Tracking Progress Essential for Weight Loss and Depression

food journalRecent research suggests that those dealing with depression also have difficulty distinguishing fine detail visually, although they are able to make interpretations on a larger scale. This may be linked to a shortage of the neurotransmitter GABA, which has been linked to one’s ability to suppress part of a visual field and focus on a single part. It is unclear if this correlation is another symptom of depression or a genetic trait that contributes to depression.

It is common for depression to accompany the need to lose weight. Thus you may be less likely to notice the improvements that you are making day by day on your journey to weight loss and/or health. If you are working towards a goal and not noticing progress, it can get pretty frustrating, which can make depression worse.

Another danger is that depression often includes apathy and low energy, all factors that could lead someone to give up, so it is important to find a way to notice the results of your hard work.

Find a system for tracking, preferably using more than one measure. There is much debate about which measures matter most, and at times progress can be seen in one area when we seem to plateau in another. Whether you keep track in a journal, on a chart, on a calendar, or using an phone application, find a system that works for you and log daily or weekly results.

Consider tracking measurements and BMI, in addition to weight. If you lift weights, write down the weight you use and how many reps you do, you will be able to notice an increase in strength. If you run, pay attention to distance and time to notice an increase in endurance and/or speed.

Sometimes others can be our best mirror. Pay attention to what others are saying to you. Even if you do not see what they see, they may be right. Ask a supportive friend or family member (who is not depressed) to look for progress towards your goal and provide you feedback.

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