Effects of Weight Loss on Mental Health
Obesity seriously affects about 39% of the world’s population and compromises mental health. However, it varies from country to country. Obesity is a condition of excess body fat. It is the condition of having excess calorie intake that is burned by exercise and normal daily activities. Obesity increases the risk of health problems such as:
– Cardiac arrest
Being obese leases you out the diseases, making you vulnerable. Overweight people are exposed to cancers and Covid-19, to mention a few. Asides from physical health issues, it could also bring about mental health disorders. Recently on a global scale, females are more obese or tend to be obese than males.
There are steps to take if you are overweight or obese to address your physical and mental health.
How do you know if you are obese?
The body mass index (BMI) is the yardstick for measuring if you are underweight or obese. It is the division of your body weight in kilograms by height in meters. This is the most common method of checking whether you are overweight.
Thus, it’s given as:
- Underweight: less than 18.5
- Healthy range: 18.5 to 24.9
- Overweight: 25 to 30
- Obese: over 30
If your BMI falls into the category of overweight or obese, you are open to risks to your physical and mental health. Studies have shown that obese people are vulnerable to anxiety and depression, and bipolar disorders resulting from stigma or ridicule from people for having extra pounds of body fat. This leads to low self-esteem and, ultimately, depression and, even more, overeating.
How can your weight affect your mental health?
The effects of being obese on your mental health are like the yin and yang, the two sides of a coin. Obesity causes mental health issues such as emotional stress, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, and agoraphobia, to mention a few. Victims of mental issues caused by obesity find it hard to participate in positive activities such as sports. The more difficult it is to cope with the negative emotion of the stigma.
Anxiety is a type of disorder that involves significant worry. Anxiety disorders are classified as; generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. These disorders lead to social interaction disorders, and episodes of intense anxiety lead to panic attacks. Conversely, obese people are exposed to hypertension and agoraphobia.
Anxiety and obesity have common risk factors such as; childhood series of neuroticism, sensitivity to criticism from people, and low confidence in oneself. Obese people who are an anxious experience:
– Low self-esteem
Studies have shown that anxiety is linked with the hypothalamus and pituitary section of the brain, which also controls appetite. Invariably, this leads to an increased appetite to cope with the tension, and overeating leads to more weight gain, which does not help.
Depression is losing interest in hobbies, a grim expression, and negative emotions toward oneself. Depression leads to low motivation and energy, which increases weight gain.
Studies have shown that obesity linked to depression is experienced more by adolescent females. Also, some people deal with depression by eating, known as binge eating, to forget their negative feelings. Also, it’s been shown that obesity can cause depression and vice versa. As for obese people, the struggles accrued with coping with the conditions and their encompassing effects lead to depression and, ultimately, overeating, which worsens the case.
This disorder is associated with mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. This disorder causes impulsive behavior, racing thoughts, and depressed mood. People with bipolar disorder may turn to food to cope with depressive moods leading to weight gain.
This disorder is incurable, and drugs used are mood stabilizers which also increase the appetite, worsening the case.
How do you get in shape and improve your mental health?
-Eat and maintain a balanced diet
– Practice a good sleeping routine
-Be at ease and exude confidence
For the obese who wish to wriggle out of their chains of unhealthy body fat and get into shape, this addresses your needs. Not to forget, good mental health also begets a sound body. Both physical and mental workouts are required to keep the body in one excellent piece.
Eat and maintain a balanced diet.
Since obesity is due to excess unburned calories, you have to reduce your calorie intake and incorporate a healthy meal plan to chime down. All fast foods and processed carbs should be eliminated.
Your meal should contain the whole class of food, which is:
– Protein including egg meat, soy, and pulse
– Whole grains
– Low-fat food
– Fruits and veggies
However, your calorie intake should depend on your lifestyle, which is based on your daily activities; for strenuous jobs, you need to eat more and work out less, but for mental jobs, you should get a dieting meal plan and workout more. Your diet depends on the following:
– Level of activity
The gastrointestinal tract synthesizes serotonin, a neurotransmitter that controls sleep and mood. Practically, the digestion of food plays a role in determining your sleep and mood, which invariably affects your physical and mental health.
Practice a good sleeping regimen
A good night’s rest can go a long way in affecting your weight and mental health. Studies have shown that people who suffer from sleep disorders tend to eat carbohydrate-rich foods, which leads to weight gain.
At least 7 to 8 hours daily should be devoted to a good night’s sleep to prevent sleeping disorders. It’s been shown that people with a sleep disorder have a higher tendency to be obese. Sleep disorder affects mood and could cause mental health issues.
Most sleeping disorder patients suffer from mental health problems such as:
- Bipolar disorder
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Serotonin which controls mood and sleep will be adversely affected if a good sleeping routine is not maintained. Mood can affect the appetite too, and high-calorie intake without burning causes obesity.
Exercise regularly, about 4 to 5 hours a week.
Exercise has always been the panacea for obesity; regular exercise helps burn the body’s excess fat, increase blood or blood circulation flow, and strengthen muscles. The benefits of exercise cannot be overemphasized.
Research has shown that exercise helps blood flow to the brain, which improves mood and mental health. Exercise also reduces risks of;
- Heart attacks
For intense weight loss workouts, there are apps and personal trainers that can help dole out regimens for effective results and ensure those exercises are safe for your body.
Be at ease and exude confidence.
Change has to start from the mind. Stress builds up in the body to depression and anxiety, which makes victims resort to food and staying locked away to cope with depression. This is one major cause of obesity.
Instead, develop a social life, mix freely, avoid negative emotions, and stay positive. Do what makes you happy and see how different life could be instead of being gloomy.
To be social, you have to:
– Make friends and keep them
– Read books, mostly on self-help
– Express yourself through art, music, or literature
– Exercise regularly
These activities help to regulate stress. These activities will benefit both your physical and mental health. But if stress proves challenging to eliminate, consider therapy sessions and meditations, as they are great moments of truth to help ease your stress.
Is weight loss possible?
Loss of weight is a commitment that can prove difficult but has a great satisfaction level once achieved. Weight loss is possible. You have to commit strictly to a non-fatty diet and low-sugar foods. Exercise and calorie deficits from dieting can help achieve proper weight loss.
Always note that the higher the calorie you consume as an obese person, the more you will have to burn to ensure there is a calorie deficit in your diet, so this proves wrong all those who propose exercise can achieve an optimum loss of weight without a calorie deficit in your diet, except its high-intensity exercises.
How does weight loss affect your mental health?
Being able to lose unhealthy fat effectively is a fantastic feat, reflecting not only on your apparent physical appearance but also on your mental health. Most obese people who successfully dropped their weight show higher confidence levels.
As you get into shape will have the following:
- Boosted confidence
- High self-esteem
- Improved social value
- Enhanced physical appearance
How does obesity affect my personality?
Obesity takes a heavy toll on those keen on physical appearance; they get mental health issues due to it. Obesity, as mentioned earlier, could cause mental health problems, and so does mental health issues that could cause obesity; it goes both ways. Fortunately, knowing these issues could be dealt with is good news.
In conclusion, the impact of weight loss affects every phase of health; mental, physical, and emotional well-being. It is a double-sided equation that must be maintained. People experience weight loss due to underlying conditions, while some lose it to eliminate excess fats. Your well-being should be your priority. Your health is your wealth. Stay safe, stay healthy.