The Mental & Emotional Effects of Weight Loss: What Nobody Tells You

We often hear about the health consequences of being overweight, but less attention is given to the way weight loss can affect mental and emotional well-being. Let’s give freelance writer Ben Arnold the floor today for this blog post on the personal ramifications of losing weight. You may find some of the information in this guest post shocking!

The mind and body connection

The mind and body connection is strong. Find out more in this post on how weight loss affects thoughts and emotions. Photo via Pexels.

Losing weight can be a very painful process if you have never done it before. It gets even harder cutting down the weight if you aren’t the “gym” type of person.

However, I am here to tell you that the whole process of cutting down weight (or adding more weight) does not have to be that hard or that boring. If you know what to do and how to make things interesting, the process actually becomes quite fun.

For example, if you get to know how many calories you need to eat during the day if you want to get slimmer, you could still eat your favorite food (yes, even junk food) and accomplish your goals. Also, people try many supplements that might boost their progress rate as well as boost their low libido. Depending solely on these supplements will get you nowhere! There is a lot about this that you can learn, however, this article will be talking about something serious.

There is a problem that occurs pretty often and that needs to be properly addressed. The problem is based around obsessing with your own weight and obsessing with the process of weight cutting. Can it affect your emotional state? Can it affect your mental health?

How does being overweight affect your life?

First of all, let’s check how being overweight alone can affect your life. All of us were, or still are, a bit unsure when it comes to our physical appearance. Because of that, most men seek for a quick “fix” and start looking at top rated testosterone boosters because testosterone has much to do with our looks.

Despite what anyone says, we all want to look good in public and we all want other people to like us. That’s one of the main reasons why people want to cut down, or gain some weight. It’s quite simple; they want to look and feel better!

If you ask me, the angle that people are using to look at this problem is completely wrong. Being overweight can cause many health problems and that alone should be your motivator to lean down. Based on this thorough medical research, these are the risk factors of being overweight:

  • Heart diseases
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Gallstones
  • Breathing problems
  • Certain types of cancer

Besides from these risks I will point out the obvious – being overweight might affect your mental health. Clearly, looking good in public falls down when your health is on the line. Make your health a priority and work towards it, the good looks will come! One of the best ways (if you are having trouble losing weight) is to mix working out and dieting with some type of tested products. You can check them by looking at their reviews. PhenQ reviews are one option you might want to consider reading.

Can being overweight cause mood swings and depression?

So, before we jump in the main part of the article, I have to answer another pretty frequent question that kind of adds on to the part that you will be reading about next. That question is, “Can being overweight cause depression and mood swings?”

Like I have already mentioned, it can! As a matter of fact, as we can see in this medical research, the two are strongly connected.

So, how and why is that?

Being overweight can impact your mental health exactly because of the reasons I have already mentioned. We want to appear good to others! We care! So, since we care about it that much, we allow it to destroy us. That’s another reason why you should focus on losing weight because of health reasons and not appearance.

So, if you are caught somewhere in-between wanting to be slim and not willing to take the risk, you could be damaged seriously. As we can see from this medical research, the connection between depression and obesity is even closer than we expected.

Also, people who are overweight usually suffer from mood swings. The reason for them is the same. As soon as they start thinking about their problem they get caught in a loop, a never ending cycle.

How obsessing with weight loss may destroy your mental health

Now that we know all the principles, let’s talk about a factor that hasn’t really been mentioned in a while.

For the obvious and already mentioned reasons, people develop insecurities about their weight. Those insecurities very often lead to obsession. Besides from their minds working against them and creating unnecessary obsessions about weight, fitness instructors and consultants also make things worse.

I am sure that you have seen many videos created by some type of fitness instructors. All that they talk about (well, most of them) is that you HAVE to follow this or HAVE to follow that. Don’t get me wrong, those people know what they are doing when it comes to cutting down weight, but do all of them think about their followers’ mental health?

You see, if they make you drastically change your life and solely base it around fitness and eating, very often it might end up with being obsessed. Now, being obsessed with good things is actually, well, great, because it will make you work even harder and get even better; however, many people fall into the other category and develop an obsession about how they look now and why they aren’t progressing as fast.

This can leave terrible consequences to their mental health. As a matter of fact, in most cases it leads to depression, and we all know that depression is a notorious killer!

Research shows that adolescents are the most “critical” group of people when it comes to this problem. It is quite understandable why.

There is also another factor that can trigger depression and emotional distress through obsessing about weight loss – failure!

Once you set a goal and once you are entirely motivated to cut down weight, certain habits start developing. Now, I am not saying that you should now focus on your goals and that you should not be motivated, the problem here is controlling those habits.

So, what are they?

Well, those habits are training, eating well, sleeping well etc.

As you can see they are quite good. However, alongside them you will also: check yourself in the mirror to see if there are any changes, count your calories all the time, measure your waist etc.

Now that’s the part that you need to check. You see, people often burn in their desires and if they don’t see results in the first few weeks of their hard work, they get disappointed. Their disappointment actually comes to that level that they think they can’t cut down weight at all. That’s the time when they blame it all on genetics or that’s the time when their mental health gets in danger.

