Being overweight isn’t easy. In addition the many health challenges faced by heavier people, those of us who are overweight may find that our mental health is suffering, too. In our society, it’s hard to feel positive about your appearance when you’re overweight. And obesity shares many of its root causes and symptoms with various forms of mental health disorders.
Obesity and depression are linked, and many people suffer from both obesity and mental health issues. Maybe you’re one of them. If you are, read on. We’re here to talk about weight, nutrition, and how to care for your mental health.
Nutrition and diet essentials
Contrary to what most people think, weight is not a particularly good indicator of overall health. It’s true enough to say that, all else being equal, it’s healthier to be at a medically “normal” weight. But it isn’t true to say that all skinny people are healthier than all heavy people, or that everyone would be healthier if they lost a few pounds.
What is true, however, is that the healthy foods that tend to lead to healthy weights are often also good for our minds. To be clear, this isn’t about “dieting”; it’s possible to lose weight without eating anything healthy (you can just eat less of the unhealthy stuff). But if you do choose a whole foods diet, be sure to focus on lots of vegetables, and balance your macronutrients. You’ll likely find that your mood and mental health improve (along with your physical health, of course).
Caring for your mind
Regardless of what you weigh, you have a right to a happy and fulfilling life. But you won’t feel mentally healthy unless you work to make your mental health a priority.
That means eating as well as you can, as outlined above, but it also means taking the right supplements. CBD, for example, is a powerful natural supplement derived from marijuana that is believed to help address symptoms of anxiety. It’s easy to add CBD products from brand names such as Select CBD to your routine. You can take CBD as edibles, vape oils, and many other options.
Visiting a psychologist or other mental health professional is also a must when you’re dealing with any kind of mental health issue. You should take your mental health issues seriously, especially when you’re overweight.
Zeroing in on your weight
Your weight does not define you, and you can care for your mental health and eat a nutritious diet even if you’re overweight. But you also can’t deny that being overweight tends to be inherently unhealthy, and that losing weight would likely improve both your physical and mental health.
With that in mind, consider your options. Start by focusing on your diet and how you might be able to implement lifestyle changes. You don’t have to go “on a diet.” In fact, you likely don’t want to; studies show that they’re ineffective and can even be unhealthy. But you should strive to make changes such as eating more vegetables. Eating lots of veggies will help fill you up, too, making it easier for you to lose weight.
You may also want to talk to your doctor about other options, such as gastric sleeve surgery. But remember that any weight loss solution is incomplete if it doesn’t also account for your essential mental health needs.
Your weight, physical health, and mental health are all closely connected. Consider all of them, and take care of yourself. No matter what, you need to protect your mindset and focus on living a happy life.