Results from several research and studies have shown that there is a link between mental health and the weight loss of an individual. Weight loss could be an indicator of a mental health challenge. In some other cases, losing weight can positively influence the mental state of an Individual. Generally, most people consider losing weight one of the ways to achieve a healthier and better life. However, when weight loss is not intentional or when it is extreme, it could be a sign of an ongoing psychological issue and could put you in danger of a health complication.

Mental Health and Weight Loss: Causes, Risks & How to Improve

Common Causes Of Weight Loss

Depression and trauma are mental states that can lead to weight loss. Depression is well associated with mood swings, emotional and weight problems. Depression causes lack of appetite, digestive problems, fatigue, and sleeplessness. The decrease in appetite may eventually result in weight loss.

Certain antidepressant medications prescribed by doctors could cause noticeable weight changes in patients. The use of some depression medications can lead to weight loss in the first few months.

People that were traumatized as children or at some other point in their lives are more prone to having weight issues later in life. Exposure to sexual abuse, physical abuse, bullying from peers, or even the death of a loved one is more likely to have adapted to some non-beneficial eating habits. Sometimes, the result is an abnormal weight gain or obesity due to unhealthy eating. However, in other cases, childhood trauma can lead to depressive feelings that lead to unhealthy weight loss. Of course, not everyone that has suffered trauma has an unhealthy weight. But there could be some sort of connection.

Stress and anxiety are likely mental health conditions that can result in unhealthy weight loss.  Anxiety is a feeling accompanied by uneasiness, fear, or distress about something or an event. This uneasiness could lead to a loss of interest in food.

A stressed person overthinks because he has a lot on his mind and may lose appetite frequently too. In situations like this, even when you eventually eat, you don’t eat as much as you normally do. A reduced food intake could cause a calorie deficiency. When you continuously skip meals, it becomes an unhealthy eating habit and you end up with undesired weight loss.

Another condition that is related to stress and anxiety is insomnia. Your body uses up more energy when you are awake than when you are asleep. The more you lack sleep, the more your body uses the stored up energy when it needs to, which may result in unintended weight loss.

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Psychological Risks Of Weight Loss

It is good for overweight people to attempt to lose weight for a healthier and better lifestyle. But if one is not done carefully, it could lead some to harmful results.

Weight loss is only beneficial when it is done healthily and matched with and matched with realistic expectations. When this is not the case, the results may be unsatisfactory and impact an individual negatively. It is also wrong to expect weight loss to fix other real-life issues that are unconnected to obesity. Unmet expectations can lead to psychological stress and adversely affect mental health

Another possible risk is the possibility of increased pressure to maintain newly achieved weight. This may be a result of the person being scared to be regarded as a failure in case of additional weight gain.

In other cases, the importance attached to a particular body type may be magnified out of proportion. Then the person in question does anything to remain with his perceived “body standards”. A person can also become addicted to losing weight rapidly. This could trigger a lot of eating disorder sicknesses. An example of this is anorexia characterized by an abnormal fear of weight gain. In addition, many obese patients worry about how to deal with the extra skin left after they had successfully shed the desired pounds of fat.

These risks could be avoided by getting the help of a dietician or a nutritionist in losing weight. Overweight patients should be observed and monitored for any obsessive behavior. They should be cautioned about taking the weight loss process too far and advised on healthy feeding habits and styles.

It should be understood that your identity and value should go beyond the size or shape of your body. Rather than dwelling on body changes, you should assimilate good practices like intuitive eating and other positive activities such as exercises.

Weight Loss In Seriously Mentally Ill Patients

Many patients diagnosed with major depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorders are overweight. This significantly worsens a patient’s state of health. In many instances, extra weight gain can be attributed to unhealthy feeding habits and a lack of physical activities. Some medications can even increase a patient’s appetite and aid weight gain.

Weight loss intervention programs can help to eliminate excess weight and give the patients better chances of recovering. The patients can also be encouraged to undergo sessions for weight management and exercises. The outcome of this is improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugars as well as an overall improvement in the state of mind.

How Weight Loss Improves Mental Health

However, there are times when weight loss could bring about some positive mental changes. It has been discovered that happiness and improved self-confidence are results of a positive body image. Obese people that take part actively in weight loss programs show noticeable signs of reduced depression symptoms. It also causes the affected individual to have a more stable mood and an overall enhancement in one’s life quality.

People that have successfully lost weight have testified that they feel more confident at work as a consequence of better self-esteem. Because weight loss is not an easy process, it could give one a sense of achievement and self-satisfaction which enhances mental well-being. Some people feel more outgoing and sociable after losing weight. These and other benefits will lead to a general improvement in a person’s state of mind and overall mental health.


There is no denying the fact that there is a connection between a person’s mental health and weight loss (or gain). Excessive weight loss could be an indicator that a person is suffering from a psychological condition. On the flip side, healthy weight loss could generate feelings of happiness, reduce negative feelings and keep the body and mind healthy. Apart from these, the right mentality can help get rid of excess fat. Therefore, it is very important that you maintain a healthy body.