Obesity and Depression

Depression implies a long period of low moods, feelings of hopelessness and lack of interest in activities once enjoyed. However it also has physical implications such as disturbances in patterns of eating, sleeping and physical exercise.

Women are more likely to experience depression than men. Many women tend to gain weight during periods of depression as there is a marked decrease in physical activity. Research  has shown that women are more likely to exercise in the company of a friend, however since depressed individuals tend to socially isolate themselves, there is less physical activity than usual.

Weight gain may also be caused due to the intake of certain antidepressants.

Women also have a tendency to resort to  comfort eating, eating sugary foods such as chocolates and icecream to mask their sadness. Comfort foods tend to be high in carbohydrates and fat. These foods may temporarily induce a feeling of emotional wellbeing, but gradually induce a feeling of lethargy.

The gradual weight gain that accompanies depression may lead to feelings of low self esteem and a poor body image which take a toll on any motivation the person may have to lose weight.

Depressed women may also find themselves feeling tired most of the time and therefore less able to exercise.

Controlling Obesity During Depression

Eat foods that beat depression. Foods such as fish that contain omega 3 fatty acids decrease symptoms of depression such as feelings of sadness and insomnia.

Getting proper sleep ensures that you do not indulge in midnight snacking on high calorie foods and keeps you well rested.Choose foods with a low glycaemic index instead such as oats, brown rice and high fibre foods, which release energy slowly through the day and give you a feeling of satiety.

Foods high in selenium are good for relieving depression. These include green leafy vegetables, seafood, oats, nuts and legumes. They also improve brain functioning.

Exercise may be the last thing you want to do when you’re depressed, but it is also the best. Exercising provides immediate relief from mild to moderate depression as it increases serotonin levels which are low in depressed individuals, improves sleep and breaks down stress levels.Even 15 minutes of vigorous exercise does a world of good! Aerobic exercise that gets your heart pumping is good for relieving depression.

Reduce intake of alcohol . The intoxication alcohol provides is merely short term and it supplies empty calories with no real nutritional value to the body.

Check your thyroid functioning at regular intervals. Hypothyroidism, depression and weight gain are interlinked. Hypothyroidism makes it more difficult to lose weight and implies weight gain.