Your state of mind can have a huge impact on the state of your body. Having a good attitude can help you lose weight and get more out of your fitness routine and, in turn, losing weight and exercising regularly will make you look and feel better, inside and out.
Healthy weight management can go a long way toward boosting your overall happiness, but the journey can also include occasional bouts of frustration. Being aware of pesky mood disruptors and knowing how to keep them in check can help you stick to your diet plan, while also improving your overall health and wellness.
CURRENT MOOD: TIRED AND UNMOTIVATED
Low blood sugar can have dramatic effects on your mood. It can cause frustration, weariness and weakness, potentially driving you to crave a quick sugar fix—think: binging on doughnuts or cookies.
THE SOLUTION: Maintain stable glucose levels by noshing on an apple or banana when those cake cravings set in. Sure, it’s a tough temptation to resist in the moment, but using your willpower to choose a nutritious alternative can keep your energy levels steady and may make it easier to select healthier options in the future.
CURRENT MOOD: OVERWHELMED AND DREAMING OF PIZZA
Ongoing high stress levels can cause your body to release the hormone cortisol, which can increase appetite.
THE SOLUTION: Exercising, meditating, getting enough sleep and eating a balanced diet can help you feel your best when managing stress. If your diet isn’t so great, consider taking a high-quality daily multivitamin. Drink water throughout the day; dehydration also increases feelings of stress and exhaustion, and can be confused for hunger.
CURRENT MOOD: HANGRY
Hunger affects serotonin levels, and serotonin is a natural mood regulator. In other words, the “hangry” sensation is real, and allowing yourself to get to that state increases your likelihood of becoming frustrated with your diet and kicking healthy eating to the curb.
THE SOLUTION: Avoid a dangerously empty tank by snacking on nutritious and filling protein and fiber-rich foods throughout the day. Raw nuts, like almonds, are another nutritious snack that contain tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin. You can also consider a 5-HTP dietary supplement. 5-HTP, or 5-hydroxytryptophan, is the chemical your body makes from tryptophan that can then be converted to serotonin.
Mood changes are a natural, inevitable part of life, but knowing how to recognize and mitigate negative thoughts and feelings can lower the chances of a bad mood thwarting your weight management goals.