So maybe you aren't going to like this one, since we're going to talk about emotions. Before you run the other way, though, take a minute to hear us out: The simple truth is that when feelings get away from you—and here we're talking mainly about depression and anxiety—your eating (and in turn your weight) tends to get away from you too. Not always, but often.

Getting rid of extra pounds is hard enough, but when you're feeling very low, or very tense, it's that much harder. So our advice is to try to get a handle on stress and depression before you really try to shed weight too. (It's worth mentioning that no one knows for sure which comes first, depression or weight gain. It could be gaining weight encourages depression and/or that being depressed makes it more likely you'll put on weight. It's likely that both are involved.)

What we really want to do here is simply make you aware that difficult feelings—whether they're caused by imbalances in your brain chemistry or because you're going through bad time or some combination of the two—will make it a lot harder to lose weight. So the first thing to consider is whether this is really the best time to go on a diet or seriously ramp up your exercise. It may also be that the depression/anxiety/tough time you're going through is making you hate exercise even more than you normally would. And that, obviously, will make it even more difficult to get yourself to do it.

This is one of our six Weight Loss articles because getting a handle on emotions (and that includes boredom) is a big part of getting to a healthy weight. You've probably heard about "emotional eating"—scarfing down ice cream after a horrible day, for example. If you don't figure out the illogical reasons you're eating, all the planning in the world won't help much.

If you're not sure if you are depressed, check out these symptoms from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). It also includes guidance on what to do if you do seem to be depressed.  If you're not sure if you have an anxiety disorder, here's more info from the NIHM on that, too.

The six articles in the Weight Loss section are designed to give you some of the most important, useful, scientifically sound, and safe information. We don't try to cover everything about weight loss (or anything else) on ih8exercise.com, but if you follow the advice in these six articles you'll have a great foundation for lasting weight loss.


Weight Loss: Get Support

Nutrition Swap: Less Fat-Counting...More Healthy Fats

11 Ways to Find Your Motivation Mojo



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Photo by Mark Doda