Had a good cry recently? Crying is a normal response to experiencing intense emotions.
It’s often associated with feelings of sadness, but you can also shed tears when you’re overwhelmed with joy or gratitude, feel pain, or have a hearty laugh.
Whatever the reason, can crying burn calories?
The short answer is yes.
Crying Burns Calories — Even though the effect is minimal, you’ll want to burn more calories by doing a few jumping jacks or climbing stairs without closing your eyes.
Still, any activity that gets your heart rate up — yes, even crying — will actually burn calories.
How many calories does crying burn?
There is little research on the calorie burn of crying, but there is one study on laughing that may provide some insight.
According to studies, laughing burns 0.79 kilojoules per minute — or less than 0.2 calories per minute, explains Robert Ziltzer, MD, FACP, FAAP, an obesity medicine-certified physician and founder of the Scottsdale Weight Loss Center in Scottsdale. Arizona.
This means that a five-minute laughing session will burn an extra calorie. This is estimated to be similar to burning calories from crying.
Can crying help you lose weight?
Running waterworks won’t help you lose any noticeable weight, as it only burns 12 calories per hour.
“It’s rarely enough to lose weight,” Ziltzer says. You’ll burn more calories sitting on a Zoom call for work.
In fact, if you’re straining the teardrop regularly, it can actually contribute to weight gain for a number of reasons, Ziltzer adds.
Stress triggers the production of cortisol, which is linked to increased belly fat storage, Ziltzer says.
When we’re stressed, we also tend to sleep poorly, and we have reduced willpower to resist tempting behaviors. Stress can be self-soothing with our food.
Bottom line: No one should aim to shed pounds with tears in their eyes.
What causes us to cry?
Although some animals exhibit vocalizations during distress, the production of tears during crying is a uniquely human trait.
Research on crying is surprisingly limited, but it is believed that “tearful crying facilitates social connection.”
People usually cry at important moments in life, including both positive events (marriage, birth of a child) and negative events (death, loss).
But we can also cry in relatively common situations like arguments, minor frustrations, movies, and commercials.
Crying is not necessarily bad and can even give us some benefits. Research suggests that prolonged crying can release oxytocin, a stress-relieving hormone.
And in a 2008 study, psychologists analyzed 3,000 crying experiences and found that most people reported that their mood improved after a good sobfest.
Those who received support from others while crying were more likely to have improved mood afterward.
Can you cry too much?
It depends. While crying itself is not problematic, it is important to consider the underlying cause.
If you are binge-watching Gray’s Anatomy, by all means, cry away. If stress is to blame, practicing some stress management techniques can help calm your mind (and your tear ducts).
If you find yourself shedding tears regularly because of sadness, or if you’ve recently been crying more than usual, this could possibly be a sign of depression or anxiety, and you may want to contact your doctor or mental health professional.