Jan. 20 marks the beginning of the 20th annual Healthy Weight Week, a week dedicated to cultivating healthy living habits, self-acceptance and healthy weight.
The National Association of Mental Illness reports that poor nutrition can increase mental health problems and change brain functioning. Because of the link between diet, mood and energy, proper nutrition is especially important to those living with mental illness. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels can create mood swings, further aggravating mental illness. The relationship between mood and food is thus of critical importance to women seeking to recover from mental health issues.
Where mental illness has impacted weight loss goals, it is equally important for women not to allow body image to interfere with mental health. When women focus too critically on appearance rather than self-worth and personal fulfillment, they interfere with recovery from mental health issues. Because of this, it is important for women to receive nutritional guidance about weight-loss goals through a balanced eating program that takes mental health into account.
With appropriate nutritional counseling, women can heal their relationship with food and use nutrition as a powerful tool in supporting recovery from mental illness.