This post is also available in: French
We often hear about the health consequences of being overweight, but less attention is given to the side effects weight loss can have on mental and emotional well-being. Let’s give freelance writer Ben Arnold the floor today for this blog post on the ramifications of dropping pounds that doesn’t often get discussed.
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 shedding 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.
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. Risk factors of being overweight include:
- Heart diseases
- High blood pressure
- 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 on surprising side effects weight loss can have, 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.
Side effects weight loss has:
Obsessing over losing pounds can 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.
Signs your weight loss has become an obsession
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. When it comes to obsessions as side effects weight loss has, here are things to 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.
- 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.
Final words on shocking side effects weight loss can have
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!
About today’s writer
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 Instagram and LinkedIn.
This post is also available in: French