You’re Feeling Anxious Stressed Or Depressed
Nutritionist Sarah Walford, who runs the NW3 Nutrition clinic in London, explains: “Stress is a two-fold process. Some people feel so anxious they can’t eat others tend to binge eat. When you feel stressed, your body releases cortisol in an attempt to free up sugar into your bloodstream. If you then can’t burn off that sugar it gets converted to fatty acids, which makes you put on weight. That kind of weight gain is often around the abdomen rather than the arms or legs.”
You know that guy in the office with a really big belly but skinny arms and legs? Think stress.
Scientists have also found a potential link between carbohydrates and serotonin, the hormone that helps to regulate our moods. There is a theory that, without realising it, by eating carbohydrates we are attempting to boost our serotonin levels when we feel depressed. Hence why we love ‘comfort food’ when we’re feeling down: pizza, mashed potato, toast! But of course, all that carbohydrate can make you put on weight.
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Is Overeating A Symptom Of Depression
Yes. overeating can be a symptom of depression because the effects of a high-fat diet overlap with the side effects of chronic stress and this, in turn, causes depression together. This is the reason why overeating, especially high-fat low nutrient food items that people tend to binge on, causes depression.
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Where Do I Go From Here
In addition to talking to your family doctor, check out the resources below for more information about eating disorders:
Jessie’s Legacy Program, a program of Family Services of the North Shore
Visit www.jessieslegacy.com or call 604-988-5281 ext. 349 or email to contact Jessie’s Legacy. Jessie’s Legacy provides eating disorders prevention education, resources and support for BC youth, families, educators and professionals.
Kelty Eating Disorders
Contact Kelty Eating Disorders at keltyeatingdisorders.ca or 1-800-665-1822 or 604-875-2084 for information, support, and a BC-based program locater for children, youth and their families. Kelty Eating Disorders is a program of Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre.
BC Partners for Mental Health and Substance Use Information
Visit www.heretohelp.bc.ca for the Managing Mental Illnesses series of info sheets, a screening self-test for body image, activities, workbooks, and personal stories about eating disorders and other mental health problems.
Call 811 or visit www.healthlinkbc.ca to access free, non-emergency health information for anyone in your family, including mental health information. Through 811, you can also speak to a registered nurse about symptoms you’re worried about, talk with a pharmacist about medication questions, or talk to a registered dietician about healthy eating, food or nutrition.
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Preliminary Analyses: Descriptive Statistics And Factor Analyses
Means and standard deviations, broken down by school and sex of participant are summarized in Table 1. Correlations among the objective and subjective measures of weight, body mass, body fat, and body shape at Wave 1 appear in Table 2. All correlations were relatively large, ranging from .53 to .93. Factor analysis of these measures revealed a single strong factor with loadings ranging from 0.72 to 0.99 , suggesting further evidence of a shared component between the variables. When we used these same measures to estimate change, however, a more complicated pattern arose. Table 3 contains correlations among change estimations based on these same eight physical measures. These correlations ranged from .04 to .87 . Oblique principal axis factor analysis revealed two factors . As shown on the right side of Table 3, the four objective measures loaded onto the first factor, the self-report measures of weight and BMI loaded onto the second factor, and the two SABS measures of change did not load onto either factor. The large disparities among these measures of change should be kept in mind throughout the following tests of our hypotheses.
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Results Of The Weight Loss Study
According to both the PLOS report and a press release on the ScienceDaily website, the results of the study showed a positive correlation between physical health and weight loss, but a negative correlation between mental health and weight loss:
- Before adjusting for serious health issues and major life events such as bereavement, which can cause both weight loss and depressed mood, the people who lost weight were 78% more likely to report depressed mood.
- After controlling for these, the increased odds of depressed mood remained significant at 52%
- The proportion of participants with depressed mood increased more in the weight loss than weight stable or weight gain groups .
- The proportion with low wellbeing also increased more in the weight loss group , but the difference was not statistically significant .
- Hypertension and high triglyceride prevalence decreased in weight losers and increased in weight gainers .
- All effects persisted in analyses adjusting for illness and life stress during the weight loss period.
In an , Melissa Dahl noted that the mental health challenges related to weight loss may be a result of both frustration with setbacks and unrealistic expectations of the entire experience.