Because of failure and disappointment (not seeing the results they expected), their emotional state might be quite disturbed and depression might slowly start knocking on the door.

So, control your habits and don’t obsess too much. Here are the things that you should look out for:

  • Weighing yourself multiple times throughout the day
  • Thinking about your looks more than usual
  • Counting every single calorie
  • Believing starving or extreme diets will push you through
  • Adding more food to the “forbidden” list

If you have developed some of these points already, it may be a sign of obsession. That’s the type of obsession we are trying to avoid! Nothing, not even boosting your low testosterone levels can make the difference if your mental health is at stake.

Are there mental benefits to weight loss?

Thus far, we have concentrated a lot on the possible adverse effects of excessive weight, and how becoming obsessed with reducing your body weight can be hazardous to your mental well-being. Now, let’s switch things up a little – while obsessing over your weight can be harmful, you need to realize that healthy weight loss can lead to improvements in mental health. A study published on ScienceDirect explains that individuals can expect to experience a number of positive effects in their overall mental health and cognitive performance when they participate in the right types of exercises and follow the right type of diet to reduce their body weight.

  • Significant improvements in self-esteem among study participants were noticed. Excessive weight often causes a person to feel self-conscious about how they look. With the reduction in body weight, they start to become more self-confident and experience a better self-esteem.
  • Individuals who experience a poor self-esteem and body image are more likely to have symptoms of depression, as compared to individuals at a healthy body weight. This means that a reduced body weight, and the positive effects on self-esteem, may help to improve symptoms associated with depression.
  • Excess weight has been linked to inflammation and a significantly higher risk of experiencing brain fog. With a reduction in body weight, the frequency and severity of brain fog can be reduced.
  • Obesity and stress shares a link that have been established by scientific research. Stress causes overeating, leading to obesity, which further adds to the stress. It’s a viscous cycle. Deciding to lose weight in a healthy way can help you take control of your cravings, eat less, reduce your body weight, and also experience improvements in your stress symptoms.

The final verdict

At the end of this article, I will suggest you read this 1991 study if you want to learn more and be completely sure about everything mentioned above.

The message of the article is clear: Focus on yourself and strive for better things, but don’t let it control your life and drive you mad!

Well, I hope you have enjoyed the article. Good luck on your journey!

Ben writes about health, including weight loss

Meet freelance writer Ben Arnold. Photo used with Ben’s permission.

About Ben Arnold

Ben Arnold has been a freelance writer and health adviser for the past 6 years. Through his advanced studies, he has gain enormous experience in this field. In his free time, he loves to read books and enjoys music. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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21 thoughts on “The Mental & Emotional Effects of Weight Loss: What Nobody Tells You

  1. I loved this post! I have always said that all the medicine in the world won’t help me if I don’t like what I see in the mirror. I also like that the focus should be on health not necessarily weight loss in general. And staying away from extreme diets will ensure you a better chance of being successful.

  2. I like that health rather than appearance was emphasized. The core problem also needs to be addressed: The cause of being overweight. Often this is the main barrier people face. Very informative post, Christy ❤️

  3. Thank you for this, Christy and Ben.

    Research shows us that people with overeating issues are likely to have low self-esteem as a result of adverse experiences in childhood, poor attachment and unmet emotional needs. Their excess weight is often an outer manifestation of an inner sense of defectiveness, shame and worthlessness.

    In my experience, people who are overweight or obese are far from ignorant about the emotional and psychological benefits of weight loss: “I know I’ll feel better about myself if I lose weight” is often what they say. They are well aware of the physical and psychological damage of being overweight, and they long for the health benefits that weight loss brings.

    What’s in the way of achieving that is a powerful drive to turn to food to alleviate emotional distress (something that the restriction of dieting only makes worse) and a voice within them that says “you don’t deserve to look and feel good because you are of no value”. No amount of weight loss can heal this intrinsic lack of self-worth.

    For me, this – more than anything – is what needs to be properly addressed.

  4. I exercise to lose weight but already have a condition called lymphoedema where weight on my leg and stomach area are always going to be more so than the rest of the body. My attitude is to do this for myself to feel healthier. I don’t understand why folk want to obsessed weighing themselves I never do. A healthy attitude to losing weight is good for mental wellbeing. You demonstrate that in parts with your blog. Awesome ☝🏼🙂

  5. Love your blog, and this post is great! 😀
    Please visit my blog with updates about fitness and health, it´s really intresting and great facts you dont want to miss. Follow if you´d like ❤
    Take care and keep it up!

  6. I got addicted to loosing weight in my 20’s and 30’s. What fun! I became anorexic and weighed 100 lbs or less for many, many years. My knees were the biggest part of my legs. Healthy is where it’s at!

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  8. Excellent post, Undoubtedly, being overweight and losing weight affects many areas of our lives and often dominates our psyches. 🙂

  9. Pingback: The Mental & Emotional Effects of Weight Loss: What Nobody Tells You — When Women Inspire – 1 Body 1 Life

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