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Dieting Induced Depression

nicksaiz65

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Was wondering if anyone else has run into this issue.

I’m continuing my summer shred. It’s going well and at this rate I’ll be able to keep the 15 lbs that I’ve lost off. I’m intermittent fasting, tracking my calories, doing my cardio, eating protein, managing the cheat days through fasting, and trying to be better about lifting weights more consistently.

The issue is, every time I enter a calorie deficit: even if it’s just a 400 or 500 calorie one: I get so sluggish, lethargic, and depressed. Even in a small deficit like that, the depression gets really strong. I just don’t feel good: all I want to do is lay in bed.

I’ve accepted that I’m going to inevitably be hungry on a diet. But, honestly the diet induced depression is one of the hardest parts of sticking to the plan. Even eating at maintenance I don’t feel that great. I only feel good when I’m eating in a 500+ calorie surplus lol.

If the only solution is to push through, I’ll push through it so that I can reach my goals this summer. But, I was wondering if anyone else has had this issue? Is there anything that can be done about it?

(P.S. I’m pretty sure I’m eating enough fat. I’m more liable to cut carbs than fats anyways. Also, eating more low calorie dense foods or drinking lots of water/Diet Soda didn’t help either. It would solve the issue for 10-15 minutes and then I’d be right back to where I started.)
 

Borknagar

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I'm at about a 1000 calorie deficit myself. I mean compared to how I was eating. A lot of snacking in between meals. trying to shed about 30lb. Just started 2 weeks ago, down about 5lbs, however I lift heavy weights and do negatives so I probably added on a bit of muscle as well.
 

nicksaiz65

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I'm at about a 1000 calorie deficit myself. I mean compared to how I was eating. A lot of snacking in between meals. trying to shed about 30lb. Just started 2 weeks ago, down about 5lbs, however I lift heavy weights and do negatives so I probably added on a bit of muscle as well.
I’ve found that larger deficits like that work better for weight loss too. The weight comes off quicker and if you make a mistake(through tracking or social events) it doesn’t instantly cancel out a week of dieting.

I think the culprit is my lack of sleep and inconsistent sleep schedule. (Work has been really heating up lately, so it’s nearly impossible to get my sleep these days.)
 

Machine10033

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I’ve had extreme deficits... numerous times in my life I’ve gotten into the single digit body fat levels. I never got depressed but very, very irritable... I have to manage my workouts by cutting down on volume and pretty much just doing barely enough to maintain the muscle I have. Almost all of my energy goes into cardio.

It’s possible your deficit might be larger than you think. I found over the years that all the sites estimate my basal metabolic rate were off. It always estimated around 2500- 2700.... I found it’s actually higher and when I assumed I was creating a 500 calorie deficit it was more like a 1000. I learned this thru trial and error. Next cut try upping your basal metabolic rate by 300.... and creating the deficit there... if your losing fat assume that’s it.
 
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I see everything through an evolutionary lens. And I find your diet-induced depression interesting, especially given that in our Ancestral Environment humans were usually operating at a caloric deficit. Three square meals a day is a modern invention. Our ancestors very rarely had an abundance of food, yet they still had enough energy to forage, hunt, and have sex. I also doubt they were depressed, as they were too occupied with the anxiety of possible starvation and death every day. I would venture to guess that your depression is mostly non-biological and actually psychological, specifically your attitude towards limiting your food intake vs. eating your normal diet. Americans have a lot of psychological and emotional entanglements when it comes to food. You may want to explore that.
 

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EyeBRollin

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Yes, I was miserable on a super low carb diet. I don’t personally need it though. My body likes carbs. Massive increase in performance when I eat enough carbs. Fast metabolism helps as well.
 

nicksaiz65

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Yes, I was miserable on a super low carb diet. I don’t personally need it though. My body likes carbs. Massive increase in performance when I eat enough carbs. Fast metabolism helps as well.
How low carb is low carb if you don’t mind me asking?
 

nicksaiz65

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Only carbs were oatmeal at breakfast. Lunch & dinner we’re protein + veggies + water.

Fvck that ****. I was miserable.
If you took out that breakfast that would literally be a Protein Sparing Modified Fast. Sheesh lol.

Side note, I wanted to try that diet but I couldn’t even make it one day. I refuse to follow a bodybuilding plan without my sauces and spices. It’s the only way to make the diet part enjoyable, for me at least lol.
 

nicksaiz65

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I see everything through an evolutionary lens. And I find your diet-induced depression interesting, especially given that in our Ancestral Environment humans were usually operating at a caloric deficit. Three square meals a day is a modern invention. Our ancestors very rarely had an abundance of food, yet they still had enough energy to forage, hunt, and have sex. I also doubt they were depressed, as they were too occupied with the anxiety of possible starvation and death every day. I would venture to guess that your depression is mostly non-biological and actually psychological, specifically your attitude towards limiting your food intake vs. eating your normal diet. Americans have a lot of psychological and emotional entanglements when it comes to food. You may want to explore that.
I’m beginning to think that may be very true. It might not be rooted in the diet at all. Luckily, I’ve been feeling much better lately. As for the reason why, I have no clue lol.
 
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