Diet is often synonymous with hunger. In fact, the thought of a diet already raises stress levels. Will I be able to stick to it, will I hold out? These are the reasons why a diet can change the mood... and make it worse.
While on a diet, you have suddenly changed all your eating habits and forced yourself to follow a strict exercise program. But all you have achieved is to be angry (hangry) all day long. Not to mention that even a tiny 'cheating' may lead to a feeling of guilt.
Let's look at some of the reasons that diet negatively influences your mood.
Studies have shown that the sudden drop in glucose (blood sugar) we experience when we are hungry, can impact our mood. Hypoglycemia is a strong physiological and psychological stressor. So getting grouchy is completely normal.
Eating is enjoyable
It is normal that if you restrict some foods, especially sweets, which generate a lot of endorphins, you lose that daily stimulus that gave you a short-lived but necessary happiness. The secretion of endorphins, the so-called pleasure hormones, is evident when we eat foods that we like. That's why it's important to look for healthy substitutes for those moments of need for endorphins that come to us all.
Endorphins are evident when we eat our favourite food
You can have nuts, honey, dark chocolate, whole wheat flours, healthy fats that will give you that shot of endorphins you need.
Obligation gives anxiety
Diet is associated with hunger, something that in itself puts us in a very bad mood and brings us closer to sadness and even depressive states. When diets are too restrictive, they lower our spirits. The uncertainty of not knowing when the diet will end adds anxiety and negative feelings.
Balance gives serenity
If you opt for a diet, try to make it reasonable and progressive. You have to get used to the changes in food. You can even plan to leave some food behind little by little. Remember that no one is forcing you or putting you under pressure to go on one diet or another.
Find something that works for you, try to concentrate on not living the diet with anxiety, and remember that the most important thing is to have a balanced menu with lots of fresh and healthy foods. Which leads us to our ultimate tip.
Stop the diet mentality
Knowing you can't have something will make you want it even more. It's just human nature. Unless you're on a diet designed by your own nutritionist, it's not worth following the latest craze. A healthy and balanced way of eating is the only sustainable diet out there. Quoting Michal Pollan: 'Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants'