How Many Calories Does Anxiety Burn: Facts and Insights

Discover how many calories does anxiety burn and its effects on metabolism. Explore the connection between anxiety and calorie burn. Have you ever wondered how anxiety affects your body?

Anxiety can have a significant impact on various bodily functions, including your metabolism and energy expenditure. In this article, we will explore the connection between anxiety and calorie burn, including the caloric impact of anxiety attacks and the relationship between anxiety and weight loss.

Key Takeaways:

  • Anxiety can impact your metabolism and energy expenditure.
  • Anxiety attacks can lead to an increase in calorie burn due to physiological responses such as increased heart and breathing rates.
  • Anxiety can also affect appetite regulation and lead to changes in calorie consumption.
  • Some individuals may experience weight loss due to anxiety.
  • Techniques for managing anxiety, such as exercise and therapy, can influence overall caloric expenditure.

Understanding Anxiety and its Effects on the Body

Before delving into how anxiety affects calorie burn, it’s crucial to comprehend anxiety and its impact on the body. Anxiety is a natural stress response, which can manifest both physiologically and psychologically.

Physiological Impact

Physiologically, anxiety can trigger the release of stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones signal the body’s “fight or flight” response, leading to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. As a result, our respiratory system has to work harder, causing an increase in energy expenditure.

Physiological Effects of AnxietyCaloric Impact
Increase in heart rateHigher energy expenditure
Rapid breathingElevated calorie burn
Increase in blood pressureHigher energy consumption

Psychological Impact

Psychologically, anxiety can result in various behaviors, including reduced physical activity, overeating, and decreased sleep quality. All these behaviors can impact your metabolism and affect your calorie burn.

  • Reduced physical activity lowers overall energy expenditure
  • Overeating can lead to excessive calorie consumption
  • Decreased sleep quality affects metabolism and energy regulation

The psychological impact of anxiety can vary from person to person, and the extent of its impact on metabolic rate can depend on several factors, including age, weight, and sex.

Role in Energy Expenditure

The link between anxiety and energy expenditure is multifaceted. While anxiety can trigger an increase in energy usage through physiological responses such as increased heart rate, it can also lead to behaviors that lower energy expenditure, such as decreased physical activity. Thus, understanding the complex relationship between anxiety and energy expenditure is crucial in comprehending the link between anxiety and calorie burn.

Next, we will explore the metabolic effects of stress in detail.

The Metabolic Effects of Stress

Stress can have a significant impact on our metabolic rate, including increased calorie burn. Anxiety, as a form of stress, can cause the release of hormones such as cortisol, which can affect metabolism.

The stress response triggers the release of adrenaline, which can lead to an increase in heart rate and energy expenditure. This increase in energy expenditure can result in higher calorie burn during times of stress and anxiety.

In addition to the short-term effects on metabolism, chronic stress can also lead to long-term changes in metabolic rate. Prolonged exposure to stress hormones such as cortisol can result in a decrease in metabolic rate, potentially contributing to weight gain over time.

Overall, the relationship between anxiety, stress, and metabolism is complex and multifaceted. While acute stress and anxiety can lead to increased calorie burn, chronic stress can have the opposite effect. Understanding the mechanisms behind this relationship can provide valuable insight into managing anxiety-related weight changes and promoting overall well-being.

Caloric Impact of Anxiety Attacks

Anxiety attacks can be a distressing experience, but did you know that they can also have an impact on your calorie burn?

During an anxiety attack, your body goes into a state of hyperarousal, resulting in an increase in heart rate and breathing rate. These physiological responses can cause a temporary increase in calorie burn.

Factors that Contribute to Caloric Expenditure During Anxiety Attacks
Intensity: more severe anxiety attacks can lead to a greater increase in calorie burn.
Duration: longer anxiety attacks can result in a sustained increase in calorie burn.
Frequency: individuals who experience recurrent anxiety attacks may have a higher overall baseline calorie burn due to the cumulative effects of repeated episodes.

It’s important to note that while anxiety attacks may increase calorie burn, this effect is temporary and may not have a significant impact on overall weight management or calorie balance.

Nevertheless, managing anxiety through therapy, stress reduction techniques, and exercise can have a positive impact on overall well-being and may indirectly influence calorie burn over time.

