Heartbreak can have a devastating effect on your health and particularly your weight. You can either gain or lose weight when suffering from a broken heart, and neither will be beneficial for your body.
Emotional Devastation Can Lead to Depression
Feeling unhappy every so often is normal and typically unavoidable. However, when an emotionally devastating issue such as heartbreak occurs, your body may go into a state of depression, which is a medical state that can affect your daily life. Depression can cause difficulty sleeping, loss of interest in daily activities, poor performance at work, thoughts of suicide, loss of energy, fatigue, digestive disorders, headaches and general feelings of worthlessness. It can also increase your risk of serious health disorders, such as heart disease and stroke. Most applicably to your weight, it can cause you to have a loss in appetite or a drive to overeat.
Depression and Weight Gain
There are two factors of depression resulting from heartbreak that are especially pertinent to gaining weight. The first is a general lack of energy and lack of interest in activities. This can cause you to limit your physical activity and succumb to feelings of fatigue. The less you work out, the greater your risk of gaining weight.
The second factor is that you may turn to eating as a way to feel quick, short-term relief from your suffering. Some people with broken hearts compensate for their feelings of depression by overeating and indulging in unhealthy foods. Sweets can release endorphins that can boost your mood temporarily. Once the boosted mood wears off, you may turn again to unhealthy foods to feel a short burst of endorphins.
Depression and Weight Loss
Conversely, heartbreak can cause weight loss, too. You may brush this off, especially if you were already attempting to lose a few pounds before you suffered from a broken heart, but losing weight through depression is unhealthy and not good for your body in the long run. When depressed, your lack of energy and fatigue may make you unable to handle even simple daily tasks, such as eating. You may experience a loss of appetite and feel nauseous when you try eating even small amounts of foods. Therefore, you prefer not eating much or eat very little. This is unhealthy, as you need proper nutrition to keep your body functioning normally.
Or, somewhat like those who react by overeating, it’s possible you may feel the need to overexercise to feel a small rush of feel-good endorphins. When the endorphins wear off, you keep exercising so you can feel good again. However, you may be exercising too much, stimulating your body when you’re not boosting your energy with enough nutrition from food and causing you to drop weight at a dangerously fast pace.
If you think you may be suffering from weight loss or gain due to heartbreak, consider seeing a counselor to help you work through your issues. While you may not be able to feel better overnight, you can work on making yourself feel better step by step so that over time you can achieve a healthier weight.