The Strain On Your Finances
No one ever thinks of losing weight as an investment. Diet pills and supplements for weight loss are not cheap. On average, the United States population spends $2 billion on nutritional supplements and vitamins each year. And this is specifically for weight loss supplements.
This may be a source of stress that leads to depression. The worst thing about buying weight-cutting supplements is that most diet brands sell them at hefty prices. And you will require months-worth of supply to get to your goal. This means that you commit to spending a couple of thousands of dollars.
Billy, a preschool teacher, has been affected by this predicament. Over three years, when Billy looked through his financial statements, he found that he had spent a whopping $20 000 on cutting supplements for weight loss.
He declares, The first purchase was never a problem it was the subsequent purchases that hooked me. I was desperate to meet a few pounds, so I purchased anything that promised to do so.
Reality hit me when I took out a loan to keep buying these supplements, and this led to financial strain, and my depression and anxiety got worse, he continues.
Billys willingness to go above and beyond his means to lose weight demonstrated that weight loss is costly. And the sad part is that he isnt the only one who has struggled financially as a result of his weight loss. Hes just one of the many.
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Obesity And Depression Link
Research suggests that obesity and depression are related to each other.
Some say that obese individuals face an increased risk of depression and vice versa depression is a risk factor for obesity.
For example, a 2009 study from the University of Alabama concluded that depression contributes to weight gain faster in depressed people than people who do not suffer from depression.¹
But that study still does not prove depression is the cause of obesity.
Because there are antidepressants that increase your appetite, your weight gain could result from antidepressant medication, not the fact that you are depressed.
Other research reported by the Mayo Clinic suggests that a low-quality diet centered on processed foods is more common in people relating signs of depression.²
So, whether overweight is a side effect of clinical depression or depression is a side effect of obesity is not clear.
What is painfully evident is that you are sick and tired of being, feeling, and appearing fat and depressed to yourself and others.
Therefore, the most crucial question is, how can you relieve your depressive symptoms and achieve a healthy body mass index simultaneously?
Therefore, the most crucial question is, can you do something right now, starting today, to help yourself?
As Cody says in the video below can you own it?
Tips To Stop Depression From Causing Weight Gain
If you suffer from depression and are trying to shed excess pounds, treatment should address both of those problems. Here are a few tips to make sure your mental state doesnt get in the way of your weight loss efforts:
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Your Expectations Are Unrealistic
Weight loss is generally a slow process. Many people lose patience before reaching their goal.
Although it is often possible to lose weight fast in the beginning, few people can continue to lose weight at a rate of more than 12 pounds per week.
Another challenge can be having unrealistic expectations of what is achievable with a nutrient-dense diet and exercise.
The truth is, not everyone will be able to look like a fitness model or bodybuilder, and thats OK. The photos you see in magazines and other places are often enhanced.
If you have already lost some weight, but the scale doesnt seem to want to budge any further, perhaps trying to redirect your focus to accepting your body the way it is your next goal.
At some point, your weight will reach a set point where your body feels comfortable. Trying to go beyond that may not be worth the effort or realistic, and may even have potentially negative effects on your health.
Peoples expectations are sometimes unrealistic when it comes to weight loss. Keep in mind that losing weight takes time and not everyone will look like a fitness model. Focus on developing an individualized weight loss plan and goal based on your needs.
Why Antidepressants Affect Weight
One reason antidepressants can cause changes in weight is that some of these medicines impact appetite pathways. Antidepressants that cause weight loss may do so by causing your appetite to decrease. Those that cause weight gain may stimulate the appetite instead.
Depression itself can also affect your activity levels, food choices, and sleep habitsall of which affect weight. So, as the medication begins to reduce feelings of depression, these behaviors can also change. As these behaviors change, you may find that you gain or lose weight.
Your family history may even impact whether your weight will change while taking an antidepressant. For instance, one study found that a family history of obesity helps predict weight gain when taking this type of drug.
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You’re Into The Coffee Shop Culture
Do you remember when coffee meant instant granules with hot water? Now everywhere you go there’s a million choices. These coffees or hot chocolates may taste nice and make you feel good but they aren’t a great choice if you’re trying to lose weight.
Walford suggests you watch the milk: “Many white coffees or hot chocolates from cafes have much more milk in than you would put in yourself at home.”
