Which Came First: Depression or Weight Gain?

March 17, 2021 Mahevash Shaikh

First off, I want to clarify that I don't have the answer to the question, "Which came first: depression or weight gain?" This doesn't matter because depression and weight gain typically go hand in hand; weight gain can cause depression, and depression can cause weight gain. It is therefore important to manage one's weight in order to manage depression

Junk Food: The Enemy of Stopping Weight Gain While Depressed

Junk food is bad for your body and mind. I can mention endless studies that show the impact of junk food on one's body. I can even find links to research on how junk food affects the mind. But it is common knowledge that unhealthy food like potato fries and creamy cakes cause weight gain. And in my personal experience, junk food makes me put on weight and makes my depression worse. If I eat unhealthily, even two days in a row, I feel a lot more depressed on day three.

Now, I'm one of those people who have chronic or long-term depression, which means my depression isn't going to go away if I make good food choices. However, I have noticed that when I do eat healthily or even just reduced my intake of junk food, the black dog (depression) is a lot easier to manage. 

Weight Gain Due to Pandemic Depression

Like me, I know a number of people who have relied on their favorite comfort foods to cope with the pandemic. This is exactly why we have put on weight. In fact, I have officially become overweight, and this has impacted my physical and mental health.

I find myself more prone to mood swings and the blues have also become more intense. I am finally watching what I eat for the past week and I have noticed a slight but definite improvement in my health. In the past, when I used to hit the gym, my instructors always stressed that diet is more important than exercise to lose weight. Therefore, I am focusing on eating healthy food to get my weight down to the recommended range. 

Managing Depression and Weight Gain

Watch the video below to know the importance of diet on depression -- and how one can eat better even if they are too depressed to care about their food choices. 

That said, some of us cannot help being overweight even if we exercise and watch what we eat. Please note that my aim is not to body shame anyone or encourage dieting, but to raise awareness on the link between weight gain and depression. 

If you have an answer to the question I posed in the title of this article or simply want to share your views on this topic, please leave a comment below. 

APA Reference
Shaikh, M. (2021, March 17). Which Came First: Depression or Weight Gain?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 15 from

Author: Mahevash Shaikh

Mahevash Shaikh is a millennial blogger, author, and poet who writes about mental health, culture, and society. She lives to question convention and redefine normal. You can find her at her blog and on Instagram and Facebook.

taimoor shah
July, 27 2021 at 3:41 am

mahevash shaikh I am fond of your blog and really get knowledge about depression. I was also a victim of depression but Alhamdullilah recovered right away with meditation and therapy.

August, 2 2021 at 2:20 am

Hi Taimoor,
I am so glad you like my blog and gain knowledge from it.
It's great that you have recovered and I hope you stay depression-free. But if you ever relapse, stay strong because you know you can beat depression :)

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