Can depression cause weight loss even when eating?

In this article we straight away look at the answer to the question ‘Can depression cause weight loss even when eating?’ the blog will answer these questions by giving a few reasons why depression causes weight loss even when eating. Further in the blog, we will look at the basic relation between appetite and depression, how to maintain a healthy diet for depression, and other medical reasons leading to unexpected depression. 

Why does depression cause weight loss even when eating? 

Depression is serious and the most common mental health disorder that exists in today’s world. In addition, the symptoms such as extreme sadness, loss of sleep, anhedonia, loss of weight are the most common and prevalent symptoms of depression. Depression affects the same parts of the brain that control appetite. This can lead to poor appetite, and eventually, weight loss.

However, it is possible that depression may cause weight loss even if you are eating enough. One reason why this could happen is the underlying existence of an eating disorder called bulimia nervosa. It is quite common that depression comes in the comorbidity of an eating disorder. This is usually like the egg and chicken phenomenon. Sometimes we do not know which comes first. An eating disorder can lead to depression or vice versa. 

If your loved one is dealing with depression causes weight loss even when eating, you must check for the eating disorder called Bulimia. A person with bulimia engages in Binge eating. When depressed eating excess and junk food, release brain chemicals that may make a person feel good. But later on, they usually engage in purging activities. They may take drugs that help in purging or they might just insert their fingers or over-exercise to do so. Research has shown that depression is strongly associated with Bulimia. 

One very famous example of this is the Royal Highness, Princess of Wales, Daiana. It was seen that Diana faced an eating disorder that is known as Bulimia. After her marriage to the Prince of Wales, she leads a very difficult life. She was known to binge eat and then engage in the activity of purging. This might have been the result of depression or might have caused her depression. 

In addition, other theories point out that the usage of certain medications for the treatment of depression may either cause weight loss or weight gain. According to the article in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, it is commonly believed that the tricyclic type of antidepressants, also known as TCAs, increases a patient’s appetite, therefore perhaps causing weight gain. It is also commonly believed that newer antidepressants are known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, may contribute to weight loss in older adults.

Another report says that the side effects of SSRIs may include insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, and diarrhea. Nervousness and restlessness, like insomnia, may cause you to burn more calories overall and therefore lose weight. Diarrhea can cause weight loss as your body may not have a chance to extract energy and nutrients from the food you consume. 

Depression is also associated with sleep-related disorders, mostly depressed person losses the ability to sleep. Scientists believe that we burn more calories when we are awake than sleeping. Therefore disturbances in sleep can undoubtedly lead to loss of weight even when you are eating. 

Can depression cause weight loss even when eating?

The basic relation between weight and depression 

The loss of appetite and weight is the most common symptom of depression. In fact, this one symptom may be associated with the other symptoms. One may lose interest to eat because of fatigue and loss of interest in any activity. This may be especially true for older people with depression, who may lose interest in cooking and don’t have the energy to prepare meals. For others, nausea may be a symptom of their depression and a cause for loss of appetite.

On the other hand, we also know that depression can also lead to an increase in appetite. The symptoms such as hopelessness or worthlessness can make people overeat. It results in what is called emotional eating. A person may eat even if they’re not physically hungry.  emotional eating is eating in response to emotional hunger. When patients eat in response to their emotions, they are soothed by the food as it changes the chemical balance in the brain, produces a feeling of fullness that is more comfortable than an empty stomach, and improves mood through positive association with happier times.

This is the basic relation between appetite and depression. 

How to maintain a healthy diet for depression? 

It is seen that having a healthy diet and certainly help you fight depression. Here are a few things you can do to alter your diet and consume healthy food. 

Mediterranean eating routine: There is some exploration to help that a Mediterranean-style diet, which is high in natural products, nuts, vegetables, and olive oil, and low in immersed fats, diminishes the danger of depression.  

Omega-3 unsaturated fats: These substances are found in cool water fish and have been demonstrated to be significant in cerebrum work. A few investigations show that they may upgrade an individual’s reaction to stimulant meds. You can find Omega 3 food in Fatty fish (anchovy, mackerel, salmon, sardines, shad, and tuna), Flaxseed, Canola and soybean oils, Nuts, especially walnuts, and Dark green, leafy vegetables

Nutrients and supplements: Examination shows that inadequacy of supplements, for example, nutrient B12, nutrient B6, and tryptophan can negatively affect mind-set. Subsequently, helpless nourishment that outcomes from loss of hunger can additionally intensify depression.

