Depression is a serious thing. An illness; a medical condition and something that continues to get bigger and bigger in the world unfortunately as we get busier and more stressed. It significantly affects the way someone feels, resulting in low moods and is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.
This imbalance can be caused by someone being pre dispositioned to Depression through genetics but can also be triggered by a stressful situation in life.
While depression can result in symptoms of weight loss in most cases people with depression tend to gain weight and have difficulty then losing the weight. This is because they associate unhealthy foods as comfort foods so therefore emotionally eat. Low mood, loss of interest in life also impacts movement and encourages a sedentary lifestyle which adds to one’s inability to lose weight. If you are suffering from depression then you will probably agree that when you are in this situation that is not being handled with the appropriate medication you feel very low, lose motivation and interest in life in general and in a nutshell you are not thinking very clearly.
However suffering from depression does not mean its game over and you cannot make steps in the right direction to becoming healthy. The great benefit of pushing forward with eating well and regular exercise is that it can help improve or get rid of depression because of the impact that healthy foods and natural activity have on the human body with micronutrients and happy hormone release.
TIPS FOR DEALING WITH DEPRESSION WHILE WORKING TOWARDS A WEIGHT LOSS GOAL:
Check up with your doctor about the medication you are on interfering with your weight management. Many depression medications can cause weight gain but new medications are coming all the time. We often just keep trucking on with something because it’s what we always got….but you just never know what is new and could make a difference for you.
Examine your relationship between your depression symptoms and food. It is good to keep a diary and record what you eat and when you eat it. If you know you seek the comfort foods in the pantry when you're low and you can feel yourself having an episode, ask someone to remove things from the house that you know you will eat because of the mental state you are in.
Be mindful of how and when you use food. Keep affirming that you eat food as a source of nutrition, not as a source of comfort. At Busyslim we believe 100% In the power of affirmations so have a few ready to use every time you feel down. You can write them somewhere and then just start reading them. You don’t have to believe it, but just reading it is sending subliminal messages into your subconscious that can help you at this time.
Set some small easy goals that you can achieve in the week. Better yet, enlist a friend or family member to help you with these goals. For example, a friend who understands you and will still turn up and take you for a walk when you don’t feel like it.
Take it slow – we often feel overwhelmed with life so making small incremental weight management goals is helpful. Set specific goals that include the amount of time and the type of activity you will do…. And work on progress….keep aiming to move forward no matter how slow it may seem.
Keep moving! Most people with depression and weight gain have reduced physical activity. This is where enlisting the help of a personal trainer or training buddy or finding a class you enjoy and want to go to for the social side of things as well is very helpful. This can also help you to sleep better.
Eat foods that stabilise your blood sugar and increase the availability of important brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinehine.
LET'S LOOK AT SERATONIN
It is a hormone. In , act it is one of the HAPPY HORMONES. A chemical messenger that acts as a mood stabiliser. While official depression medication increases the levels of Seratonin, research has also shown that you can improve your levels through your diet via the amino acid Tryptophan. Serotonin is synthesised from Tryptophan.
Seratonin isn’t found in foods but Tryptophan is. While high tryptophan foods wont boost serotonin on their own, there is one possible cheat to this system – CARBS!
Carbs cause the body to release more insulin which promotes amino acid absorbtion and leaves tryptophan in the blood. If you mix high tryptophan foods with carbs you can get a serotonin boost
FOODS HIGH IN TRYPTOPHAN
Eggs, cheese, tofu, salmon, fish, meat of any kind, poultry of any kind, walnuts, banana’s, kiwifruit, plums, tomatoes, chickpeas, beets, soy to name a few!
A word about PINEAPPLE….Pineapple does not have tryptophan in it but it is a major source of Bromelain which is an enzyme that breaks down protein…..it reduces inflammation and helps with digestion which is what you need if you are in a stressed state. When stressed we don’t digest correctly and therefore we don’t absorb these important things. So maybe it’s time to make pineapple one of your daily serves of fruit or make sure you include it a few times into your week so you can encourage better digestion.
This article is very basic in nature but we just wanted to touch on a few key things that we feel can be of benefit in helping you towards achieving your health and fitness goals.