Dieting = depression?

Hi all -- I've been at this for 2 months, and I'm down 16 lbs. Lately, though, I've been in a funk in the mornings. Just kind of depressed, sometimes on the verge of crying, and blah. I get over it, usually, by exercising, or grabbing a handful of carbs (breakfast cereal). I'm typically fine in the afternoons/evenings.

Has anyone else experienced this?


  • wilsoncl6
    wilsoncl6 Posts: 1,288 Member
    Sorry, not really. I'm usually up and ready to go at the world first thing in the morning. Is there something going on in your life that is causing you to stress or is getting you down? You might want to have your hormone levels checked. Usually, you should have a good amount of growth hormones released when you sleep amongst others. Too high a dopamine level will prevent restful sleep and can cause fatigue and other issues upon waking. You have to take a look at what your are ingesting during the day and before you lay down for the night. Are you on any medications? There are a lot of variables and factors that play into it. You should check with your doctor if this persists.
  • LauraPa1mer
    LauraPa1mer Posts: 65 Member
    Yes, I have. I would make sure you're getting enough calories and enough carbohydrates. When I was deficient in both of these, respectively, I would start to feel down.
  • AliceDark
    AliceDark Posts: 3,886 Member
    Definitely yes. Eating too little absolutely is a trigger for my depression to show up. It's not the only trigger, so it's important to really evaluate all the things that are going on in your life, but I just had to increase my calories because I was at too high of a deficit and it was screwing with my head.

    16 pounds in 8 weeks is a really fast rate of loss. Could you change your settings to lose 1 pound per week and see if that helps?

    Another thing to keep in mind...some people experience seasonal depression (called seasonal affective disorder) that starts around this time of year. Could that be a contributing factor for you?
  • climbing_trees
    climbing_trees Posts: 726 Member
    Eat some more carbs!
    I went low carb for a while and I was a total wreck. The weight loss was not worth it.
    Since you feel sad in the mornings, try eating something like a banana or wheat bread before you go to sleep.
  • RavenLibra
    RavenLibra Posts: 1,737 Member
    check your macros and maybe add a multi vitamin to ensure you are not depriving yourself of some of the vitamins and minerals that help keep your body and mind balanced. To feel "well" the body needs to have the right chemical building blocks... cravings... are the body's way of telling you... it's short on something or other... So.. keep up the good work... and as Wilson suggests if you ARE doing everything right... talk to your doctor... some folks just need a little something extra to create the balance.
  • missdibs1
    missdibs1 Posts: 1,092 Member
    Seasonal depression is something I deal with every year. Know this truth. Exercise is the most under utilized antidepressant there is. And it's free. Band you can take it wherever and whenever you want.
  • CorlissaEats
    CorlissaEats Posts: 493 Member
    edited November 2014
    If you are eating too few calories, not getting enough of the nutrients you need, then unfortunately your hormones will be affected, which leads to changes in mood. So yes, dieting can equal depression.

    Evaluate your calorie goals using another site like to determine your body's daily calorie needs. If your current MFP goal is more than 20% less or more than 500 calories below this number than you might want to think about changing your MFP goals. Actually if you are experiencing mood changes, consider going with 10% or 250 less than TDEE for a while until you level out. The only way you will gain weight eating more is if you eat above TDEE or if you have destroyed your metabolism so that the online calculator is off.

    Edited to say: Other poster has a valid point, consider SAD as a possible source. D-drops help with that.
  • Go_Mizzou99
    Go_Mizzou99 Posts: 2,628 Member
    edited November 2014
    I had some issues during my big weight loss where I felt blue in the morning. I changed things up a bit to get out of my funk.

    I started getting up about 15 minutes earlier and making myself and my wife big breakfasts (look at my diary - today, any day). I now specialize in big, low cal, 1-skillet hot breakfasts. When I am too lazy to do that I do some tortilla roll-ups, or even eat leftover supper.

    An unintentional consequence of this resulted in my wife loving this "new me" in the morning. This has had a nice side effect of her waking up happy instead of waking up sulking because she loves her half of the breakfast. I also think that her mood improvement in the morning helped me as well.
  • __freckles__
    __freckles__ Posts: 1,238 Member
    I'd be crying too if I only ate 1200 calories a day. Just saying. You can probably eat more and still lose weight.
  • rosebette
    rosebette Posts: 1,660 Member
    Are you in a more northern climate? I am starting to be in a funk now, especially since the time change, so I sympathize. I have also been less motivated and more hungry, especially for carbs. I have been dealing with it with exercise. Also, getting out for 15-20 minutes during the sunniest part of the day can help.
  • neandermagnon
    neandermagnon Posts: 7,436 Member
    edited November 2014
    yes, not eating enough food has that effect on me, especially a lack of carbohydrate, fat or vitamin D. I've even seen research that shows a correlation between a lack of fat in the diet and feeling suicidal.

    a lot of people cut fat out of their diet altogether thinking it's bad, but it's not, it's an essential nutrient. It's calorie dense so it's easy to overeat if you eat a lot of fatty food, but you shouldn;t cut it out of your diet altogether. As long as you're careful to measure out portions of fatty foods correctly and you stay within your calorie goals, fat is not bad for you. Fats that have not been subjected to heat contain more nutritional value than very hot fats (e.g. using cold pressed olive oil in a salad dressing will give you essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins... the oil in a deep fat frier pretty much only gives you calories.)

