Can a little extra stress REALLY make you lose weight?

Ok. For years I've been trying to get under a certain weight, and last year I was running (i use the term 'running' very loosely) around 30 - 35 miles a week, cycling around 30 miles a week and walking sporadically (anything from 0 to 20 miles a week). I watched what I ate, lost a stone and was happy, but then didn't lose any more.

 Got pregnant (yes planned!) carried on running but even slower (if that's possible) and less distance until I was about 5 months. Carried on cycling to work until I was past 7 months. Since giving birth 10 months ago, I can count the runs I've done on one hand, still watch what I eat, i'm back at work part time, and I'm a little bit more stressed (and it is only a little bit). I cycle to work with sproglett on the back (drop her off half way) And my weight and waist size is now lower/smaller than before I was pregnant. Huh? Don't get me wrong, I'm happy about it. But I'm exercising less, and eating roughly the same.

 Just doesn't seem to make sense to me. I'm not rapidly losing weight or anything, I feel fine, I'm not ill or anything. Just seems a bit odd - or sods law as otherwise known. Anyone else had this? And can someone give me some more stress so I can keep it going?


  • LozF - hi! great to see you again?  how is life as a mum?!

    did you breastfeed?  if so - that's well known for making you lose weight. and sometimes you don't lose it until you stop, for some reason.

    other possibility is that you are generally more active, although you run / cycle maybe less than you did; because you are on your feet looking after your little one?

    i lost a lot of weight while i was at home with jacob because i wasn't having lots of starbucks coffees and treats from the canteen etc.  since being back at work, it's all piled back on again.  and i've stopped b/feeding; am still not running as much as i was; and i've started back on the wine again in the evening.  so that's why i've not lost anymore!

  • that should have been 'great to see you again!' not 'again?'

  • Hi Caramel

     No - I didn't breastfeed - unfortunately I didn't get any milk. (Noone told me that was a possibility!) So it's not that. I guess I may be more active - I don't normally sit down until around 9pm. I hadn't thought of that.

     Apart from that motherhood is great - much more fun than I thought it would be! Your lad must be over 1 now - is that right? Is he walking and talking? (Not both at the same time as we know men can't multi task......image)

  • Removing the pregnancy from the situation i think stress can make you lose weight. I'm a stone heavier than i was this time last year when i was studying and lost my grandmother to cancer...yet i do more exercise now but back then the weight was just dropping off me!

  • stress is making me lose weight at the mo
  • LozF - he's 15 months; walking / fast waddling.  as for talking, all we have so far is tractor (for anything with wheels, including a tractor); moo (for anything with 4 legs); and duck (for anything with 2 legs and wings).  still, that covers most of his basic requirements.  anything else can be achieved with a judicious point of the finger and a grunt!

    glad to hear you are happy.  they do say that by raising your base metabolic rate, you can make more of a significance to your weight loss than upping the CV exercise you do. (generally this is about putting on muscle because muscle burns more calories even when you are resting). so if you are up and about on your feet more, moving around and carrying baby a lot, then you are probably burning up more calories on average throughout the week than if you had been more sedentary and gone for a few plods.  and if you are more toned because of being up and about and a bit more muscular, that could account for it.

    or i could be spouting rubbish as usual.

  • kk

    work and life

    I think Caramel has got this spot on

  • From a bloke perspective, sress certainly made me loose a few kgs earlier this year.  mainly down to not eating properly I think and being more fidgity.  I had to back into training again just to make myself eat properly.  Put that couple of kg back on in training for Berlin. 

  • If stressed I eat c@rp to compensate and cheer me up so no it doesn't help me...
  • An overactive thyroid can cause weight loss ?

    After pregnancy your thyroid can go a bit do lally  ?  Worth a check? 

  • Thanks Mrs Pig, but my thyroid was checked earlier in the year, as I hadn't lost any pregnancy weight! LOL! As you can tell, I seem to have very little control over my weight!

     Thanks all - I definitely think it's a combination of stress and more mobility.

  • I trained for Leicester Marathon and never lost an ounce.

    Met Rob on 1st Sept, engaged on 17th Sept, buying a house together (offer accepted and hopefully moving in Jan), wedding arrangements underway and booked for 19th April 2008.....lost a stone in weight!!!!

    Yep, stress makes you lose weight! lol!

    (Contentment makes me put it on so I'd better watch out after April! lol!)

  • I find that increasing exercise just makes my muscles more defined but weight stays neutral. However. a big dose of stress and the weight drops off no matter what I do or eat!
  • absolutely - stress up, weight down - and I eat all the time!
  • for some stress up weight up -especially round the middle -due to all that cortisol that circulates -maybe why stress is linked with heart disease
  • If it is emotional stress I don't eat and lose weight.  If it is work stress I just keep eating and gain weight.  Depends on the type of stress. 
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