T Nation

Depression Over Weight Gain


#1

Hi. I’ve been trying to lose weight my whole life and sometimes I feel so depressed with the way I’ve been doing. And when I’m depressed I feel more hungry and eat more! Please help me. Any advice? I’m almost 40 and I feel I need to work more than I used to because of my age.


#2

Without specifics it’s hard to give you anything concrete. Probably a good idea to work on removing the emotional connection to food. That’s a biggie.

What do you eat on a daily basis?


#3

Normally, I try to count my calories and watch the kind of food I eat, because if I allow myself to just give in to my wants, I can eat 1,200 calories for breakfast. lol. Anyway, I eat cereal and some eggs for breakfast. For lunch and dinner I try my best to eat fish and some greens. I love vegetables. My problem is, when I feel like I lost weight (like after 3 days of watching what i eat) and I don’t lose weight, I get all depressed and angry and then give up. And by giving up, I mean eating all I want. :frowning:


#4

Well that’s a vicious cycle. Obviously you are cognizant of the fact that appreciable weight loss does not occur so rapidly, so it’s important to always remind yourself of that. For overweight people though, noticeable fat loss can occur at a steady rate even just week to week, so I think if you at least can get your head in the game and stick with it for a few weeks, that should help you immensely.

Knowledge of nutrition is also a key tool to have, and it can often help people feel in control of their weight and their body. I’m sure you may be familiar with the basics. Here are some additional articles from this site that I think can be of use to you, both for knowledge, and for ideas on how to keep yourself accountable.

^For this one, you don’t need to dedicate an instagram to a food log. Even if it’s just an album on your own phone or a log on this site, it can be an effective way to keep you in check.

There is an abundance of information out there for you. These articles are just a snippet. At the end of the day, you have you realize that you are in control and that your depression is truly only a symptom, not the cause of your weight gain; your diet and your choices are what control how you look, which then affect how you feel. Depression is a very real thing, but everyone has control over their choices and, for the most part, over their body.


#5

When you say “watch what you eat”, how restrictive are you being - how many calories do you reduce your consumption by?

The relative change is key, and what normally happens is when you try to change something too drastically, you end up swinging back and forth like you describe.

Obviously you have to reduce your calories, but I think patience is REALLY crucial with any body composition changes.

It’s great that you like vegetables, so keep it up in that regard! :slight_smile:


#6

So bear in mind that I’m currently 350+ lbs and also coming up on 40 quickly. That being said, my main focus has been strength training and eating sufficiently to feed that, so I haven’t focused much on weight loss as a priority.

That being said, here’s what I have to say to you:

  1. The biggest indicator of moving in the right direction for fat loss is not always a scale. It’s one parameter in a very complex exchange. You can’t live and die by what the scale says because the scale doesn’t see the whole picture. Let’s say you start a training program and you haven’t trained hard in years. You’re likely going to add some muscle mass. Getting all depressed because you spent a week in the gym and eating good and still weigh the same is to be defeated before you’ve ever started. Use body part measurements. Neck, chest, waist, hips, upper arm, forearm, thigh, and calf. Measure once a month or so.

  2. You need to set reasonable expectations. It takes roughly a 3500 calorie deficit to burn a pound of fat (going off of memory). Couple that with a high likelihood that you may actually already be slowing your metabolism by not taking in sufficient calories and you’ve got a real uphill battle. You didn’t get overweight in one week or month and you’re not going to lose it in that time. You’re going to run a marathon, not a sprint.

  3. Get your mind right. You have to train and eat well because that’s what you want to do. So what if you don’t lose a lb this week? Are you still healthier for having spent the time in the gym and eaten better? You will determine whether you can lose the fat and you will do so in your mind before you ever lift a lb or cut a calorie.

  4. Learn to deal with your emotions with something other than food. See a counselor if you need to. There will always be the opportunity to crack. You need to learn how to do something with that other than stuffing your face. Hit the gym for an extra session, paint a picture, do something else.

You are losing in the one place you have to win before you do anything else and that’s your mind. Take no excuses. Handle your business.

As for me, I will deadlift 700 lbs before I turn 40. No matter how many setbacks I hit, injuries, or whatever. That’s what I will pull. That is to be your attitude. You will change before you turn 40. Not because I said something or anyone else. You will do it because you have decided it and you will follow through with it regardless.

That is how you break the trend.


#7

Stick this on your bathroom mirror.


#8

How tall are you and how much do you weigh?

Can you give an example of what you eat when you get “all depressed and angry and then give up”?

For starters- Unless you have a specific and detailed goal in mind (an example being losing a pound a week), you need to look at weight loss as taking a very long time. Think in terms of months instead of three days. You won’t see any real change in body-fat unless you go starve yourself and run a marathon or some such. Don’t confuse gains and losses in water weight with real change.


#9

You are behaving like a 5 year old throwing a tantrum at his parent, only the 5 year old actually has a chance of getting what he wants since there’s someone on the receiving end of said tantrum.

I’m not trying to be as ass, just illustrating the futility of doing this. I believe you need to fix this first before anything else because your daily decision making process will be adversely affected even if given a proper plan to follow. If you are truly depressed, seek proper help to solve that first.


#10

How over weight are you? Is losing weight for actual health reason? As in if you dont loose the weight you will meet a early demise? Or it purely for looking better?


#11

I’m with you, my friend. I’ve been overweight almost my entire life, just in my twenties no one really noticed because my massive chest distracted people from my belly. :grin: But seriously, you need work out buddies. A walking group. A martial arts class. Any place you can be active and make friends that will support your goals at the same time. Take a vegetarian cooking class. I’m not saying you have to be vegetarian, but you’ll learn how to cook healthy meals and, again, make friends who want to be healthy, too.


#12

Nothing like some grass fed vegetarian.

Sorry, couldn’t resist.


#13

My best advice would be to learn to make running and working out your new addiction. Train your mind to crave it. Don’t focus on the negative aspects, focus on the positives. Focus on the “runners’ high” we all get after a great workout, and knowing that your taking control of your life. The weight will come off, your energy will increase, your confidence will skyrocket, and you’ll be able to live the rest of your life happier than you ever thought possible.

Good luck.


#14

I’ve lost 20 pounds this year and it was relatively easy (I was/am still carrying excess fat which is why it wasn’t hard)

Breakfast: Protein Shake (2 scoops Metabolic Drive) w/ Kefir
Breakfast 2: 4 eggs (normally hard boiled)
Pre-training: Plazma 1 scoop
Post-Training: Protein Shake
Lunch: Fish (2-3 fillets) and a bag of veggies (I just use the microwavable kind for convenience at work)
Dinner: Meat + veggies.

If I needed extra calories I would eat a tuna packet or (when desperate) a Gatorade whey protein bar (it’s basically candy).

From Jan - April I had zero bread. Zero deserts. Zero Soda. I think you get the idea.

I basically tried to get about 150g of Protein, less than 50 carbs, and filled in the blanks with fat.

I’ve since changed this up a bit, but that’s how I lost the 20 pounds in 4 months.

As far as training goes, I lifted 4 days a week and tried to walk at least 5 miles. At no time did I feel overly hungry and my lifting didn’t suffer at all. I even set a number of PRs.

Anyway, that is what has worked for me. You have to be consistent, though. I went a few weeks where the scale did not change. I stayed the course and the dial began moving again.

As of now, I’ve been sitting at 200 for about 3 weeks because I have been inconsistent with birthdays, holidays, etc…


#15

I find walking helps. It’s so simple, but it really does work. It should also help work through the depression/anger.