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Can Anxiety Make You Lose Weight

What Are Healthy Causes Of Weight Loss

Is STRESS making you GAIN weight? [Can Stress Cause Weight Gain?]

Healthy and sustainable weight loss is achieved through a proper diet and exercise. You are advised to eat a well-balanced diet without cutting out any major food groups. Your meals should consist of healthy carbohydrates, healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals.

A point to note is that even while consuming a proper and balanced diet, you should ensure to eat at a calorie deficit if you intend to lose weight. For healthy and sustainable weight loss you should ensure to reduce your daily calorie intake by 500 to 1000 calories a day 3500 to 7000 calories a week .

Read More:The Fundamentals of a Balanced Diet: Foods, Benefits, Weight Loss

Disruption Of The Vagus Nerve

This nerve is described as the bodys superhighway, it originates in the brain and once it gets to the neck it branches out in multiple directions going down to the torso . Some of its functions include controlling the muscles used to speak, the regulation of internal organ functions such as digestion, heart rate, and respiratory rate, reflex actions like sneezing and swallowing, etc . When you are stressed, the functions of this nerve are interrupted which in turn affects how your body digests, absorbs, and metabolizes food.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety

There are a wide variety of signs and symptoms that indicate the presence of an anxiety disorder. And while everyones experience will differ depending upon the type and severity of his or her anxiety, some of the most common signs and symptoms that may be present include:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Inability to complete daily activities
  • Consistently drinking or using drugs to numb unpleasant feelings
  • Isolating oneself from others
  • Finding it hard to express ones opinion
  • Difficulty being assertive
  • Problems thinking about anything other than present worry
  • Catastrophic thinking
  • Intense sudden feelings of panic or doom
  • Fear of losing control

If you feel that you are in crisis, or are having thoughts about hurting yourself or others, please call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.

Effects

Also Check: How To Respond To Someone With Anxiety

Coax Yourself Into Hitting The Gym

Ugh. We fully understand. Getting to the gym or heading outside for a workout can feel so overwhelming when youre laid out with anxious feelings. But its one of the best things you can do for your body and brain.

Exercise helps you lose weight, but a research review also showed that it reduces physical and mental symptoms of anxiety and improves mood and sleep all of which will help you lose weight.

Its like a positive feedback loop that will leave you feeling better mentally and physically.

If your anxiety is making it hard to work out on a regular basis, start slow. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, a 10-minute walk can be just as effective for relieving anxiety as longer, more intense exercise.

And once your anxiety is in check, itll be easier to get to the gym and start doing the kinds of workouts that will move the needle on the scale.

The important part is to start small, then increase your involvement, which will lead to less anxiety and more assurance: Short walks can lead to longer walks, which can lead to alternating walking and running, and eventually lead to a 5K.

Set goals along the way for continued improvement, but start wherever you are and keep at it. It also helps a lot to let somebody know what you plan to do.

Talking about a goal can help you make it real and enable the first steps toward smashing it.

When To Reach Out

6 Reasons Why You Might Not Be Losing Weight

It may be time to consider professional support when various strategies dont have an impact on depression symptoms or weight loss.

Getting treatment for depression can lead to improvements in all of your symptoms, including physical ones like fatigue, decreased appetite, and weight gain or loss.

Helpful treatments generally include therapy or a combination of therapy and medication, but a trained mental health professional can help you find the approach thats right for you.

When your depression medication seems a likely culprit for changes in appetite and weight, talk to your doctor or psychiatrist about making changes. It may take some trial and error to find a treatment that improves symptoms without causing unwanted side effects, but your well-being is worth the time and effort.

A nutritionist or dietitian can also help you develop an eating plan that meets your unique needs.

Also Check: How To Comfort People With Anxiety

The Takeaway: Take Care Of Yourself

If youve lost a lot of weight without trying, whether youre stressed or not, head to the doctor. But if youre not underweight and its just a few pounds, dont worryit will likely come back when you eat normally again. Less than ten pounds is usually not a big deal from a health perspective, says Rosmarin.

Can Stress Cause Rapid Weight Loss

Stress hormones that our bodies release when stressed especially with chronic stress can speed up our metabolism, leading to faster burning of calories. Among the hormones that are released are cortisol and ghrelin.

Many people who have had weight loss success report side effects of high levels of stress, like insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Experts say that these high levels of stress can cause calorie restriction and make it easier to lose weight.

In addition to this, there are also those who say that some people may be more sensitive to stress than others, which could mean they will have greater reactions to their bodies releasing these stress hormones.

This is just one example of how anxiety can lead to weight loss even though the person may not realize it. Anxiety can cause other side effects too such as overeating or dieting in an unhealthy way., which will also lead to weight loss for the person.