    ETA: that doesn't mean you can never have deep fried foods in moderation... even those are fine so long as you're careful about portion control and staying within your calories.
  • colleenzlife
    colleenzlife Posts: 28 Member
    I love these replies! Very helpful to a common issue. It's difficult to find the right balance of nutrition and exercise, it's a struggle to find a consistency, some days are good and some not so good. I guess when you find something that works well for you then stick with it. Congrats on the weight loss.....stay healthy :-)
  • TossaBeanBag
    TossaBeanBag Posts: 458 Member
    Yup, burn the fat off - don't try to starve it. Eating enough and exercising even more should pump up growth hormones and endorphins.
    KANGOOJUMPS Posts: 6,472 Member
    I am sorry you are like this, I am the reverse,, I put on a tight sexy outfit, and I FEEL HYPER AND GREAT!, It makes me work harder and I feel better.
  • esjones12
    esjones12 Posts: 1,363 Member
    Is it really related to dieting? I personally have had other issues in my life and the frustration came out as blaming my body for not doing what I wanted it to do (lose weight). If you are eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and have a healthy deficit - I would look at other areas of your life.

    If the funk lasts too long make sure to talk to someone about it. You can get through it! Best of luck.
  • daynerz
    daynerz Posts: 227 Member
    Hey! Great post actually.
    I used to be into bodybuilding and my food choices and very restricted intake had brought me to depression for 4 months. My willpower was easy, mind over matter, however I disregarded my feelings about what I was doing, and my self-talk wasnt healthy... This goes to show, anyone can diet at a deficit, but the point of dieting, shouldnt be to diet, but rather integrate it into a lifestyle, where your overlook of food is good, and over maintenance days isnt a day to be in shame, but rather a day of eating to much, and that tomorrow is a new day. In this light, there is no post binge day where your in a punishment mentality... I can speak with you lots about this, if you send me an email...
    My advice to you is, deficit more and more as the weeks go by, don't hit it hard too soon, and develop the attitude where greediness of food is real, and that you should practice eating to your body's natural hunger craving, rather than routine that tells you when to eat.. ect :p
    Today I am not depressed, I look forward to my next day of calories, knowing that I am not giving and dissipitating into food and overconsuming, because in this mind set I think of those without food, who are truly hungry, and families that can't afford luxury foods..cookies, muffins..ect... I put myself in their shoes, and now everytime I do eat, before and after, I pray and give thanks and have much gratitude. :)
  • NotSoPerfectPam
    NotSoPerfectPam Posts: 114 Member
    I live in New Orleans -- it's been sunny and in the 70s for about a month now. No SAD here :) I may need to pump up my calories - i usually net about 1200, but the depression is relatively new.
  • wibutterflymagic
    wibutterflymagic Posts: 788 Member
    I haven't. I would have to say that you aren't eating enough. If you are eating the right amount of healthy meats/proteins, veggies fruits and exercising there isn't reason you should be depressed. Exercise helps with depression so you probably aren't eating enough. Try making your snacks protein or veggies, not processed carbs. Protein with stick with you longer. String cheese, cottage cheese, nuts, greek yogurt with fruit, beef jerky, veggies with a small amount of lower fat dip to name a few.
  • NotSoPerfectPam
    NotSoPerfectPam Posts: 114 Member
    I've pretty much given up all refined sugar - I try to limit carbs, but eat veggies and fruits. though if you look at my recent diary, you'll notice a slight increase in junk (halloween candy), as I look to my normal "go to" foods to lift me out of a funk (chocolate). And no, that's not working. ha!
  • dbanks80
    dbanks80 Posts: 3,685 Member
    rosebette wrote: »
    Are you in a more northern climate? I am starting to be in a funk now, especially since the time change, so I sympathize. I have also been less motivated and more hungry, especially for carbs. I have been dealing with it with exercise. Also, getting out for 15-20 minutes during the sunniest part of the day can help.

    i am so feeling this way. It gets dark at 5 pm here and I have to keep telling myself positive things so I dont start getting bored, depressed and wanting to binge drink wine.