Lately, I have found many cases in consultation, of people who are losing weight due to anxiety and depression. This usually generates many doubts and fears about whether something related to health is happening to me.
So I suggest that you use the comments section as a forum, and I will solve all of them.
Losing weight from anxiety
Throughout life, we go through different moments in which our weight is altered. If we take an old photo album, surely in some of them we will be struck by how changed we are. And not just because of the physical appearance or the extravagant clothes we wore. But because of how fat or thin we look.
These changes are influenced by how we are at each moment. When we live in a moment of stress we suffer variations in our weight. Anxiety and weight loss are closely related.
Weight loss from Emotional Stress
Although we usually talk about anxiety and stress interchangeably, they really are not the same. Stress has to do with the feeling of capacity, saturation, or not arriving. Anxiety has more to do with worries, anguish, fear, and/or suffering.
Therefore, when we talk about weight loss due to emotional stress, we are more likely to refer to anxiety. However, sometimes we have so much work and we are so immersed in it, that it is possible that this also affects the appetite and the diet.
Weight loss for no reason?
Sometimes we can perceive that weight loss occurs for no apparent reason. The first thing we must make clear is that yes, it is very possible to lose weight when you have anxiety.
The point is that when we are aware that this weight loss is taking place and we see no reason, we begin to worry and this, in turn, increases anxiety.
Does this mean that we should not consult a doctor? No, such a thing would never be advised against. However, if it is important for you to remember that if this is happening to you, it does not have to mean that there is a disease.
Losing weight for no reason is one of the reasons that most leads people to hypochondria.
How to overcome anxiety?
Here I am going to explain more about the relationship between anxiety and weight loss. Surely, in addition to knowing the reasons, you need solutions.
Undoubtedly, the best option is to go to Adelaide Naturopath. If we have been stuck with something for a while and we see that it does not improve, it would be my advice ‘number 1.
Can anxiety cause weight loss?
Generalized anxiety disorder and stress are the main problems of the XXI century.
Yes, a little stress is not bad and it can even be positive so that we are able to meet all the demands. But … what happens when anxiety becomes chronic and lasts over time?
Weight loss from anxiety
For one thing, anxiety can cause weight loss. On the other hand, anxiety can make us fat, altering hormonal regulation and healthy lifestyle habits. I always say that each person is a world and the same situation does not affect two people the same. In the face of a stressful episode, there are those who need to gorge themselves on sweets and junk food or, at the other extreme, those who are unable to put anything in their mouths.
There will be those who think ” the good side of suffering anxiety is that it will help me to remove those extra pounds that I want to lose .” Wrong. Totally wrong and maladaptive thinking.
Losing weight from anxiety cannot be considered an advantage at any time. Losing weight uncontrollably and involuntarily is always a cause for concern.
It is also one of the most visible consequences related to this disorder. Losing weight due to anxiety is related to a weak immune system and low defenses. In addition, a loss of appetite due to anxiety is common.
Cause of Anxiety Weight Loss
Most of us have gone through stressful periods such as exam times, romantic breakups, loss of a loved one At those times our stomach blocks metabolic functioning. Or in other words, it turns the key and closes making us not feel like eating anything. This happens at the worst time.
Let’s say that our body is like a car that needs fuel (food) to function. In these moments is when we need more fuel and just when we are least capable of obtaining it. What happens?
That we will pull the reserves, that is the fats. By not putting gas in the car to keep it going, we are forced to take what we had in store for when needed. This is when weight loss occurs.
Weight loss from Anxiety and Depression
Sometimes losing weight is not only caused by anxiety, but also by depression. While it is true that we normally associate anxiety with just the opposite (eating uncontrollably and gaining weight), in the case of depression it is very normal to lose weight.
The main reason is that when we are going through a depression we usually stop doing many of our usual self-care tasks, such as eating. In addition, in a state of anhedonia and abulia it also usually happens that the sensation of pleasure when eating is lost.
How to avoid weight loss due to anxiety
Weight loss due to anxiety is a consequence, so what we must do is work on our anxiety. There are many exercises to calm the nerves that we can learn as relaxation techniques or we can even try some natural anxiolytic.
If the anxiety does not stop, we should consider the possibility of doing psychological therapy. I insist that weight loss is a consequence, and the way not to continue losing weight is to be able to do something with what happens to us and that leads us not to eat, to be restless, to sleep less, etc.
To know how to avoid weight loss due to anxiety, we must first be able to identify what is happening to us, what has us in condition, and what we need to stop feeling this way.
Anxiety symptoms that cause weight loss “for no reason”
The hectic pace of life that we lead, the long working hours, the thousand and one occupations and tasks that we have to face every day … Who wouldn’t give anything to multiply 24 hours a day? All of this translates into stress and what is known as a generalized anxiety disorder.
When anxiety settles in our life it manifests itself in the form of constant worries, irritability, nausea, dizziness, palpitations … And of course, as we have already seen, it can influence weight changes.
Sari Chait, a clinical psychologist from Massachusetts (USA), says that ” anxiety can cause interruptions in sleep and, in turn, increased fatigue .”
To this is added that when we are stressed we have more need to be in constant movement. The more we move, the more energy we consume. This negatively affects rest and sleep. When sleep is interrupted, it causes more cortisol (stress hormone) to be generated. In the end, it becomes a vicious cycle that is related to weight loss due to anxiety.
Loss of Appetite from Anxiety
When the frenetic pace of life that we lead causes us to burn more calories than we ingest, weight loss occurs. This is related to a lack of appetite.
Imagine someone who has just launched their own company. At the same time, he works elsewhere in order to pay for all the expenses necessary to carry out his own project. Far from dissipating worries multiply every moment. Eating routines? Unthinkable. She already eats when she remembers, skips meals, and sometimes she doesn’t even eat directly.
When we experience those moments of stress and anxiety, we focus so much on solving what we consider problems that we forget that we ourselves are the main problem. Therefore, it is very normal for a loss of appetite to occur due to anxiety.
Everything is related. We don’t have hygiene in our sleep, we don’t eat the right foods at the right time,… How are we going to pretend that the little we eat feel great? Our body is a perfect machine but… it is still a kind of machine.
When we remember to eat something, we eat the first thing we catch because of course, we believe we do not have time to eat a Mediterranean diet according to our needs. That is when nausea, heartburn, and various stomach discomforts occur.
Anxiety and weight loss go hand in hand as nerves affect the stomach. To tackle the problem it is vital not to obsess and focus on taking action. We must take it as an alarm signal that our body sends us and that forces us to slow down.