Results of recent studies suggest that some people lose weight when they become depressed, but it is more likely that a depressed person will gain weight. In addition, people who are already overweight or obese have a higher risk of becoming depressed. It's not known whether excess weight causes depression or if being depressed causes weight gain. There is probably no right answer because we all react differently to life's circumstances.
Being overweight can increase your risk for diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. So what can you do to lose weight or prevent weight gain when you are feeling down?
Engage in physical activity that you enjoy. When we're feeling blue, we tend not to have as much motivation and become inactive. Think of something you enjoy doing. Even just going for a walk can help you feel better, work off some calories, and take your mind off eating.
Be more aware of what you are choosing to eat. When we are down, we often reach for the foods that contain a lot of fat or sugar. That's why these types of snacks have come to be known as "comfort food." Try to stay away from fast foods, as they can be a big contributor to weight gain. Instead, make your own meals, and use the nutrition facts label found on food packaging to help you make healthy decisions.
Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about your current medications, and discuss with your doctor about medications that are being considered for your treatment. Some medications that are used to treat depression are more likely to increase your risk for weight gain than others. Also, make sure that you check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medications that are marketed to help you lose weight. Some can interact with your current medications and cause side effects, or cause your current medications to not work as well as they should.