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Depression And Weight Loss? Can Losing Weight Cause Depression 2023?
Major life events occur in various ways, but we celebrate personal goals like weight loss the most. Men may use the best fat burners for men to get their dream bodies. The supplements may work when used the right way, they work.
There is always a promise of instant life improvements after you lose weight. Mainstream media expresses that you will have a better view of yourself and look better in the clothes you love. You will be able to attend social gatherings, turn heads, and experience a boost in energy and self-esteem. There is some truth to this, but is that everyone’s story?
Unfortunately, there is a dark side of weight loss that no one highlights. Depression after weight loss is real, and this article will highlight all there is to know about it.
Can Weight Loss Cause Depression?
Overweight and obese adults who have been on numerous weight loss plans end up living miserable lives even after shedding a few pounds.
Weight loss journeys are tiring, and if you do not take care of your mental health, all that pressure comes crashing down in the end.
Depression After Weight Loss
So how does depression after weight loss start manifesting?
Below is how:
People Unrealistic Expectations
Whenever you embark on a weight-loss program, mentally, you have an image of how you want to appear. A snatched waist, firm thighs, and clear, tight skin are just a few images that come to mind when one imagines their body after losing weight.
But unfortunately, most people end up with sagging skin, stretch marks, and a few bulges of fat here and there that just will not melt away. And this brings in another cost of weight loss surgery to get rid of the extra flabby skin and obesity.
These unrealistic expectations mess with your mental health; suppose you get to the end, and you do not look anything like how you envision, thus, inviting depression.
Mercy, a mother of five children, stated “I never got the dream physique I wanted after decreasing weight. Yes, I lost weight and stopped binge eating, but no one warned me about the downside of this journey. I hate it here”
She reflects that the mere thought of setting the bar too high, plus her family members commenting on the excess skin, saying she looked like nothing they thought she would, made her feel even worse. She continues,” Sometimes I wish I never started losing weight, I had so much self-confidence. But now, I do not like what I see in the mirror.”
Believe it or not, you may cause more harm than good to your body, especially if you do not follow a healthy routine.
Eating disorders are prevalent results that may arise from a weight loss journey. Diet brands that push products that suppress your appetite end up changing how you eat. So much so that if you are not disciplined to follow a balanced diet, you end up not eating at all. And this may lead to depressive moods, a lack of impulse control, low self-esteem, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and depression.
You may also develop anemia after bariatric surgery. The way your body processes essential nutrients from meals changes after weight loss surgery. Anemia can develop if you do not get any iron or your system doesn’t assimilate it well enough.
After weight-loss operations, teen girls, women who are still on their cycles, and expectant women are more likely to develop anemia. So much so, it may result in one missing a cycle or two.
Loss Or Weight Gain Changes Your Brain Chemistry
Weight changes also cause quite a bit of change in our brain chemistry. Some are positive, like better concentration and less strain on your blood vessels, but some are on the negative side.
On a physiological level, seeing the number on the scale go down gives us a sense of success, which our society has conditioned us to feel. Unfortunately, no one advises us what to do when it ceases, leading to a never-ending cycle of feeling insecure.
Dieting reduces the happy chemicals in our bodies, which might alter our mood. Most people aren’t aware of this. Losing weight can also become an obsession for some people, putting intimate relations and mental health at risk.
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.
Billy’s willingness to go above and beyond his means to lose weight demonstrated that weight loss is costly. And the sad part is that he isn’t the only one who has struggled financially as a result of his body size. He’s just one of the many.
The Strain On Your Relationships
Amanda and Steve, a two-year married couple, started a dieting plan jointly, and it was to be the finest decision they’d ever made. They were both overweight and had decided to lose weight together. Well, things didn’t go as planned. After a few months of dieting and exercising, Steve injured his leg, and he had to sit this one out, but Amanda continued going.
Amanda had achieved her ideal weight and body structure in a year, but Steve was even heavier than they had begun. This resulted in animosity and tension, producing stress for both couples.
Amanda and Steve split just a few months after celebrating their third wedding anniversary. According to Amanda, “I was excited to embark on this weight-loss adventure alongside my best friend. But I had no idea that something so good could lead to the collapse of my marriage. I’m still perplexed that my divorce was caused by my weight loss.”
Such incidents are far more common than you might think, and science backs this up.
Scientists discovered in a 2013 study that when one spouse loses weight, the partnership suffers. According to the survey, a partner’s weight loss can make the non-dieting spouse resentful and anxious about the relationship.
They also discovered that when a dieting partner’s weight management goals differed from their significant other’s, the dieting partner grew irritated, believing their spouse was not motivated to lose weight.
This may cause depression since there is a disruption in the household, as in the case of Amanda and Steve.
How We Can Curb Depression After Weight Loss?
From the points above, it is clear that depression from weight loss is a major life event with both positive and negative aspects. A depressive mood can be triggered when we are not happy with our body image. We can also fall into depression if people change how they treat us because of losing a few pounds.
So how can we as a community change this narrative and be forthcoming on the reality of weight loss?
It is simple. Here is what we can do:
Be Realistic With Your Body Weight Goals And Results
Once we get it right from the beginning, we are on a better path to fighting depression that may be caused by weight changes. The first thing is to be open-minded and set realistic and attainable goals for losing weight.
Weight loss from one end of the scale to the other will not happen in a few months. It will take some time. And, if you want to reduce weight healthily, don’t rush it. Another fact to accept is that you might gain weight. It is possible to regain all of your lost weight, especially if you slack off.
Even once you’ve made it to the other side, anticipate things to be less glamorous. You might have stretch marks, flabby skin, and a few other unattractive features. Knowing how to deal with them in the healthiest way possible is the key. Be prepared, even if it involves additional activities such as purchasing other products or undergoing surgery to remove them.
Prioritize Wellbeing As You Lose Weight
When you’re in a hurry to lose weight regardless of your health, you’re doing more harm than good to yourself. It would be beneficial if you were attentive to all your chosen dieting techniques, prioritizing your physical and emotional wellness.
Improve your eating habits right away and adapt your lifestyle to match your weight loss goals, and you’ll be able to avoid health risks and depression.
Seek Depression Medication And Professional Advice
Last but not least, before you pay for any fitness services to lose weight or dieting supplements for the same, seek a healthcare professional. In this case, your physician and fitness trainer is the first people to turn to.
Your physician or dietitian evaluates your health and recommends the best practices that will help you shed all the extra pounds. The fitness trainer guides you on the day-to-day physical activities that will get you to your goal in the healthiest way possible.
A therapist, doctor, or any mentally trained specialist, is another medical professional you could visit about mental health if you already treat depression after losing weight.
When you notice depression symptoms, don’t be ashamed to get help. You are your best bet for surviving post-weight-loss sadness.
Anxiety and depression can completely change your life. It can make a positive action like losing weight feel like the worst choice you’ve ever made. It can be triggered when your self-esteem is harmed because you don’t appear as you imagined or when people’s perceptions of you shift.
Being mindful is the only definite approach to combat depression following weight loss. You will be better positioned to avoid depression if you are aware that it is a possibility. You can also protect your relationships against the bad impacts of depression.
With all you have read, you are now more prepared to fight off the talons of depression as you embark on your weight loss journey. Maintain a positive attitude throughout, and you will succeed.
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