What does Mental Health Have to do with Weight Management?

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As it turns out, mental health has a great deal to do with a person’s ability to gain or loose weight. Did you know that? If so, did you further realize that without addressing the mental health of weight loss, exercise and diet can prove pointless? It’s true. For effective weight management, your treatment plan needs to include mental health considerations. A few items to consider are stress, sleep, and vitamins.

Stress is one way the body measures its need for food storage. In other words, our level of stress is what indicates to our bodies whether or not to store extra calories for later use or not. This stems from a much earlier time when stress indicated that a person was about to engage in fight or flight. In both instances, the body would need extra calories to fuel the endeavor. While we are no longer running from wild animals or hunting for meat to bring home for dinner, we are still storing fat as a result of stress. So, this means that in order to communicate to our bodies that we want to decrease weight, we need to learn how to decrease stress in our lives. At The Goodman Center, LLC we use science based approaches such as mindfulness and cognitive therapy to aid in the reduction of stress and the ability to lose weight.

Sleep impacts an individual’s ability to lose or gain weight. When the body is tired, then the brain will crave sweets or carbohydrates. This is the bod’s effort to wake up and gain energy. So, if you are having sleep issues, you are fighting increase cravings. What we do at The Goodman Center is to identify the underlying sleep issues, and treat them so that the body will begin to desire healthy foods rather than simple sugars.

When considering weight management you also need to consider what a person’s body chemistry is like in terms of vitamins and minerals. For example, if you are low on Vitamin B12, then you may struggle with poor energy. Again, poor energy will lead to craving simple sugars, and will also leave low motivation to engage in healthy exercise.

These few items are among a myriad of underlying issues that can make weight management impossible if not dealt with correctly. At the very least, not addressing all aspects of weight management will leave you working harder than you really need to, and achieving less than you should.

By: Meredith H. Wood, MSC Reference: Carson, R.E. (2012). The Brain Fix: What’s the matter with your gray matter.

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