Herrin Pediatric Clinic

Losing Unwanted Weight: Does Crying Burn Fat?

Crying is something that happens naturally to the body due to a lot of reasons. But can crying help people burn away fat and lose unwanted weight? We will look at the benefits of crying, and how it might help people lose weight.

Does crying make you lose weight?

Crying is a natural reaction of your body to intense emotion. Some people cry easily, while others do not cry frequently. When you cry as a result of overwhelming emotions, you are producing “psychic tears,” which turn your psychological response into a physical one.

Your psychic tears have an effect on your brain signals, hormones, and even metabolic processes. Researchers have recently become interested in seeing if those effects have broader, long-term effects on your body after you cry.

Because crying burns calories, releases toxins, and balances hormones, some people believe that crying frequently can help you lose weight. Continue reading to learn what scientists know about whether crying can cause weight loss.

How many calories does crying burn?

Common causes of frequent crying include grieving a loss, going through a breakup, and experiencing depression symptoms. When you are experiencing intense emotion, you may notice weight loss that appears to be related. Weight loss caused by grief and depression is more likely to be associated with a loss of appetite than crying.

While crying does burn calories, you’d have to cry for hours, if not days, to burn the same amount as a single brisk walk. According to one study, crying burns roughly the same amount of calories as laughing – 1.3 calories per minute. That means you’re burning 26 more calories per 20-minute sob session than you would have without the tears. It isn’t much.

Is crying good for your health

Is crying good for your health?

Crying may not be a high-calorie-burning activity, but the release of psychic tears has other health benefits. Some of these crying health benefits may even help balance hormones and trigger your metabolism, assisting with weight loss. Some of the physical benefits of crying include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • More oxygen in your bloodstream
  • Increased release of growth hormones and stress hormones, resulting in a reduction of inflammation and pain

 Crying relieves stress

Researchers have discovered that the act of crying does serve to stabilize your mood and release stress from your body. Crying is typically accompanied by feelings of loss, separation, or helplessness, which cause your body to go into high alert.

Crying may have evolved as a mechanism for humans to restore calm to their bodies and minds. This theory is supported by the fact that stressed animals cry (though not with tears). This is likely due to the psychosomatic effects of the stress hormone cortisol, which may reduce the activity of many bodily functions and thereby cause pain, fatigue, hunger and irritability.

Crying detoxifies the body

Your body is constantly producing tears to protect your eyes from irritation and to keep them lubricated. When you cry out of emotion, your tears contain an extra ingredient: cortisol, a stress hormone. When you cry for a long time, you may be flushing out stressors. Cortisol regulation can help you lose stubborn fat around your midsection while also making you feel less stressed.

Crying helps you recover from grief and pain

When you cry for a long time, your body produces hormones such as oxytocin and endorphins. These natural chemicals provide your brain with the “soothing” and “empty” sensation that occurs after crying. These hormones are associated with relief, love, and happiness, and they can assist you in coping with the intense emotions associated with grief and loss.

These hormones not only dull psychological pain, but they can also dull physical pain. This could be why your body triggers the crying reflex when you are physically hurt.

When to seek help if you think you cry too much or too often

When to seek help if you think you cry too much or too often

There is nothing wrong with crying from time to time. It is normal to cry every day for weeks or even months after experiencing a traumatic event. Some people cry more easily than others and will cry on a regular basis throughout their lives.

Having said that, you might be concerned about how much you’ve been crying. Crying more than usual can be a sign of depression or other mental health issues. Crying uncontrollably or crying over insignificant things throughout the day may also have a negative impact on your life and choices.

Even if you do not believe you have depression or do not wish to take medication, you should still take care of your mental health. Contact a doctor or a mental health provider to discuss your symptoms and develop a treatment plan for your frequent crying.

You should also learn about the symptoms of depression. Everyone’s experience of depression is unique, but common symptoms include:

  • appetite loss and/or rapid weight loss
  • apathy toward daily activities
  • Changes in your sleep routine or insomnia
  • desire to self-harm or a new impulsive behavior pattern
  • a lack of interest in future planning and relationship maintenance
  • fatigue/exhaustion
  • concentrating difficulties


Crying burns calories, but not in sufficient quantities to cause significant weight loss. According to research, watching a sad movie or working to cause a crying fit will not replace your workout.

Crying, on the other hand, serves an important purpose, and “a good cry” every now and then can have health benefits such as stress relief. If you find yourself crying a lot as a result of grief, loss, or depression, talk to a mental health professional about possible treatments.