Boost mood without food

Feeling bad about yourself can lead to overeating. It can also mean that you don’t feel like being active. Sometimes it’s easy to eat because you’ve had a bad day or things aren’t going well. This is often called comfort eating. Comfort eating can lead to being overweight.

Being overweight can lead to more feelings of sadness and create a vicious circle. The more depressed you become, the more you overeat and don’t exercise, leading to more depression.

Overweight and obese children often have low self-esteem and confidence. Many are bullied and teased at school, which makes them feel even worse about themselves.

Signs that something’s not right

  • Feeling sad, tearful and low.
  • Finding it hard to concentrate.
  • Feeling bored or tired all the time.
  • Thinking you’re are ugly or feeling guilty.
  • Feeling moody or ‘ratty’.
  • Having lots of headaches and stomach aches.
  • Missing school.
  • Thinking about running away.
  • Wanting to die or hurt yourself.

If you feel any of these things, speak to a parent and get in touch with your family GP. They can put you in touch with someone who can help, and is used to dealing with children with these sorts of problems.

The key to feeling better

Exercise has so many benefits. It not only keeps weight down, it makes other problems seem smaller. This is because it generally makes you less ‘stressed out’ and feel better all round. This is why it’s important to exercise every day. It’s a must for self-esteem!

It’s also important that when you make a decision to exercise more, you set little goals for yourself. Make sure they are not too difficult. When you succeed you can then reward yourself. Ask your parents to reward your efforts – but not with food – it’s no good being good, then filling your face!

Try asking for tickets to a concert or the cinema, have a friend to stay over, hint for a new bike helmet or rucksack, or some new gear for school.