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Metabolic Stress: What Can Be the Cause?

Metabolic Stress

  • occurs when there is an imbalance in the body, usually caused by a decreased amount of glucose
  • When enough glucose is not present, the body slows metabolism which makes losing weight harder
  • Insulin resistance also increases as a result of metabolic stress as the body tries to make due with what is available


Metabolic stress is one of those hidden defeaters that can cause even the most serious person trying to lose weight to hit a brick wall in their efforts. Most people don’t know what it is or what causes it. But they, unfortunately, experience its damage.

What is Metabolic Stress?

Sometimes known as , metabolic stress is a condition in which your metabolism goes into a kind of shock or fright which is often related to starvation. When there is an imbalance in your metabolism over a prolonged period of time, you can develop metabolic syndrome.

The Effects of the Condition

When you have this syndrome, you are likely to experience some serious health problems. You might have trouble sleeping or reduced energy. You’re also likely to see a dramatic increase in your blood sugar levels which is explained by part of the cause of the problem.

The Cause of Metabolic Stress

The reason the condition is called weight loss stress is because it is often triggered by a reduction in glucose in the body. This happens when someone is starving but also when they are trying to lose weight by reducing their carbohydrate intake. Because the body worries that the food shortage is going to be long-lasting, it takes action and starts requiring less energy to work. The result is that less glucose is needed by the cells and so insulin resistance kicks in, as well.

Insulin resistance causes the body to respond less effectively to the insulin so more is needed to open the cells so they can use the glucose that is present in the body. Over time, that means you’re going to end up with higher blood sugar levels, especially if you slip off your diet temporarily.

Weight Loss & Metabolic Stress

The reason metabolic stress is dangerous for weight loss attempts is because the imbalance leads to two problems which are compounded by one another to create a vicious cycle that prevents you from effectively dropping the pounds.

First, the metabolism slows down in response to the perceived starvation. That means fewer calories are needed to keep the body running and the rest is converted into fat to be stored in the body for later on. If you’re not able to burn up enough calories, you won’t drop any pounds.

Weight Loss StressSecond, as mentioned above, the condition tends to cause a reduction in energy, usually because of the slowed metabolism and the reduced use of the glucose, which is the body’s primary source of energy. Because you have no energy, exercising which could increase your metabolism and cause you to burn off additional calories is not possible.

The consequences are that you end up not losing weight. If you continue to cut back on how much you’re eating, the problem will only get worse because the body will have to continue responding to the perceived starvation.

Breaking the Chain

The best way to avoid weight loss stress is to slowly cut down on your calories and to maintain a balanced diet as you are trying to drop the pounds. By taking this approach, you can prevent triggering metabolic stress.

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The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.

14 Responses to “Metabolic Stress: What Can Be the Cause?”

  1. 1
    Willard Says:
    Metabolic stress is one of the worse things for anyone to have. Losing weight is so hard to do and having this kind of stress just sucks!
  2. 2
    Sylvia Says:
    I think that there are a lot of ways to lose weight but I had no idea that metabolic stress had anything to do with it! Metabolic stress is terrible!
  3. 3
    Tanya Says:
    Are there any other causes for metabolic stress besides the ones mentioned here? And are there any other symptoms to it? I have some but not all, so I'm curious.
  4. 4
    Evan Says:
    So, what I'm gathering from this is that giving into metabolic stress and letting it consume you can actually lead to use gaining weight while trying to lose it. Is that about right?
  5. 5
    Roxy Says:
    Metabolic stress is one of those things that not that many people know about, really, I had no idea about it until I read this article. I appreciate everything in this article and just how much information you have on metabolic stress!
  6. 6
    Sylvie Says:
    One thing people need to remember too is that diet pills may not be the best option by any means. This is especially true if you are trying to avoid metabolic stress.
  7. 7
    Michael Says:
    I really thought that it was only me that experienced metabolic stress. Apparently, I was wrong! Thanks for the comments, this was very enlightening!
  8. 8
    Brian Says:
    I think that everyone get frustrated about losing weight and really, metabolic stress is very common. If you are starving yourself, you need to stop and get yourself on a good diet.
  9. 9
    Michelle Says:
    Can increased glucose cause irritability and mood swings as well? I'm concerned whether this is the case or whether I'm just getting way too frustrated while trying to lose weight.
  10. 10
    Ben Says:
    Could weight loss stress also exacerbate feelings of failure when you can some weight back or plateau? I've noticed myself getting depressed when that happens, even though I logically know that it's a simple setback.
  11. 11
    Sally Says:
    This is why it is so important to never try to lose weight without pairing a healthy, nutritious diet and exercise together. One won't work without the other!
  12. 12
    Quint Says:
    Metabolic Stress is one of those things that can definitely cause you not to lose weight. This article is jam-packed with information on Metabolic Stress and how to help it!
  13. 13
    Fran Says:
    Although losing weight can be extremely difficult, there are many different ways that you can do it! Seriously though ... getting a good diet, eating right and exercising regularly are all things that will help you lose weight!
  14. 14
    Taylor Says:
    It is pretty obvious that losing weight is going to be difficult. There is really no easy way to lose weight, but you definitely do have to be motivated and stick to a plan!