Weight gain is a problem millions of Americans struggle to cope with, as being overweight and obese can lead to a variety of illnesses and complications.
Within the past two decades, research shows an increase in obesity from 30.5% to 41.9%, with severe obesity nearly doubling in that timeframe. With that sort of increase in weight problems, weight loss is something that can save a lot of lives.
Simply shedding as little as 5-10% of your total weight can have a number of positive physical benefits for your body, reducing your chances of dealing with long-term conditions that can damage your health and shorten your lifespan. But losing weight has a number of emotional benefits as well, and can help change your outlook on life.
Residents of Beverly Hills, California, struggling with weight problems can find help with Shawn Veiseh, M.D. Dr. Veiseh and our highly skilled medical team offer a comprehensive array of treatments to our patients, including an individualized weight loss program to help you get long-term results to improve your health.
To understand the mental health impact of weight loss, let’s look at the conditions associated with being overweight, its negative emotional impact, and the benefits of weight loss on your mind.
Conditions associated with obesity
Being overweight increases your risk of a number of chronic health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, various types of cancer, and an increase of severe symptoms from COVID-19 if you become infected.
While an unhealthy diet is a common factor in weight gain, several things affect getting heavier, such as inactivity, genetic factors, stress, lack of sleep, pregnancy, aging, and certain medications and diseases.
The negative effect of obesity on mental health
Weight gain can have a strong emotional effect on your life regardless of how old you are when you experience it. These are some problems people of all ages deal with while being overweight that affect their mental health:
Being overweight carries a number of ill-informed, preconceived notions that have persisted throughout the years, regarding laziness, attractiveness, and lack of discipline. These ideas can negatively impact your social life and make things harder for you for years to come.
Negative personal outlook
Even without reinforcement of social stigmas on weight, excess body fat can cause inflammation that affects your immune system and can lead to depression. This will only increase your feeling of isolation in social situations and make your life more difficult.
The dangerous aspect of emotional issues connected with weight is the habits that can form as a result, such as seeking emotional comfort in food, which in turn leads to weight gain. This can happen due to stress from moving to a different environment, adjusting to a new school or job, divorce, or a death in the family.
Benefits of weight loss for your mind
We put a lot of emphasis on our looks in social environments and personal relationships, and losing weight can improve our perception of ourselves.
Losing weight helps improve many aspects of your emotional health, such as sleep, energy, vitality, and mood. All of these can have a direct impact on your confidence, personal outlook, body image, sex life, and social life.
Losing weight also improves many of the chronic conditions that can contribute to depression and other mental illnesses, which can lead to reducing or removing medications for treating those issues. The improvement in this case does increase with the amount of weight you lose and keep off.
It’s important to know that while long-term weight loss is a great health benefit, it’s also a lifestyle change. Many people who lose weight with fad diets experience short-term success, but will regain the weight over time. Setting long-term goals for diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in your physical and mental health.
If you’re ready to embrace a thinner, healthier you, make an appointment with Dr. Veiseh today to see what his weight loss plan can do for you. Call our office or request an appointment online.