Obesity is associated with a higher likelihood of having certain mental health disorders including anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Anxiety- is a type of mental health disorder that involves significant worry. Depression- is a mood disorder that involves sadness, loss of interest in activities or hobbies, and negative feelings about one’s self. Increased appetite and weight gain are also common symptoms of depression, which can put depressed individuals at risk for developing obesity. Bipolar disorder- is another type of mood disorder that involves manic and depressive episodes. During a manic episode, a person experiences either an elevated or irritable mood for at least 1 week. Like other mental health conditions, people with bipolar disorder may turn to food as a way to cope with distress.
Tips for improving your physical and mental health:
There is a strong link between your weight and your physical and mental health. By making certain lifestyle changes, you can improve these areas of your life. Maintain a healthy diet
If you are overweight or obese, eating a healthy diet and limiting your calorie intake can help you lose weight and reduce your risk of health problems related to obesity.
A healthy diet consists of:
Fruits and vegetables
Protein, including meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, and soy
Low-fat or fat-free dairy
Oils and healthy fats
Limited processed foods, saturated and trans fats, sodium, and sugar
Practice good sleep hygiene
Not getting enough sleep can negatively affect your physical and emotional health and increase your risk of obesity. Studies have found that people who sleep less than 5 hours a night are more likely to be obese than those who sleep at least 7 to 8 hours.
When a person doesn’t get enough sleep, it impacts many of the body’s functions, including metabolism. People who don’t get enough sleep also tend to eat more carbohydrate-rich foods, which can result in weight gain.
Exercise about 3 hours a week
Type 2 diabetes
Regular exercise can also improve your mental health by decreasing depression and anxiety. This is because exercise increases blood circulation in the brain and impacts communication between the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the limbic system, hippocampus, and amygdala, all of which impact your mood and stress response.
Stress is not only linked to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. It is also linked to eating behaviors. People who are under stress may have a tendency to overeat, which can lead to obesity. For some people, eating may be a way of coping with stress, but this can lead to more problems in the long term. Instead of turning to food, it is important to find other ways to manage your stress.
Practice mindful eating
To improve your awareness of your eating habits, you can also try a mindful eating practice. The bottom line
It is common to experience both obesity and mental health issues together. For some people, obesity may contribute to developing certain mental health conditions, while for others mental health issues may lead to weight gain and obesity. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your health that can have positive effects on your weight and mental well-being.
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