Man, if only you could lose twenty-five pounds—then you’d be able to wear a great suit, and people at the office would take you more seriously, and ladies might give you the time of day . . . right? Well, here’s the thing: the things making you unhappy before losing weight still make you unhappy after losing weight.
In a new longitudinal study, researchers in the UK followed 2,000 overweight people for four years. They found that those who lost more than five per cent of their original body weight were more likely to report feeling depressed. Even after for controlling for individuals who’d undergone an extreme loss in the past four years, like the loss of a spouse, they found that the people who lost weight were more than 50 per cent likely to be depressed compared with those who didn’t lose weight.
So what gives? Well, weight loss sucks, and if you’re the type of person who finds happiness in a doughnut, loss of said doughnut won’t help your levels of happiness. On top of that, weight loss just isn’t a panacea for everything that makes people upset. There are tonnes of reasons to lose weight, and good ways to get it done, but it won’t fix everything in your life.