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How To Beat The Weight Loss Blues

Beat The Dieting Blues


Ever get down when you're on a diet? Find that counting cals is all you can think about, and it's disrupting your day-to-day moods? Don't worry - you're not alone. Many dieters get the blues when they're trying to lose weight, and that's not just because they're missing chocolate!

Scientific studies

There is evidence that people who have been depressed may suffer a reoccurrence of their depression if they diet drastically. However, this can be avoided by not making sudden or large decreases in calorie intake, and adopting sensible eating and exercise habits that allow for gradual weight loss.

Additionally, some research a while back indicated that women who were dieting displayed reduced mental performance during tasks that require information processing. The reason given was that slimmers get so preoccupied with their diet it ends up impairing mental functioning. Fortunately a food diary approach is so reassuring, that it helps you to not obsess.

Staying positive

Studies suggest there may also be a link between low intake of certain nutrients and depression, so follow these tips to keep feeling perky:

  • Eat oily fish
  • Research shows that people who eat diets high in omega-3 fats from oily fish have a lower incidence of depression. Whilst you are dieting, eat one or two oily fish meals a week - such as mackerel, sardines or salmon - to offset any negative effects on mood. If you can't stand oily fish go for a fish oil supplement.
  • Go for slow burn carbs
  • Don't cut out carbohydrates altogether - just reduce sugary foods and refined carbohydrates (in white bread, biscuits and cakes). Swap these for the slow-releasing types such as porridge, granary bread, beans and lentils. Eating slow-burn carbs minimizes the blood glucose fluctuations which can cause mood swings.
  • Don't cut out the foods you enjoy
  • Depriving yourself of tasty food is sure to make you feel depressed, so avoid cutting out favourite foods. Successful diets allow you to incorporate the foods you enjoy in moderate amounts.
  • Keep a sense of perspective
  • Losing weight is only one aspect of your life. When you have plenty of other interests, dieting is less likely to preoccupy your mind to the point where you can't concentrate or be happy!
  • Keep active
  • Exercise increases levels of naturally occurring mood enhancers called endorphins. Regular exercise also improves the ability to cope with stress, and the quality of sleep. Five 30 minutes activity sessions a week will help you beat the dieting blues.

You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...