Weight loss is a struggle for millions of Americans especially after the pandemic. During the pandemic, 42% of American adults unintentionally gained weight, the average gain being about 30 pounds. This weight gain can be triggered by many different reasons, but one of the main triggers for changes in weight can be mental health, something that many Americans found affected by the pandemic.
Mental health has more of an effect on our weight than we might assume. 80% of people with serious mental illnesses are overweight or obese. In people with mental illness, cortisol can flood the brain which impairs its ability to function. Memory and mental processes can be impaired which makes it more difficult to learn new habits, maintain motivation, and adopt healthy behaviors that are critical for weight loss.
Even less serious forms of mental illness can affect weight. Many Americasn suffer from some sort of depression at one point or another in their lives, and this depression can cause physical symptoms that fluctuate weight. Some people living with depression feel hungrier or eat emotionally which can cause weight gain.
Seeing that mental health can be critical in the weight loss process, there are holistic options that can address weight issues as well as mental health problems. Utilizing tools such as group therapy with addiction counselors and meditation is a great way to address the underlying mental health problems that can lead to many peoples struggles with weight.