Health & Fitness

Good Mood Diet

by Staff

Have you noticed that people give you a wide berth when you’re on a diet? Have you figured out that you’re just a wee bit cranky when you’re trying to lose weight? It’s not just you, so don’t worry. It’s a known fact: dieting has an effect on mood.

It makes sense that being deprived of your fave foods would leave you feeling irritable. But dietitians say with certainty that you can have your cake and well, maybe not eat it, but you can cut out those calorific foods without feeling hungry and angry all the time.

Here’s the right way to diet that will leave you feeling good about eating for your health:

Boost Serotonin

*Choose and eat the right kind of carbohydrates. The best carbohydrates will boost your levels of serotonin, a hormone manufactured by your brain that puts you in a good mood. Get the benefits of serotonin by eating fruit and vegetables and a variety of whole grains.

*Take it slow. Don’t all of the sudden begin cutting out the calories with a vengeance. This is a recipe for grouchiness. Experts recommend that dieters not try to lose over a pound or two per week.

Chemical Balance

*Aim for variety. Your brain and body depend on getting enough foods from each of the major food groups: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, for the upkeep and regulation of the normal chemical balance. Many dieters think they have to cut out fat altogether. But the sensible way to keep fats in the right proportion is to get fats from healthy sources including nuts, avocados, salmon and other fatty fish, and canola or olive oils.

*Keep away from junk food. Ingesting sugary drinks and foods will give you a rapid burst of energy which will be followed by a sudden drop in your blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar leads to mood swings and difficulties in concentration.

*Eat several small meals a day. If you eat a small portion each four or five hours, you’ll keep your blood sugar levels stable and avoid irritability. Don’t allow yourself to get ravenous with hunger. Keep in mind that fasting will lower blood sugar levels, too.

*Eat fiber-rich foods. Fiber, which is found in whole-grain cereals and vegetables, regulates the absorption of sugar within the bloodstream, preventing mood swings. Fiber will also help you feel full, longer.

*Take B vitamins. Research has shown that below normal levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid are linked with depression. Eat foods rich in these vitamins, including: fortified breakfast cereals, lentils, low-fat dairy products, oatmeal, sunflower seeds, shellfish, and broccoli.

*Take some exercise. It isn’t just foods that boost serotonin production. Exercise in the form of regular workouts or getting a bit of sunshine work well, too. In fact, these work better than diet to increase serotonin levels.


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