As you gain weight, your body adds muscle and fat to provide increased organ size and muscles to nourish larger demands and provide mobility for your increased weight. It would be like changing the body of your car to a Cadillac and keeping a Volkswagen engine. The smaller engine just couldn’t keep up with the larger body. So, organs and muscles increase in size due to the increased demand of body weight.
There is no “ideal weight”. What is ideal when talking about an infinitely variable human being? Body weight depends on a lot of factors. Don’t beat yourself up over your weight. The Healthy Body Calculator® is an estimate of your healthy body weight using scientific formulas and criteria you enter.
First thing I would suggest is exercise. Get moving. Exercise increases your metabolism for up to 15 hours afterwards and as you note helpful in reducing depression. Aim for 30 – 60 minutes of exercise 3 to 5 days a week. Get your kids and husband involved in your exercise routine as it provides quality time together and model for a healthy lifestyle for your children.
Why are you opposed to anti-depressants? Perhaps you should visit a psychiatrist and talk about how you feel? I am not big on pushing pills either, but you may need something to get you over the slump you are in. A psychiatrist can prescribe anti-depressants, but only after talking to you. Most anti-depressants don’t cause weight gain. Lithium used in the treatment of bipolar disease (manic depression) can though.
Depression is not caused by poor diet or even anything you eat. Carbohydrates can increase the endorphins (feel good chemicals) in the brain. So perhaps you feel better after eating carbos. At this time, we don’t know if certain foods can prevent depression other than the effect carbohydrates and chocolate have on increasing brain endorphins.
Depression does not cause your body to store fat or effect your metabolism. However, some people eat more when depressed and that could contribute to weight gain. Also, some people have a difficult time getting out of bed or out of the house when depressed which would reduce exercise and result in weight gain.
You are a good person who deserves a good life. Go talk to someone who can support you through this difficult time. No one expects you to do it alone and don’t take on too many things at once. First deal with your depression then with your weight.
As to your diet, you should not have to make different meals for your family and yourself. You can eat anything in moderation. The obvious is to reduce fats and eliminate sweets or desserts. I would suggest you eat more at breakfast as I found in my practice, people who don’t eat breakfast eat more at night. Add protein like an egg or low-fat cheese to your breakfast. Also, your diet is low in fruits and vegetables based on your info below. Aim for 5 fruits and vegetables each day.