It's true - we all share a feel-good chemistry with food. If you smile while tucking into your favourite fare, it can also tackle your bulging waistline. A new weight-loss plan undertakes to get rid of the flab as it enhances the mood. Say hello to the Happiness Diet, that's influenced by how you feel...
A big no-no
Most people are aware that a diet high in fat, sugar and processed food is bad for the waistline. But it can also make us depressed, says a new book. Also, if you have just focused on getting thin by having a low-fat, low-calorie diet, you have failed, it adds. The explanation is that a weight-loss plan that cuts fat is a recipe for failure, without natural mood-boosters vitamin B12, magnesium and conjugated linoleic acid. If the food does not have the above, we are less likely to feel happy and in turn, successful.
According to the theory, a diet that is rich in good fats, such as olive oil, as well as whole grains, vegetables and quality meat can benefit, by feeling more satisfied, one will lose weight effortlessly. Researchers say that the modern American diet (MAD) has an unhealthy focus on sugars, refined carbs and industrial vegetable fats, and leads people to feeling fat and depressed.
The 5 essentials of the happiness diet:
1. Iodine: This is essential for a healthy thyroid. An underactive thyroid is linked with low energy, poor memory, depression, ADHD, migraine, weight gain, infertility, breast disease (including cancer), infection, and heart disease.
Sources: Fish, shrimp, eggs, sardines and potato skin.
2. Calcium: This dairy pick is a primary mood decider. The right calcium levels are said to give the 'go' command, preparing the body to release feel-good neurotransmitters. And disturbances in calcium levels cause anxiety, depression, irritability and impaired memory. A deficiency of calcium can create a hormonal imbalance that adds to weight gain and makes women suffer PMS symptoms.
Sources: Milk, yogurt, cheese, cabbage, spinach and almonds.
3. Magnesium: A mineral that is known to comfort and ease the mind and nerves, magnesium is a must-have. It has been known to treat clinical depression. A deficiency of this can lead to depression, anxiety, insomnia, and fatigue.
Sources: Whole grains, green leaves, salmon, sunflower seeds and beans.
4. Vitamin D: Get enough sun! Sunshine converts cholesterol in our skin into vitamin D and not only does it feel good on the skin, it also raises immunity. A lesser level of vitamin D is also linked to several forms of cancer and as well as including depression and dementia. Researchers have pointed out that one reason we get sick in the winter months is because of the lesser exposure to the sun during that time.
Sources: Sunlight and fish.
5. Fiber: Foods are huge mood boosters. They add to weight loss and lead to fewer mood swings in a person. In addition to this, fiber reduces overall inflammation and helps avoid spikes in blood sugar and insulin, and they also cleanse the intestinal tract. Studies have shown that diets that are low in fiber are linked to depression and increased risk of suicide.
Sources: Green leafy vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, oats.