Selenium:  it is believed that there is a direct link between Selenium deficiency and depression. Selenium is one of the most important nutrients to consume. research studies have indicated that taking selenium may decrease feelings of depression. Selenium can be found in nuts, whole grains, beans, seafood, and lean meats. However, too much Selenium can be toxic too. Therefore make sure you consult with a doctor or a dietitian before you start with the intake.

Dietary help: You might need to converse with a dietitian about your dietary patterns. “A dietitian can assist somebody with depression by making a healthfully adjusted feast plan that considers the patient’s individual necessities. “For instance, the depressed patient might not have the energy or want to set up a supper. The dietitian will think about this and make menus that use simple to-get ready nourishments.” People with serious depression who experience a deficiency of craving may require wholesome enhancements to help forestall weight reduction and supplement inadequacy.

Dealing with depression in itself is not easy. Not only it takes away all your energy, but you are literally left with nothing. In addition, depression quite literally kills your body by sucking all the fat and reducing your weight. Given this, it is important that you eat enough food as well as sufficiently nutrient-rich food that will help your busy fight the monster of depression. 

What are the other reasons for weight loss? 

Apart from depression, there are other reasons why you may unexpectedly face weight loss. Here are a few medical reasons you may lose weight even when you are eating. 

Muscle loss 

Muscle loss, also known as muscle atrophy, occurs when the muscles shrink or waste away. This condition can cause unexplained weight loss. The major symptom is muscle weakness. One of your limbs may even look smaller than the other. Your body is made of fat mass and fat-free mass, which includes muscle, bone, and water. If you lose muscle, you’ll lose weight.

This may happen to those who have not worked their muscles in a very long time. It’s most common in people who don’t exercise, work desk jobs, or are bedridden. 

Overactive thyroid

Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, develops when your thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone. These hormones control many functions in the body, including metabolism. If your thyroid is overactive, you’ll quickly burn calories even if you have a good appetite. The result can be an unintentional weight loss.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the joints. Usually, RA causes obesity or an increase in weight. It is also seen that it causes unexpected weight loss. This weight loss may occur because the chronic inflammation that RA causes forces the body to use more energy. In addition, people who have RA may experience muscle loss because the inflammation in their joints keeps them from engaging in regular physical activity.

Inflammatory bowel disease

Unexpected weight loss may be a symptom of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is a term that encompasses several chronic inflammatory disorders of the digestive tract. The two most common types are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The chronic inflammation of IBD puts your body in a catabolic state, which means that it’s constantly using up energy. IBD also disrupts ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and leptin, the satiety hormone. This results in decreased appetite and weight loss.


Cancer refers to any disease in which abnormal and mutated cells rapidly multiply and eventually invade healthy tissue. Weight loss is especially common in lung cancer and cancers that affect the digestive tract, such as:

  • pancreatic cancer
  • colorectal cancer
  • liver cancer
  • stomach cancer
  • bile duct carcinoma
  • esophageal cancer


Endocarditis causes inflammation of your heart’s inner lining or endocardium. It develops when germs usually bacteria enter the bloodstream and collect in your heart.

Most people with endocarditis have a fever. This may come along with a poor appetite. Elevated body temperature also increases metabolism and burns fat, causing weight loss.

Addison’s disease

Addison’s disease is most commonly due to a rare autoimmune disease that harms the adrenal glands and prevents them from producing enough cortisol and aldosterone. People who have Addison’s disease might notice a decrease in their appetite as well as unexplained weight loss

In any case, make sure you visit your doctor first. 


In this article, we straight away looked at the answer to the question ‘Can depression cause weight loss even when eating?’ the blog answered these questions by giving a few reasons why depression causes weight loss even when eating. Further in the blog, we also looked at the basic relation between appetite and depression, how to maintain a healthy diet for depression, and other medical reasons leading to unexpected depression. 

FAQs: Can depression cause weight loss even when eating? 

Can stress cause weight loss even when eating?

Stress has a direct impact on people’s weight. For some, it may cause weight loss while for others it may lead to weight gain. This is entirely subjective. When induced with stress some people skip meals, while others eat more due to stress, hence leading to weight loss and weight gain respectively. 

What mental illness causes weight loss?

People with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression can weight loss. 

Why am I losing weight even though I am eating?

Some people may lose weight despite eating normally. This is called cachexia. With cachexia, your body may not be absorbing all the fat, protein, and carbohydrate from the food you eat. And you may be burning up calories faster than normal.