Weight Loss and Relief of Depression Go Hand in Hand

Filed under: Mind/Body/Food Connection

Weight loss is a personal transformation, and it involves more than just physical changes. We often say that if you really want to lose weight and keep it off, taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally is important, too.

happy coupleYou have probably noticed that the symptoms of depression, such as lack of energy, sleep disruptions, low motivation, and food cravings, can contribute to weight gain. After all, when you don’t feel good emotionally, you’re not as likely to take care of yourself physically. Oddly enough, we’ve also learned that the opposite is true; as people lose weight they usually begin to feel better emotionally.

It’s quite a conundrum, isn’t it? You don’t feel good, so you have a hard time losing weight. But when you have a hard time losing weight, you feel bad about it. It can be a difficult cycle to break!

Hopefully it will motivate you to know that medical research* has acknowledged this link between weight and depression. As people lose weight, their symptoms of depression tend to lift. Science has yet to nail down the specific reasons this happens, but the link is likely due to the following factors.

You’ve addressed the emotional reasons behind your current weight. In order to drop pounds and keep them off, it’s best to discover what you’ve been feeding all this time. It might be low self esteem, a history of abuse that you’re attempting to “heal” with food, or some other deep emotional scarring. The point is, these things are also linked to depression. When you address these underlying emotional scars and begin to heal them, you can lose weight and relieve your depression.

You’re exercising. Exercise releases endorphins, chemicals in your brain which produce feelings of well-being and happiness. If you’re exercising regularly, you’re fighting depression in the most natural way possible.

You’re following a better diet. A healthy diet prevents sudden highs and lows in your blood sugar, which has a profound effect on leveling out your mood. Proper hydration even fights depression by boosting your energy levels.

You’re celebrating milestones. As you lose weight, it’s important to acknowledge your success as a series of smaller goals. You deserve to feel pride in your accomplishments, and doing this will promote a healthier self esteem and fuel your motivation to keep going!

*Fabricatore AN, Wadden TA, Higginbotham AJ, Faulconbridge LF, Nguyen AM, Heymsfield SB, & Faith MS (2011). Intentional weight loss and changes in symptoms of depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International journal of obesity (2005)

*Statements made about any products referenced on this website, and/or in any GIATrim presentation(s) or literature have not been evaluated by any governmental agencies. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure or prevent any disease. Naturally, results will vary, as actual weight loss varies by individual, their diet, and their exercise regimen. Any testimonials/success stories given reflect the actual experience of each individual, are anecdotal only, and may be atypical.