Why are there mood swings due to diet? I mean, shouldn’t eating healthy and exercising make us happy?
It should, that’s the truth. But not when you follow too extreme diets or eliminate entire food categories, as suggested in the programs of many popular diets.
The Secret To Avoid Mood Swings During The Diet
For years I have immersed myself in research and worked to find out. Learning from my mistakes in the first place was fundamental and formed the basis of what is now my profession as a diet coach.
What I have discovered is that there is no real secret, other than to work on your mindset. This is the only way to reach your goals in the long run, avoiding those mood swings prevent us from being constant or make us abandon everything at the first sign of failure.
Once you have learned this, the techniques to be learned are many and can really make a difference on our quality of life and our relationship with food.
If you follow my content, you will learn a lot but now let’s start with some tips to improve your mood during a weight loss journey.
Beware of the calorie deficit!
Eat less, exercise more. This is the secret to losing pounds, right?
Well, I thought so too and that’s why in some periods of my life I found myself eating only 1,300 calories a day, burning about 500 just with exercise.
The perfect recipe to start suffering from mood swings.
No wonder I was irritable: When hungry, levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite, and sleep, fluctuate and make it difficult to control emotions.
Thankfully, there are ways to curb irritability when you need to go down a weight loss path.
First, cut calories slowly so your body can adapt. This process takes time and patience but will help you avoid irritability and sudden mood swings.
Most women need to consume at least 1,500 calories per day – more if they exercise – to keep energy stable and avoid diet-induced mood swings.
Don’t be afraid of fats
A deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic fatty acids (found in plant sources such as flaxseed, soy, and nuts), DHA and EPA (both found in fish and algae) are associated with a decline in tone mood, anger, and hostility.
Why does a healthy brain depend on omega 3 intake?
Because our nervous system is made up mostly of fat. But not just any fat.
Omega 3 essential fatty acids are fundamental building blocks of the brain and are defined as essential because, unlike many nutrients, our body cannot produce them but we can only get them through our diet. They are found mainly in seafood, nuts, green leafy vegetables, and flax seeds.
And as if that weren’t enough, omega 3s are polyunsaturated fats that also protect against inflammation and cancer and promote cardiovascular health.
Getting adequate amounts of omega 3s can actually improve cognitive skills and mood. Studies suggest that taking around 1,000 milligrams of DHA and EPA daily can help improve mood.
Don’t deprive yourself of what you love
It was torture for me to see others indulge in things that I considered off-limits.
It is not the giving up of that food or drinks itself, but the act of resisting that is so upsetting. In fact, researchers have found that excessive deprivation backfires on you, leading you to seek out the very things you are trying to resist (which is why I recommend that you stop thinking of foods as good and bad ).
An easy way to avoid this, of course, is to stay away from temptation. Organize your environment to stick to your eating plan , with as little effort of will as possible.
Also, I suggest you find healthy substitutes for your temptations. And in this regard, the good news is that, with due moderation, you can consume a delicacy like chocolate. Consuming 20 grams of dark chocolate twice a day can reduce metabolic signs of stress, including cortisol levels. Dark chocolate is good for the brain, it is rich in elements that improve mood and concentration.
Personally, I have also found substitutions that do not concern food, such as reading a good book or magazine or replacing ice cream with an impromptu massage.
Prefer quality over quantity
Exercise is the key to losing weight and staying optimistic.
Excercise in fact, causes a hormonal change in the brain, can improve psychic sensations. And the effects are almost immediate: the increase in mood occurs after just five minutes!
One caveat: a session that is too rigorous or lasts longer than 60 minutes can drastically reduce your blood sugar, negatively affecting your mood and the ability to think clearly.
My suggestion is to practice interval training. It has been shown to be very effective in delivering potential weight loss benefits, without compromising mood. Alternate 30 seconds of high-intensity work with 90 seconds of low-intensity exercise.
In conclusion, all of these new strategies – which I have personally implemented – have made a huge difference to my mood, making me more resilient and enthusiastic about the daily choices I make every day.
Now it’s your turn!