And of course, coffee shop ‘mixed drinks’ like a mocha or blended ice-coffee tend to have a lot of sugar in too. Trying to lose weight, but love your coffee? Try black, no sugar.
When To Seek Help
It’s vital that if you experience persistent negative thoughts about your body, you seek the help of a qualified mental health specialist. Trying to control your body with diets and exercise can severely negatively impact your relationship with food and physical activity, both of which should contribute to overall wellbeing beyond a number on the scale.
It is not clear if a negative body image leads to unhealthy eating or if unhealthy eating leads to a negative body image. What is clear is that feeling an intense dissatisfaction with your body can stand in the way of reaching a healthy weight, and more importantly, damages your mental health and self-esteem.
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Im Overweight And Frustrated With Diet My Body And How I Feel About Myself
Do you feel this way? Lets jump right into what this article is not. This article is not about how to lose weight. Were not going to explore specific exercises or exercise programs for weight loss. No, were not going to cover diet dos and donts, weight loss supplements, or offer testimonials. This time we are sharing together right now is for you. Were about to get real.
It is my position that obesity is a consequence of many factors. However, the responsibility of transformational thinking belongs to each of us. Nobody is going to solve problems for us. We must choose to explore our challenges and search for solutions. Why can I not lose weight? It isnt because you are not exercising properly. It isnt because you are not dieting. If you are open to the idea that obesity isnt cured by exercise alone or dieting, please continue reading.
The First Thing You Should Do When Youre Both Overweight And Depressed
Emotional eating is one issue for those who are overweight and depressed. Heres what you can do to combat.
Losing weight is hard enough when you’re happy, but it’s even harder when you’re depressed, as many Americans well know.
Rates of depression are higher in the obese and overweight than in people of normal weight, and while the numbers don’t track each other precisely, the incidence of both obesity and depression is increasing in the U.S.
Women, in particular, are more likely to be both overweight and depressed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And an underlying mood disorder may be responsible for 1 in 4 cases of obesity, some research suggests.
The presence of two health issues in medical lingo, comorbidity presents a challenge for both people who are overweight and their medical providers, and recalls the old quandary of the chicken and the egg. Do weight problems cause people to become depressed, or do people become overweight because theyre depressed?
While theres no definitive answer to that question, some obesity specialists say that depression and other mood disorders should be addressed before people do battle with the scale.
Starting an intentional weight-loss effort in the midst of a poorly managed clinical depression is like starting a marathon with a badly sprained ankle, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an obesity specialist in Canada, has .
Start with food
The exercise problem
Focus on happy
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Hyperstimulation Can Lead To Gastrointestinal Distress
Your body slows digestion during the fight or flight response so it can focus on how to respond to the stressor.
This can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, such as:
- stomach pain
Chronic stress can amplify these symptoms and result in other underlying conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome.
These changes to your digestive system may cause you to eat less, subsequently losing weight.
What Can I Do About It
It’s very important to get help for an eating disorder because bingeing, purging and/or severely limiting how much food you eat can cause a lot of serious health problems such as bone loss, kidney problems, or heart problems, which can be life threatening. But eating disorders are treatable and many people recover with treatment. Treatment for an eating disorder often includes support from a few different professionals. Regular medical check-ups are also important to treat physical health problems. The earlier someone seeks help for their eating disorder, the better the outcomes.
The following are common treatments for eating disorders:
PsychotherapyPsychotherapy is a very important part of treatment. Psychotherapies for eating disorders include:
Nutritional helpA registered dietitian can help you learn about food and help you create healthy meal plans.
Support groupsSupport groups for yourself or your loved ones can help you see that you aren’t alone. You can learn new ways of coping and find support from others.
HospitalizationIf you start to develop serious health problems, you may need to be treated in the hospital.
MedicationSome antidepressants may help treat bulimia and binge-eating disorder. Other medications may be prescribed to help treat eating disorders or other mental illnesses that go along with an eating disorder.
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Antidepressants And Weight Gain
Researches and studies have stated that certain types of medications that are used to treat depression could cause weight gain for those consuming it. It is believed that tricyclic antidepressants cause a persons appetite to increase and in turn, this leads to weight gain.
It has also been observed that certain newer antidepressants such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors affect your weight.