While losing weight is suppose to result in feeling more positive about oneself many people who are on long term weight loss programs suffer from weight loss depression. This depression can be caused by a number of different things and finding out the cause of your depression will help you to deal with it and enable you to feel great about the weight loss you are acheiving.
Being obese can lead to low self-esteem and depression and there have been several articles written about how weight loss can help to improve self-esteem and ease the depression caused by being overweight and feeling that you can't control your eating or your weight. However, there are few articles or experts who ever talk about the depression that can occur when a morbidly obese person begins to lose massive amounts of weight.
Instead of talking about this weight loss induced depression, it's causes, and how best to deal with it, experts tend to ignore it fearing that by raising the issue that they will somehow discourage those who need to lose weight the most, from completing their goal. However, the truth is that when someone is dealing with weight loss depression not dealing with it, can derail their weight loss plan and cause that overweight person to gain back all the weight they have lost.
Causes of Weight Loss Depression
There can be many causes of weight loss depression especially in those people who massive amounts of weight to lose and must stick to a weight loss program that last several months to a couple of years. These causes can range from improper nutrition to feeling like their life is on hold or the feeling of being isolated from the rest of the world.
The good thing is that most causes of weight loss depression can be dealt with if the person who is suffering from this depression feels free to discuss their real feelings. Unfortunately, since losing weight is suppose to make a person feel happier most people don't feel as though they should feel depressed and so they keep these feeling hidden which is the worst thing you can do. So hopefully, by discussing the factors that can lead to this type of depression, those people who are suffering from weight loss depression won't feel alone and can seek help for those negative feelings.
Lack of Nutrition
One of the most common causes for weight loss depression is the lack of proper nutrition. Too many weight loss programs out there are all about rapid weight loss and simply don't include the right nutrition that every person needs. Fad diets are well known for lacking proper nutrition but, many long term weight loss plans also may be lacking in the proper nutrients. The first thing that anyone who is suffering from depressed feelings should do when on a weight loss program is to see a nutritionist and see if their weight loss plan ensures that they get all the proper nutrition to stay both mentally and physically healthy.
Too Much Focus On Weight Loss
Another cause for weight loss depression is that many people who have massive amounts of weight to lose, become focused on their final weight loss goal to the point that they put their entire life on hold until they reach that goal. What you should be doing is focusing on each new change that shedding that weight brings rather that focusing on that distant goal. Losing weight can be a time when you can really embrace life. As you shed those pounds, focus on all the new things you can do right now, that you couldn't do a week ago or even a month ago. Rejoice in the fact that you can now go grocery shopping without feeling exhausted, or that you now enjoy that bike ride with your family.
Focus on the positive changes that are taking place on a daily basis. This is the time when you should be embracing new things. You body is changing and getting healthier, so why not make other positive changes as you go along. Try new activities you have been wanting to try. Get that new hairstyle or buy some new make-up. Don't sit around waiting for you to become “finished” live your life now. Start celebrating how far you've come and quit worrying about how far you have to go. It will make a big difference on how positive you feel on a daily basis.
One of the most difficult areas of weight loss depression to deal with is when you have unrealistic expectations. You want to get rid of that excess weight so badly you think if you just work hard enough cut down on your calories enough you are going to see big weight loss numbers. Then when you step on the scales and see that you have only lost one or two pounds for the week, you feel depressed and frustrated.
In part shows such as the “Biggest Loser” are to blame for people having such realistic expectations. They see these people dropping 5, 10 or more pounds in a single week and feel as though they should be able to do the same thing. You need to take into consideration, that these people workout in a gym for 6 or more hours a day. Their only goal is to exercise and take off those pounds and quickly as possible. You don't have the time, and may not even be in good enough health to work out that many hours a day. You also need to keep in mind that losing 1 or 2 pounds a week is considered to be a safe and healthy weight loss goal.
Don't base your weight loss on how many pounds someone else has lost. Every person is different and that means that everyone will lose weight at different speeds. It really doesn't matter so much how slow those pounds are coming off, all that really matters is that they are coming off. By keeping your expectations realistic you are less apt to be thrilled with your weight loss rather than depressed. By setting a realistic goal of 15 to 20 pounds a month you are much more likely to avoided depression and experience success.
If you are suffering from weight loss depression, find someone to talk to you. You will not only discover that you are not alone, but just may be able to find a way to turn those depressed feelings around and feel positive about how far you've come and the wonderful changes you are making in your life.