Mental Health and Weight Loss

Eating a nutritious diet and getting enough exercise is the best way to lose weight. Avoiding foods and drinks that are high in calories, salt, sugar and fat is also important.

Unexplained weight loss should be investigated by a GP. They will ask questions about your lifestyle and health history and may arrange tests or scans.


Stress is a natural reaction that helps your body adapt to challenging situations, such as an unexpected traffic jam or meeting new people for work. In small doses, this kind of stress is called eustress — manageable, positive stress that helps you to overcome challenges and achieve success.

But when stress becomes chronic, it can cause serious damage to your mental and physical health. Over time, it can lead to a variety of symptoms, such as headaches, heartburn, high blood pressure and difficulty sleeping.

It can also impact your eating habits. Constant stress stimulates appetite-regulating hormones, making you feel hungrier and causing you to reach for higher-calorie foods like sweets and fast food. This type of “stress eating” is often called comfort eating and can contribute to weight gain.


Whether it is working up a sweat in the gym or pounding the treadmill at home, exercise is often seen as one of the keys to losing weight. However, new research suggests that while it can help with a range of health outcomes, pinning all your hopes on exercise to burn the calories you need to lose weight may be a bit of a mistake.

Aerobic exercises are what most people think of when they think of exercise – things like running, walking fast, cycling, swimming or taking aerobic classes. Those types of activities help you get your heart rate up and into the fat-burning zone for longer periods of time.

They also tend to be more fun than slogging it out on the treadmill and can include dancing or playing sports. But if your goal is weight loss, it’s important to incorporate resistance training into your routine as well as cardiovascular exercise. That way, you’ll build muscle mass and keep your metabolism stoked – even as you shed those pounds.

Mental health

Mental health is a state of emotional and social well-being, as well as the ability to cope with life’s challenges. It is important for our emotions, thinking, communication, learning, resilience, hope and self-esteem. It is also essential for relationships, personal and family life and contributing to society.

People with psychiatric conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety can be more likely to gain weight than people who don’t have these problems. This can be due to medication side effects or the fact that these illnesses can affect appetite and eating habits.

To address this gap, we will conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of behavioural weight management interventions that target both diet and physical activity with an emphasis on weight loss in adults with overweight and obesity. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and cluster RCTs will be included, and where data allows, subgroup analysis will be conducted to determine whether intervention and participant characteristics are associated with changes in mental health outcomes.