Why Do You Lose Weight When Stressed Even When You Eat Well?

Many times in our life we pass through a phase of great demand and severe stress. The reason may be varied such as an illness, issues in relationship, work stress, monetary problems, taking care of old parents or a sick child. All these anxiety and stress may not only be limited to the psychological sphere, it may also have lasting physical impact.

During stress and anxiety it is possible that you may not eat your food adequately or on the other hand you may overeat to find some comfort. There are several physical changes noted when you are stressed, one being weight loss even though you are eating enough.

Weight loss may not occur overnight but if you do not pay attention, you may notice losing several pounds after a period of time.

How Does Stress Cause You To Lose Weight?

Unexplained weight loss can be quiet concerning. Most people may have to visit their doctor to know the exact reason. Almost all probable medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, HIV infection, tuberculosis, thyroid disorders have weight loss as one of its symptom.

During chronic stress people may lose weight or gain weight. The reason for weight gain is release of cortisol hormone.

Its persistence for a long time in blood after a stressful event encourages the body to overeat. This may lead to weight gain. During stress the person may lose interest in doing physical activities and this may also add some fat.

On the other hand many people are known to lose weight due to stress. There are several factors associated with it such as:

  • Lack of eating: Soon as you are under stressful situation, the body tends to shut down your appetite center. There is a rush of corticotrophin releasing hormone which comes into play to do so. This is very common in people with depression and anxiety. When you are anxious you feel much less hungry and you eat very less amount of food. You may not realize that your body is starving. This may cause sudden loss of weight. Also your metabolic activity becomes lax and there is loss of muscle mass. All the factors put together may lead to loss of weight.
  • Increased metabolism in short run: Even though stress and anxiety for a long time has been linked with weight gain, the initial response by the body is fight and flight situation. During this period the metabolism tends to increase for a temporary period. It leads to more burning of calories than what you eat. If you are eating well the calories is lost due to high metabolic activity.
  • Many people during stress become more inactive. A person doing physical exercise and gym daily may lose interest in exercising. This may lead to loss of muscle mass even though he may be eating well. Loss of muscle mass will reduce weight.
  • Certain medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism have close relation with anxiety and stress. Hyperthyroidism is a thyroid disorder in which the thyroid gland works more than it should. It releases more thyroid hormone which raves up your metabolic activity burning more calories and fat from the body even if you are eating enough food. Thus when you have rapid weight loss rule out hyperthyroidism which can have anxiety as one of its symptom.