How Depression Can Interfere with Weight Loss
Depression and excess weight often go hand in hand. Depression is attributed to a chemical imbalance in the brain, and this chemical imbalance can often be caused by hormonal fluctuations, dietary habits and lifestyle habits.
Untreated depression can easily result in weight gain because depression typically makes you feel lethargic, unmotivated, and resistant to proper self-care. However, even when depression is treated with medication challenges can result because weight gain is a common side-effect of some depression medications.
Despite these challenges, there are many things you can do to make weight loss easier, even if you are being treated for depression. (Important note: if you suspect you are suffering from depression and are not yet being treated, it’s important to make that your first step!)
Once under the care of a qualified physician, you can begin making other changes like these:
Clean up your diet.
Studies have shown that there is clear connection between certain foods and brain chemistry. Highly processed and refined foods cause mood swings and severely fluctuating energy levels, which can adversely affect your sense of well-being. Eliminating sugar, caffeine, and white flour from your diet can have a beneficial effect on your moods and energy levels. Eating mostly whole, natural foods and drinking plenty of water helps your body chemistry to come back into balance.
Daily exercise can be incredibly helpful in boosting your energy and mood. Exercise floods your body with endorphins, strengthens self-confidence, and encourages a strong sense of balance and well-being. Exercising may be the last thing you want to do when you’re depressed, but it’s important to push yourself to do it anyway because the benefits are so powerful. You don’t even have to workout strenuously – just a brisk walk or some light weight training exercises can help you release tension and feel good.
See: How to Lose Weight Fast With Exercise
You may also find it helpful to see a therapist or psychologist once or twice a week. He or she can help you work through life challenges, old traumas, and phobias that could be contributing to your depression. Most insurance coverage includes mental health care – but even if yours doesn’t you may be able to find a therapist who is affordable and works on a sliding fee scale.
The most important thing is to not lose hope just because you are struggling with depression. Losing weight and maintaining it IS possible for you, even if you have to be a little more patient along the way.