Can stress cause weight loss? This is something that has been on the minds of people who have been in stressful situations for a very long time. It is well-known that stress can reduce the person’s immunity, thereby increasing the risk of sickness and disease. When you are subject to constant stress over an extended period of time or have serious emotional stress due to one traumatic incident then you can indeed begin losing weight because of stress. Loss of appetite is also recognized to be among the possible side effects when you are subjected to stress.
There are several reasons why it is possible to lose weight when you are constantly stressed out. When you are constantly tired and not able to sleep you tend to eat less than you should be doing. If you are unable to sleep you are not only at risk of gaining weight but also being less productive in your work place. Stress can indeed have a significant impact on your overall health which means that it is important that you take a moment to stop and think about what your lifestyle is like and do the right thing to improve your sleep quality and cut back on the amount of stress in your life.
The major problem with stress is that it starts in the brain and works its way down to your body. This is why we see many people who are in chronic stress that are overweight because they are affecting their digestion, circulation and overall health. Digestion is directly affected by stress hormones released by the adrenal glands. These hormones are released because your body is reacting to your environment. You can see that when you are always stressed your digestive system will suffer and you will start to gain weight because the food you are digesting is hard to digest.
The first reason that your metabolism will slow down is due to the fact that the production of stress hormones are decreased. This means that your body does not have enough of these hormones to work properly and will slow down the rate at which you burn calories. Since your metabolism is affecting the rate at which you burn calories your body will use more calories than it is taking in. This eventually leads to weight loss. When you are in a stressed state your brain will send signals to your digestive system to slow down or stop all together.
Processed Foods are known for causing obesity because of the fact that they contain trans fat, high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated vegetable oil which is known as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Trans fats increase your cholesterol and raise your blood pressure levels. Furthermore, they contribute to heart disease and cause premature aging and can damage your arteries.
Muscle Loss Another contributor to unexplained weight loss is muscle loss. This is caused by the breakdown of muscle fibers as a result of a metabolic process known as catabolism. Your digestive system has to break down your food faster in order to absorb it properly. Consequently, your body does not have enough muscle fibers to process the nutrients properly thus resulting in muscle loss.
Psychological Health Stress can cause many negative side effects on your mental health. It can lead to increased anxiety, mood swings, memory problems and depression. When you are stressed your body produces an amount of a hormone called cortisol that is used to deal with stress. Cortisol affects your metabolism and increases your appetite leading to overeating. It also stimulates your adrenal glands that will in turn increase your stress hormones and cortisol making it harder for your body to lose weight.
Adrenaline One of the hormones produced during times of stress is adrenaline which is responsible for providing a sense of urgency and excitement. However, when you are stressed your body produces high amounts of adrenaline leading to cravings and eating more. The best way to counter this is to find ways to relax your mind and calm down. Exercises such as yoga, meditation and breathing techniques can help you do just this.