Is Losing Weight Good for Your Mental Health? Well, the answer is IT DEPENDS. Exercising is good for your mental health. Setting and attaining goals is good for your mental health. Eating healthfully (a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables–NOT the latest fad diet or crash dieting) is good for your mental health. But many things we associate with weight loss are definitely NOT good for your mental health. Judging your self worth by a number on the scale and internalizing society’s image of what you should look like are the opposite of good mental health. In addition, many times what makes us overweight are themselves symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health problems. For a person who “eats their feelings,” this very eating behavior is a symptom of a problem. Diet and exercise alone probably won’t be enough to fix the underlying depression or anxiety; in fact, diet and exercise will most likely not even be successful until the underlying issues are addressed. Binge eating, binging and purging (bulimia), self-starvation (anorexia), and body dysmorphic disorder (thinking you’re fatter than you are) are all mental disorders in and of themselves. Eating disorders should be treated by a mental health professional in conjuction with a medical doctor and a nutritionist. If you struggle with poor body image, self esteem related to weight, or an eating disorder, seeing a therapist can help you get out of the cycle.