The Difficulty of Being Obese and the Emotional Pain of Dieting

Mature overweight man sitting in armchair
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There are many people who struggle with obesity. It is one of the biggest problems in the United States. With more and more Americans becoming obese it can be difficult to stop this epidemic. 

There are more than 78 million adults and 13 million children that struggle with obesity in the United States. It can be difficult to deal with. It is often easier to grab a burger from a local fast-food joint instead of making a delicious salad at home.

It is not only the time, but also the temptation that makes it so difficult to stop. 

Some people describe an inability to resist getting and eating sugary food—even though they know it is bad for them and is damaging to their health. For many people it is even harder for them to follow their diet and ignore the temptation of unhealthy food. That is where the phrase “diets don’t work” came from. 

These few individuals are not the only ones who have to struggle between the decision of “should I eat that or just grab that.” Everyone struggles with weight, even those who are professionals find themselves falling out of their diets into unhealthy foods. It can be easy to go for your favorite unhealthy foods, especially during stressful times. It just makes life easier, right? Well, actually it can be even more harmful to your body, especially over time. 

People do not only find themselves dealing with the struggles of being obese or overweight, but the emotional pain that comes with beginning or being on a diet.

It can be easy to say, but extremely difficult to do. Many people find themselves beginning a diet and then giving up, causing them to feel like a failure. With that feeling, those people might find a way to comfort that feel by eating and end up overeating. 

One of these people that has been dealing with this is Ms Curtis, who discusses her struggle with gaining weight, failing at diets, and the constant criticism from people who don’t understand the struggle of overeating.


The problem with diets is that you tell yourself to stop eating those foods you so desperately love. You then find yourself craving these foods and then after one or a few bad days, you find yourself giving into your cravings. You then find yourself overeating because not only did you have stress or an emotional hard day, but that you finally gave into your craving and have to fully satisfy it. Then after you are done you feel even worse because you gave in and ruined your diet. Ms. Curtis states that the emotional pain and struggle of dieting can be worse than the emotional struggle of being obese. 

It is not uncommon for people to feel this way because our brains actually has a response to help us deal with emotional issues. Our brains have neurotransmitters and serotonin that help restore our emotional well-being. Serotonin is created when we are eating non-fruit carbohydrates, like bread. After the serotonin is created, insulin, amino acids, and tryptophan goes into our brains. From there, our brains take that tryptophan and make it into serotonin, and this gives us that emotional well-being feeling or basically it influences our overall mood.


In a recent study they found that people who are at a healthy weight only require about 25 to 30 grams of low or fat-free carbohydrates to change their serotonin levels. If these carbohydrates are low in fat, it can speed up your digestion and if they are low in protein can prevent tryptophan from getting into our brain. This can take as little as 20 minutes. 

Unfortunately for those who are obese, it is more difficult for their brains to make serotonin compared to others. The whole process become compromised, with insulin response becoming slower and making it harder for tryptophan to get into their brain. It is because of this that it can be difficult for obese individuals see a change in their serotonin. This delay can cause an obese individual to overeat more offer and break their diet quickly. 

It is difficult to lose weight in general, you have to be dedicated and determined to stay on track, but for many it is a greater struggle than they hoped. With obesity can come the emotional pain and struggle of dieting, but this pain can be diminished by continuing with your goals and having support from ones to help you achieve your goals.

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