Why do we lose hunger when we are nervous?

By Blair Morris

November 18, 2018

Nerves and being under a lot of pressure can rob us of appetite. Discover the causes to avoid unbalancing the diet.

There are a lot of situations, both work and personal, that can alter our nervous system and even unbalance our appetite. The most frequent causes of loss of appetite are nervous or emotional. In other words, nerves rob us of hunger, but we must control that when overcoming this pressure situation we do not fall into the temptation of bingeing on caloric foods (richer in fats and sugars). The question is: why do we lose hunger when we are nervous?

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The answer is in the adrenaline and noradrenaline that releases our body in response to intense emotions or in situations of tension and nerves, which can have as a consequence that our stomach closes and we do not feel the need to eat. In addition, curiously, emotions and appetite are regulated in the same area of the brain, in the hypothalamus. Adrenaline not only reduces appetite, it also makes our body burn fat faster, so if we go through a time of many nerves or stress we can lose weight almost without realizing it. In addition, nerves also alter stomach functions that reduce the production of gastric juices. However, losing weight as a result of nerves or anxiety can have its negative effects on health.

When we are nervous, the chances of skipping healthy habits and of unbalancing the diet increase considerably. In fact, you tend to skip meals, eat in a hurry or overindulge with coffee or drinks with caffeine. An unbalanced diet increases the feeling of tiredness and weakness, while it reduces the body’s defenses and increases the risks of nutritional deficiencies.

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What to do?

Following the recommendation of the experts, physical exercise can be a good ally to recover appetite, as it helps us to release stress and nervous tension. The regular practice of exercise translates into sessions of, at least, half an hour, three times a week. As for food, it is best to distribute it in a greater number of shots and avoid drinking lots of liquids before meals as it increases the feeling of fullness.

About Blair Morris