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Does Stress Cause Hair Loss

by Kiierr International | Jul 7, 2020 | Health Behind Hair

Throughout your life, you are bound to live through a period of textural changes in your hair. Before you know it, you might also see your hair getting thinner at an alarming rate. You may be anxious, and rightfully so, to find out what could be causing this rapid fall of hair and what you can do to fix it.

So, does stress cause hair loss? You may have heard or read that stress causes hair loss, and it is the truth. However, stress is not the primary or only reason, but it does partly influence your hairs health.

When Can I Expect My Hair Back

Can Anxiety Make You Lose Your Appetite, Really? Sunnyvale Weight Loss Eating Coach

If anxiety and stress are identified as the culprit, the good news is that the hair should expect to regrow after several months to a year.

If stress is not the only factor, implementing a healthy nutrition-based diet, vitamin supplementation, and stress management course through exercise and meditation will likely be recommended. If these treatments do not work, your primary care physician can do a further workup to pinpoint possible nutritional deficiencies and rule out other possible causes.

But lets be honest. You know when things are stressful, and you probably already know what you need to do. Those in recovery live day-to-day within parameters that have proven to provide a safe and effective structure to live a life of wellness. The same discipline and work identify and slowly eliminate stress and anxiety from our lives. The most important advice? Take it day by day. Make small changes like taking deep breaths, being patient with the process, and managing the stressors until you have a clear headspace to address them.

But anxiety goes both ways. Sometimes addicts use drugs and alcohol to help cope with stress and anxiety, and sometimes anxiety develops once you realize that drugs and alcohol are destroying your life.

Feeling stressed? According to data from the American Psychological Association, Americans are feeling more stressed than ever.

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People With Anxiety And Depression May Have Changing Eating Habits

Stress and anxiety can go together, based on 2017 data. An overwhelming 75% of Americans reported feeling at least one symptom of stress, 36% of which said theyre anxious.

One of the reasons is cortisol. Prolonged high cortisol levels can change the balance of hormones:

  • It can increase the risk of metabolic syndrome due to possibly high levels of blood sugar or glucose. The body usually stores this excess as fat, which can make you gain weight.
  • It can also result in insulin resistance. The cells become less sensitive to the insulin that delivers glucose.
  • This imbalance may alter the way thyroids produce hormones. One of the hallmark symptoms of hypothyroidism, for example, is weight gain.
  • Changes in sex hormones could worsen anxiety symptoms.
  • Increased cortisol levels could whet your appetite and even boost your motivation to eat.

Treatments For Weight Gain

If youve experienced weight gain after going through a period of stress, know that youre not alone. This is common for lots of people, and is probably just a temporary reaction to that stressful time. Following a healthy diet and exercise regime should help you lose weight and get back to normal.

Of course, some people find weight loss a lot more challenging, even with diet and exercise, which is why medicated treatments are available. Here at Online Doctor we can prescribe the weight loss tablets Xenical or Orlistat to people with a BMI over 30, or anyone with a BMI over 28 who has weight-related health issues.

Some people might also be suitable for a treatment called Saxenda for weight loss.

Find out more at our online weight loss clinic.

References

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The 5 Most Severe Consequences Of Extreme Weight

1. Loss of muscle mass

When you lose weight, its not just fat that you lose but muscle as well. A loss in muscle mass often comes with decreasing metabolism rate, which further destabilises the fat-to-muscle ratio. Weaker muscles translate to more inconvenience in day-to-day activities like carrying heavy groceries or climbing the stairs. Even if the number on the weighing scale ends up looking nicer, your quality of life may not be as rosy.

2. Imbalance of electrolytes

Many of our bodily functions are regulated by naturally occurring elements. Any imbalance to the proportion of these elements could be potentially dangerous and may cause conditions such as seizures and arrhythmia . Electrolytes in particular are critical to cellular function and integrity. If the latter were to break down, it wouldnât be long before the rest of the body follows suit.

3. Nutritional deficiencies

Extreme weight-loss deprives your body of the essential nutrients that are necessary for healthy function. Furthermore, deficiencies in certain nutrients like vitamin D and calcium can lead to an increased risk of developing certain health conditions or predispose you to injury. One such example of a disease associated with nutritional deficiency is anaemia, which is characterised by feelings of weakness and fainting spells and can occur when you your intake of iron is insufficient.

4. Gallstones

5. Drastic drop in energy levels

Anxiety And Weight Loss: Should We Induce Panic Attacks

Cant Lose Weight No Matter What You Do? Read this!

Based on the study above, does this mean its okay to have anxiety as it may help fight obesity or at least weight gain? The answer is no, and the research doesnt advocate stimulating weight loss due to anxiety.

What the team wants to explain is that losing weight is a complex process. There are multiple pathways to achieve it besides conventional weight loss programs and bariatric surgery.

What is bariatric surgery? It is a weight loss surgery involving changing the digestive system.

One of these options may be in the brain. By learning more about how the brain works, scientists can find therapies that target areas that increase energy metabolism.