Anxiety-Related Calorie Consumption

Anxiety can lead to changes in calorie consumption through emotional eating and appetite regulation. Emotional eating involves consuming food as a coping mechanism in response to stress or anxiety, often resulting in excessive calorie intake. In contrast, anxiety can also lead to a decreased appetite and calorie intake in some individuals.

Research suggests that anxiety-induced changes in eating behaviors can have a significant impact on overall calorie balance and weight management. In one study, individuals with higher levels of anxiety reported greater food cravings and intake of high-fat and high-sugar foods, resulting in higher calorie intake and weight gain over time.

Additionally, anxiety can affect appetite sensations, leading to a decreased desire to eat or increased feelings of fullness in some individuals. This can result in a negative energy balance and weight loss over time.

To manage anxiety-related changes in calorie consumption, it’s important to develop healthy coping mechanisms and engage in mindful eating practices. Strategies such as regular exercise, stress management techniques, and seeking support from a mental health professional can also be effective in reducing anxiety levels and promoting healthy eating habits.

Anxiety, Weight Loss, and Metabolism

It’s not uncommon for anxiety to result in weight loss, with some individuals experiencing a drastic reduction in their body weight due to their anxiety levels. However, the precise relationship between anxiety, weight loss, and metabolism is complex and not yet fully understood.

One possible mechanism behind anxiety-induced weight loss is the impact of stress on metabolism. Anxiety triggers the release of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can lead to changes in the body’s metabolic rate. High levels of stress hormones can increase the breakdown of fat and muscle tissues for energy, resulting in rapid weight loss.

Another factor to consider is the impact of anxiety on appetite regulation. Anxiety can disrupt the body’s natural hunger signals, leading to changes in eating patterns and calorie consumption. Some individuals may experience a reduction in appetite due to anxiety, leading to decreased calorie consumption and subsequent weight loss. Others may turn to food for comfort during times of stress, leading to emotional eating and weight gain.

It’s important to note that anxiety-induced weight loss can have negative implications for overall health and well-being. Rapid weight loss can lead to muscle loss and nutrient deficiencies, while persistent anxiety can have a negative impact on mental health.

The connection between anxiety, weight loss, and metabolism is complex and requires further research. Managing anxiety levels through techniques such as exercise, relaxation, and therapy may help to promote more sustainable weight loss and overall well-being.

Managing Anxiety and Its Impact on Calorie Burn

Managing anxiety can have a significant impact on overall calorie burn, particularly for those experiencing anxiety-induced weight loss. By implementing certain techniques, individuals may be able to reduce anxiety levels and increase their caloric expenditure.


Regular exercise can help reduce anxiety levels while also burning calories. Cardiovascular exercises, such as running or cycling, have been shown to be particularly effective in reducing anxiety symptoms. Additionally, strength training can help increase muscle mass, which in turn can lead to a higher metabolism and increased calorie burn over time.

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, can also be effective in reducing anxiety levels. These practices can help calm the mind and promote feelings of relaxation, leading to a decrease in stress hormones and an increase in overall well-being.


For individuals dealing with severe anxiety, seeking the help of a therapist can be an effective strategy for managing symptoms. A therapist can help identify triggers and develop coping mechanisms, leading to a reduction in anxiety levels and an overall improvement in mental health.

By implementing these techniques, individuals experiencing anxiety-induced weight loss may be able to increase their caloric expenditure and maintain a healthy weight.

Conclusion: How Many Calories Does Anxiety Burn

Understanding the impact of anxiety on our bodies, including how anxiety affects calorie burning and metabolism, is crucial in managing not only our weight but also our overall well-being. Stressful situations can significantly impact our physiological and psychological well-being, leading to long-term health consequences.

By becoming more aware of anxiety’s effect on our bodies, we can work towards managing our stress levels effectively. This can be achieved through techniques such as exercise, relaxation, and therapy, which can help reduce anxiety levels and promote overall health and well-being.

In conclusion, while anxiety can negatively impact our bodies in many ways, we have the power to manage the effects of anxiety and promote a healthy lifestyle. With a better understanding of anxiety’s impact on calorie burning and metabolism, we can make informed decisions about our mental and physical health.

So let’s take control of our anxiety levels and work towards a healthier lifestyle!