A: Losing weight (and gaining weight) is a very common symptom of anxiety. I personally lost over a stone in four weeks, because, like you, I struggled to eat due to stress and anxiety.
Let's focus on what’s important: getting you eating again. Forget about your weight for now - the only thing that matters is getting you back to a place where you want to eat again. When you’re at this stage, you’ll naturally get back to a comfortable weight.
It’s important to get you eating again because food is fuel, and fuel is energy. You can’t do anything without energy, and even the healthiest of mind will struggle to cope with anxiety and stress if energy levels are too low. The only way to get your energy levels back up to where they need to be is by eating properly, which will give your mind and body the fuel it needs to deal with your excessive stress and anxiety.
I know at times, particularly when you feel sick, anxious, and depressed, eating is probably the last thing you want to do, so I have a solution for you: Protein Shakes.
When I couldn’t stomach food, or even look at it due to feeling anxious and depressed, I stopped my weight loss and increased my energy by drinking protein shakes. They’re not just made for vein-popping weightlifters – it’s a big market, and some are made as diet supplements / replacements.
It’s not a long-term solution, and eating should always be your goal. If you can eat anything, you should eat fruit and vegetables (because there isn’t any substitute for them). If you’re really struggling to eat, protein shakes will help give you the boost of energy you need to get you back to the stage where you want to eat again and give you the fuel you need to overcome your anxiety.
Action for Change
Go online / to your local supermarket and look for protein shakes designed as meal replacement / supplements. Find a flavour you like and have a protein shake at times in the day you normally eat (breakfast / lunch / dinner). If you can stomach any food make sure it’s fresh and healthy, including fruit and vegetables.
Remember: this is only a very short-term option, and you should only use protein shakes to get you through the very low periods (when you can’t stomach or look at food).
Given a little time, when your energy levels are up (which will naturally boost your mood), you will start eating properly again. And when you start eating properly again, you’ll be ready to face and overcome your high anxiety.
ABOUT CARL VERNON
Carl Vernon is a best-selling author & speaker, talking and writing about all things anxiety, stress, success & wellbeing.