Weight Management Tips for People with Depression

Researchers often link weight loss to major depressive disorder. A part of the brain called the limbic system controls our appetite, and depression is an emotional disturbance in the brain. When your emotions get disturbed, so does your appetite.

Factors Causing Depression

Many factors cause depression. People who suffer from a stressful life or have a close family member having a history of depression can have depressive disorders.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression takes a toll on your body in a big way. It causes headaches, general aches and pains, stomach problems, and a loss of hunger. Some call it a gut feeling. A study established a strong correlation between gut and mental well-being, noting that gut imbalance can cause depression.

Depression Causes Health Problems

Depression can cause other health problems. They can cause chronic inflammatory or autoimmune diseases like diabetes, arthritis, heart or cardiovascular ailments, or inflammatory bowel disease. All can cause weight loss directly or indirectly.

Depression Causes and Affects Appetite

What you eat is linked to depression-causing factors. A sedentary lifestyle with toxic food can cause depression and appetite loss. Daily 30 minutes of exercise will boost your immunity and appetite and help manage depression.

An anti-oxidant enriched diet of fruits and vegetables, fish, low calory dairy, olive oil, and whole grains can mitigate the risk of depression and keep your appetite healthy to maintain a healthy weight in line with your body mass index.

If you include red or processed meats, high-fat dairy, butter, potatoes, sweets, sugary food and beverages, refined grains, and high-fat, high-saturated gravy, you will put on weight and be at a high risk of depression.

Depression and Weight Gain or Weight Loss

Our body entrusts our brain with the specific function of controlling our appetite. Depression can set the brain function off in the direction where the person feels no hunger or can eat way too much than what the body requires.

So you gain or lose weight depending on which direction your brain is affected. The same person can overeat and eat less with two different depression episodes. People affected by seasonal affective disorder feel lazy and gain weight in the winter and lose it in spring.

Depression and Anxiety-caused Eating Disorder

People with depression and anxiety coexist, wring their hands, pace a lot, and tremble because of sped-up metabolism and losing weight. Depression and weight gain lead to a more severe condition than depression and weight loss because obesity causing weight gain can lead to heart disease.

Depression and Compulsive Eating Disorder

Bingeing or binge eating disorder is a compulsive overeating disorder used to cope with unwanted emotions. Bulimia nervosa is bingeing and purging, which means overeating and the body trying to flush out the excess food through vomiting.

Healthy Weight Management Tips

Since depression and weight control are inter-wound, manage each problem separately to manage weight. For instance, you need to increase physical activity to manage your weight, but depression might stop you from engaging in physical activities.

Let’s get started with some helpful tips to manage both health conditions.

Depression Effects and Hunger Relationship

Examine the feelings when you have depression and how and when you can use food to control your depression. Explore new ways to look at your food as a source of nutrition to fight depression.

Mindful and Slow Eating

Do not feel overwhelmed that you have depression. Control your mind to take small but incremental steps toward your weight management goal. For example, start slowly by cutting down on junk eatables from your food intake, and stop having sugary beverages as your weight management goal for the next week. Cut down on fried food the week after that.

Stop being a Couched Potato

Turn off your TV, mobile phone, and other electronic gadgets tying you to the couch. Stop playing games on the computer. Take a walk into nature. If you are feeling depressed, learn to control your mind. Try meditation and yoga. Get busy with life and activities you enjoy doing.

The more you stay home, the more depressed you are, and your metabolic rate will drastically drop. Get out of home early in the morning sun and feel rejuvenated.

More activities will boost your metabolism, but increase your activities gradually because depression will lead to low energy levels. Set a goal of stretching or warming up in the morning five days a week.

Then go to the next level of walking around your block. And gradually embark upon gentle running. Jumping rope or swimming can do good for your weight management and managing depression.

Consult a Professional Dietician

Take help from a professional, as we do not know about health management. You can consult for free online. Chart your diet from a dietician based on your weight management goal and health condition.

Ask your doctor if medication interferes with your weight management efforts.

If you are taking depression medications, it can cause weight gain. Check with your doctor if this happens. Your doctor may change the antidepressant or the dosages. Aid you with metabolism-driven medications.


Depression can affect your health significantly, leading to weight loss/gain. It can lead to a lack of appetite or depression-driven overeating. Your doctor has prescribed or taken antidepressants that can cause weight loss/gain.

Start with food and diet management. Eat mindfully, indulge in physical activities, and design a well-rounded diet to help you manage your weight despite having depression.

Updated on: 28-Apr-2023


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