Does depression cause weight gain? The physical effects of depression is a complex riddle to solve and you’ll have to go through the intricacies first.
The effects of depression on the body might vary from one person to another. For some, it might lead to weight gain while it can even cause weight loss in others.
Blame it on the limbic system–a complex collection of networks and nerves in the brain.
The limbic system handles emotions as well as the appetite for us. This pretty much explains why we tend to lose or gain weight when we are in a depression.
For example, people having anxiety tend to lose weight because they move a lot.
Similarly, people gain weight due to this disorder because they tend to binge eat and eventually develop other diseases.
To worsen the situation, anti-depressants contribute majorly to the crisis. It is well-known that these drugs have several side effects and the most prominent effect is weight gain.
Take charge of your health
As an initial step to control weight gain, monitor your cravings for food in different moods. For example, check what you feel like eating when you are sad, anxious, angry, nervous etc. This will give you great insight into your eating habits in different moods.
If you tend to eat chocolates when you feel sad, try to replace them with jaggery, dates, dry figs etc. Store handy tidbits in your house so that you can pick them and immediately curb food cravings.
Get into Action
Once people get a hint of weight gain, generally they lurch toward joining the gym and eventually find themselves quitting it after 1-2 months.
The better option is to take one step at a time, first is to switch off your TV and get moving. Start doing basic stretching exercises at home in the morning or at any time in the day. It will make you more active. Next, you can do a little yoga like Surya Namaskar or other similar activities.
People who work can take the steps at the office instead of lifts, take a walk after dinner etc. Finding a partner to motivate each other is a great way to go ahead with it. Research has shown that even 10 minutes of any activity will lower your tension by releasing endorphins that give you a positive feeling.
It is important to consult your doctor to know whether your anti-depressants are causing weight gain. There are a few Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) launched recently in the market, which helps in controlling weight gain as compared to veteran drugs.
Also, try consulting a nutritionist to overcome your cravings for food, side effects of depression and acts of mindful eating.
Remember every single effort of yours will move you out of depression and can lead to a more rewarding life. Take sooner you act, the better. The choice is yours!