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Losing Weight Due to Stress

by
author image Lynne Sheldon
Lynne Sheldon has over 12 years of dance experience, both in studios and performance groups. She is an avid runner and has studied several types of yoga. Sheldon now works as a freelance writer, editor and book reviewer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and art history from Boston University and recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in writing from Pacific University.
Losing Weight Due to Stress
Stress can have repercussions that affect both your mental and physical health. Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Your hectic life is stressing you out, and that stress is starting to affect your weight. The number on the scale is going down, although you haven't made any conscious changes that would lead to weight loss. Stress can both directly and indirectly affect your body weight, and learning to manage it can help you get back to a healthier and more relaxed life. Speak with your physician about taking steps to deal with stress.

Side Effects of Stress

Most weight loss due to stress is a side effect of a mental or emotional disturbance. You may find that your busy life is forcing you to skip meals, or that having to run around all day is burning a large amount of calories, leading to a drop in weight. If you do not balance the number of calories you consume with the number you are burning off, your weight will decrease. Stress can also disrupt your sleeping patterns, and this can lead to fluctuations in your weight as well.

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Ways to Relieve Stress

Learning to manage your stress is key, not only to maintaining the right weight but for keeping yourself healthy as well. While your goal may not be to drop pounds, regular exercise can do a lot to improve your mental and emotional well-being. Working out can help you let go of the day's worries by allowing you to focus on the task at hand, and because it tends to increase your confidence level, it can also lessen your feelings of stress and anxiety. Yoga and meditation may also help you manage stress, as well as your weight, and get you back on track to a healthier you.

Other Causes of Unintentional Weight Loss

While mental and emotional factors like anxiety and stress can lead to unintentional weight loss, other health conditions can cause this as well. These include gastrointestinal diseases, endocrine disorders, cancer, infections, kidney disease and neurological illnesses. If you experience any other symptoms along with your stress, seek medical attention to ensure that you do not have an underlying condition that could be contributing to your weight loss.

Getting Help

If your stress is so severe that it is affecting your ability to function and stay healthy, you may need to get some professional help. Also, if you have lose more than 5 percent of your normal body weight in a six- to 12-month period, see your doctor. She can help you determine what is causing the weight loss, as well as give you tips on managing stress. Additionally, she can help you discover what types of exercise will benefit both your body and mind, as well as assist you in developing a healthy dietary regimen to gain back that lost weight and keep it on.

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GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
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References

Demand Media