If you believe any of the millions of advertisements that bombard us daily, weight loss causes happiness. The problem is that those ads are wrong.

Weight loss by itself doesn’t make you happier.

It’s true that physical health can bring joy and many positive experiences in your life. Eating a diet full of nutrient-rich foods leads to better hormonal expression, greater energy, fewer blood sugar swings, and improved markers of health.

You might have more energy to play with your kids, better focus at work, fewer episodes of getting winded from walking up a flight of stairs, and even sleep better, but weight loss is an external factor.

Like other outside influences, weight loss doesn’t cause true happiness.

People think that they’ll automatically love themselves more when they are lean. However, there are many reasons why people overeat, and typically those reasons range far beyond food. They also affect self-esteem more than weight does.

The woman who was raped or molested doesn’t just find comfort in food; she finds safety in the pounds she layers on her body. The child who was abused eats to drown out the sounds of parents fighting and grows into the person who uses food to comfort himself. The man who grew up with significant instability in his home didn’t learn healthy ways to respond to stressful situations but uses eating to soothe himself.

Learning how to balance out nutritional needs and activity doesn’t take away the emotional challenges and compensations that overeating used to help buffer. Instead of bringing happiness, suddenly finding yourself lean and without a familiar coping tool might make you feel worse.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t lose weight. Doing so can be very healthy. It means that you need to be honest with yourself about why you became overweight and also take steps to heal those portions of your life. You can learn to love yourself and use healthy coping tools at any weight.

And when you love yourself, happiness won’t be tied to a pant size or the number on the scales.

For more information about creating happiness in your life, visit www.doctorjosegomez.com  and download my free report, “7 Ways to Be Happier.”

Also available The 7 Secrets to a Happier Life.