Are you curious about mental health factors driving obesity? Over the last two decades, obesity rates in the US have increased by nearly 50%, putting the health of hundreds of millions of Americans at risk. Therefore, understanding the factors influencing obesity is paramount to tackling it properly as individuals. Also, you can do this by honestly examining one’s mental health and daily habits to make sure they are moving in a positive direction.
Reconsider Your Habits
A wrong approach to nutrition can lead to knock-on effects that make maintaining or losing weight much more challenging. For example, three square meals a day sounds like pointless advice until you consider how many people skip breakfast or lunch each day. Skipping meals will cause your metabolism to slow over time, and you are much more likely to overeat later. Cravings are another sign of poor eating habits. Stress triggers emotions. In these instances, it’s vital to objectively consider the source of your hunger and resist the urge.
Eating low-calorie-dense foods such as vegetables is a great way to reduce your appetite. Volume eating allows you to stay fuller for longer without going over your calories. The speed at which you eat can also affect your hunger levels. Your brain doesn’t fully register satiation until 15 minutes after you eat. So eating any faster than that could easily lead to overeating. Absent-minded snacking is another prevalent habit in the way of weight loss.
The abundance of food makes it easy to eat the odd snack between meals, but unfortunately, every calorie counts in the quest to reduce the waistline, and those snacks could push your way over the threshold of losing weight. Nothing can be taken for granted. Even a splash of olive oil on a salad needs to be accounted for.
Mental Health and Weight Loss
An unhealthy relationship with food has led to equally unhealthy behaviors, such as binge eating for millions of overweight Americans. We can often trace the cause of this back to childhood, where we learn our first behaviors with food from those around us and what it means to be hungry. In addition, we have linked foods high in salt and sugar to the activation of pleasure pathways in the brain.
During times of acute anxiety, low mood, and other stressors to mental health, these foods can quickly become a coping mechanism leading to unhealthy eating and weight gain. Binge eating is a disorder millions struggle with, but we can overcome it by working towards better mental and physical health. Also, this means sticking to a regular and healthy sleep schedule, getting plenty of sun, and exercising. Efforts to lose weight will be much less likely to succeed without the foundation of a healthy lifestyle overall.
The Last Word on the Mental Health Factors Driving Obesity
Research has shown that psychological factors play a huge role in one’s likelihood of gaining weight and losing it. With that in mind, a good weight loss plan tackles both sides of the problem, leading to better health overall. Addressing your mental health and approach to food is vital to losing weight.