The surprising hyperlink between stress and weight reduction

Stress is often associated with weight gain, but sometimes it has the opposite effect. A 2018 review published in Cureus explains that acute stress can suppress appetite. Short-term stressful events trigger the fight-or-flight response and increase the release of norepinephrine, a hormone and neurotransmitter that inhibits hunger. Prolonged or chronic stress, on the other hand, stimulates appetite and triggers cravings for great-tasting foods, especially those high in sugar and fat.

According to Medical News Today, episodes of acute stress can increase heart rate and burn calories. Stress also increases the body’s need for oxygen and nutrients, notes the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Therefore, there may be a temporary increase in metabolism, potentially leading to weight loss.

Healthline adds that certain stressful situations can cause you to miss meals, leading to you losing weight. In some cases, stress can also cause heartburn, constipation, bloating, and other digestive issues that make eating difficult.

All in all, it’s common to shed a few pounds when you’re stressed. Your appetite decreases, your metabolism increases and you may not feel like eating. When stress persists, your body remains in fight-or-flight mode, which can lead to weight gain. Harvard recommends trying meditation, deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques to calm your mind and reduce stress. If you continue to lose weight without trying, Medical News Today recommends seeing a doctor.

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