Most of all, the negative effects of high levels of anxiety far outweigh the supposed benefits of weight loss:

  • Unexplained weight loss or unintended weight loss could mean underlying health issues such as hormone imbalance or Crohns disease.
  • Rapid weight loss may result in malnutrition or loss of muscle instead of fat.
  • Sudden weight loss may even trigger starvation mode in the long-term. The body ends up holding on to fat instead of burning it.

The relationship between anxiety and weight loss may be unconventional to many, but its real. Some level of anxiety is also not bad as it helps you become aware of and avoid threats.

The problem comes in when you have high levels of stress and anxiety, stimulating dangerous weight loss issues.

Can stress make you lose weight? Share your thoughts about it in the comments section below!

Also Check: Does Chamomile Help With Anxiety

When Youll Notice Stress Related Hair Loss

Hair loss from stress is not something that youll notice immediately. In most instances, people experience hair loss within the first three months after a stressful event. In most cases, this hair loss is a sign that new hair will be growing again at the base, so you should focus on minimizing the stress youll see new hair growth in three to six months after this initial hair fall.

You are likely losing hair because the stress you face essentially puts your body into a survival mode of sorts. This diverts resources away from nonessential functions for life and instead where it is needed most.

Read Also: Can Eczema Come From Stress

So When Should You Worry About Weight Loss Due To Stress

Most of the time, it isnt a major cause for concern. Typically a change of less than 10 pounds or 5% of body mass isnt considered clinically significant, because most peoples weight naturally ebbs and flows within a range, rather than being a fixed number, says Rosmarin.

Plus, when things calm down, your body usually goes back to normal functioning and your appetite, or desire to eat, returns. When eating returns to normal, because there is less muscle to burn calories, the weight can come back quickly, Goodpastor says. As your life stabilizes, your weight likely will too.

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Scientists Discover Link In Brain Between Anxiety And Weight Loss

JUPITER, FL Scripps Research scientists have published a study revealing a shared mechanism for both anxiety and weight loss. Their research, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, describes a key molecule that triggers anxiety in the brain, while also increasing metabolism and fat burning.

“Weve found a relationship between anxiety and weight loss, says Baoji Xu, PhD, professor on the Florida campus of Scripps Research and senior author of the study. This research could guide new therapies for anxiety and help researchers design treatments for obesity.

Anxiety disorders are the most common types of mental health disorders in the world. Along with the psychological effects, many people have noticed that weight changes accompany periods of anxiety and stress.

Xu, a long-time obesity researcher, noticed the same phenomenon in a group of mice engineered to lack a molecule called brain-derived neurotrophic factor . These mice showed anxiety-like symptoms and stayed lean.

Even on a high-fat diet, these mice were really lean, says Xu. Could the same thing be happening in humans?

Answering that question required a study of how BDNF works. Normally scientists simply turn off a gene to find out what it does. There was a challenge with BDNF, though: Previous work had shown it is mandatory for brain development, learning and memory. They needed a mouse model that had normal BDNF in some areas of the brain, but not the areas they wanted to study.

How Anxiety Sabotages Weight Loss

How To Reduce Stress And Lose Weight In 6 Simple Steps

If youre trying to lose weight, you know healthy eating is a major component. However, in times of high stress and anxiety, its common for many people to turn to food as a source of comfort.

With the collective stress of the pandemic, in conjunction with the social distancing orders and recommendations, many people will feel isolated and lonely, which may lead to anxiety and depression for some, says Dana Rose Garfin, PhD, assistant adjunct professor at the University of California Irvines Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing. This, in turn, may lower motivation to stick to a fitness regimen and lead to overeating as a coping mechanism.

However, while anxiety and stress are normal reactions, they dont have to deter your weight-loss goals.

Recommended Reading: How To Overcome Crippling Anxiety

Stress And Weight Loss/weight Gain

Stress hormones can counteract the feel-good effects of neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA. Because of that, the food you eat wont have the same pleasurable feelings, nor will it satiate you as much as it normally would.

In other words, when your stress hormone balance is out of whack, appetite regulation will be too. Your body will also be prone to storing excess calories/nutrients as body fat for long-term energy reserves.

The impact stress has on a person’s eating habits can lead to unintended weight loss or weight gain. So, what can be done to remedy this problem and avoid stress-related weight loss/weight gain?

Why Do Our Bodies React To Anxiety With Weight Fluctuations

Your body will react to anxiety in different ways, depending on your level of stress and ability to cope. Anxiety can cause you to do different things that will affect your body weight, like:

  • Overeat, or ‘stress eat’
  • Forget to eat or skip meals
  • Crave junk food, comfort food, or sugary snacks
  • Lose motivation to exercise

Any of these behaviors can result in rapid weight change. Often, weight gain is a common and problematic result of prolonged anxiety.

Also Check: Can Anxiety Raise Blood Pressure

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