a hot topic of research because it affects weight on multiple levels. While stress causes headaches, poor nutrition, and disruptions in sleep cycles in many people, it has worse consequences such as unexplained weight loss. However, the effect of stress on weight varies from person to person, based on their habits. For example, while some people lose weight due to stress-induced anorexia, others gain weight due to stress-induced overeating.

HealthifyMe Note

Stress is not a healthy way to reduce body weight as it seriously affects your mental and physical health. It can disrupt the internal functioning of your body. In addition, be aware that the effect of stress on weight may vary from person to person and change based on each person’s unique circumstances.

4 harmful ways stress can ruin your weight

Weight loss due to stress is mainly due to decreased appetite caused by stress, hormonal changes, nervous movements of the body, or metabolic factors such as cortisol production and digestive disorders.

Changes in hormonal balance

Your body prepares for an “acute stress response” by producing hormones such as adrenaline. According to research, adrenaline can reduce your desire to eat while at the same time preparing your body for strenuous activity. This is due to the nervous system telling the adrenal glands above the kidneys to initiate a “fight or flight” response. This heightened mental state momentarily reduces appetite. But that adrenaline rush doesn’t last long, and after a while, you’ll feel tired, and the same vicious cycle continues.

reduce appetite

Stress can throw off your eating habits. Urges you to adopt bad eating habits during stressful situations and decreased appetite due to hormonal changes. When you’re under a lot of pressure, you likely won’t be able to think clearly. This may cause you to skip meals or eat little or nothing, which negatively affects your eating habits. You may not feel hungry or forget to eat under stress. Together, these variables lead to unhealthy weight loss.

Digestive distress

Stress alters your metabolism, which leads to weight loss. Additionally, it interferes with the brain’s ability to communicate with the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, making GI symptoms more noticeable. Many digestive symptoms, including nausea, gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and difficulty swallowing, can be triggered by stress. These signs may affect a person’s eating patterns, resulting in weight loss.

extreme weight loss

Your body burns calories through physical activity when you turn to exercise to deal with stress. Thus, this can lead to weight loss. Some people relieve their stress by engaging in strenuous physical activities. The rush of endorphins from exercise may help you feel less stressed, but excessive physical activity can cause unexpected weight loss.

People who are under stress are prone to involuntary movements such as tapping their feet and fidgeting without even being aware of what they are doing. One new theory here is that doing a little exercise often enough can burn calories while exercising less frequently. For example, eight hours of tapping hard at the office due to stress might equal one workout session in the gym.

HealthifyMe Note

Loss of appetite is usually the result of acute stress. In contrast, chronic stress can be attributed to lifestyle changes (reducing food consumption). Digestive disorders, nervous body movements, exercise, and hormonal changes can lead to unexpected weight loss. Although losing weight seems like a “benefit” to stress, the severe consequences of stress on your body are too serious to ignore. Therefore, if you are losing weight and under a lot of pressure, you should seek help. He’s thinking about your overall long-term health.

Prevent weight loss caused by stress

It is important to note that when things calm down under acute stress, your body usually returns to its normal functions, and your appetite returns. However, this is not usually the case with chronic stress. So, in the long run, adopting habits like the ones above for stress management can greatly increase your control over your body weight and overall health.

Prioritizing meals

You can take steps to gently return to a diet if stress has negatively affected your eating habits. Fighting stress-related weight loss may require maintaining a regular eating pattern. Try not to skip meals, set reminders during meal times, or have a partner, friend or family member hold you accountable for skipping meals. We advise you to eat portions of nutritious food rather than skipping an entire meal.


Exercise is a great way to release endorphins and reduce stress. However, if you decide to exercise to deal with stress, you need to eat adequate meals before and after exercise and exercise for no more than 60 minutes a day to prevent over-exercising. Plus, you’ll ensure that you don’t lose too much weight unintentionally.

Fun outdoor activities

If you find the gym boring, you can try engaging in different physical activities to reduce stress. Camping, trekking, biking, and dancing are some of the activities that release endorphins, boost mood, and are fun and engaging.

improve your mind

You can manage stress simply by optimizing your brain space. For example, get regular sleep, meditate, or do breathing exercises to calm yourself whenever you feel overwhelmed by stress.

Reduce isolation

Some people find it helpful to talk to other people to de-stress. Talking to friends, family, or a therapist about what’s making you feel stressed can give you some breathing room. It can help you express your inner feelings and help you get advice on dealing with whatever is bothering you.

When you realize that you are losing weight due to stress and the failure of stress reduction techniques, it is a good idea to seek advice from your doctor or health coach. Additionally, assume that unintended weight loss occurs frequently. In this case, you should see a doctor because it may indicate a more serious condition. Your doctor may be able to identify the causes of weight loss and suggest appropriate medical interventions.


Weight loss and stress are related to each other. Unintended weight loss caused by stress is undesirable and may harm your overall health. Stress-related weight loss is common, whether it’s from skipping meals, suffering from digestive issues, or engaging in intense exercise as a way to cope. There are many self-help methods you can do to reduce stress. You can prevent stress-related weight loss by developing a support network, learning to deal with stress through meditation, and making sure you eat nutritious meals routinely. You should see a doctor if you can’t handle stress, or if you experience persistent and unintended weight loss.

Download the Healthifyme app

About the author


Leave a Comment