Many people embrace dieting full force and don’t completely consider the effects of weight loss on your mood. If weight loss isn’t done the right way, your mood will plummet big time. This can lead to hormonal problems, depression and even weight gain later. To prevent being depressed while losing weight, which is no fun no matter how many pounds you lose, keep these facts in mind. The effects of weight loss on your mood might surprise you, but if you’re informed, you’ll know what to do to prevent sabotaging your efforts.
1. It Makes You Moody
One of the most common effects of weight loss on your mood is that it can make you moody if you’re shorting your body of nutrients. Anytime you quit eating starchy, sugary and fatty foods from unhealthy sources, the body goes through a withdrawal period and the brain is not happy! To encourage you, I want you to know this does pass over, as long as you give your body the right nutrients. Be sure to fill up on healthy fats, carbs and protein. Though your taste buds may have to adjust to new foods, your body will receive the right nutrients, and you should feel better, not worse.
2. It Makes You Tired
When losing weight, initially, your metabolism might slow down to conserve nutrients. Be sure you’re eating enough calories for your body, and if you are, then give your metabolism time to adjust. It will shortly see it doesn’t need to conserve energy, and you should get energy back. If you don’t gain more energy within 2 weeks of losing weight, then look at your diet. Make sure you’re getting enough protein, fats, whole grains and carbs from veggies and fruits. Also make sure you’re eating enough, including three meals and two snacks each day. This will keep your energy up and tell your body it doesn’t need to store fat to conserve energy.
3. It Makes You Anxious
When you cut your calorie intake, it can alter your hormone levels, making you anxious. To keep your hormones steady and prevent anxiety, be sure to eat regular meals and snacks, and include a healthy carb and protein every time you eat.
4. It Makes You Depressed
If you have the blues in a major way while dropping weight or embarking on a diet, look at your fat intake. Are you getting enough brain boosting omega 3 fats in your diet? Sources like fish, eggs, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flax seed, along with walnuts, have plenty of omega 3s that should boost your mood. Be sure to eat a few of these throughout the day for the biggest benefits.
5. It Lowers Libido
The hormones in the brain that boost libido are often diminished when you lose weight or go on a diet. If you could care less about sex, men or romance, your diet is probably to blame. Dieting changes hormones in the body, including estrogen and testosterone. To keep your libido high, eat foods rich in zinc and protein, such as salmon, tuna, eggs, shrimp, nuts and seeds, and try superfoods like maca powder that boost your libido.
6. You’re Angry
If you’re on a low carb diet, you’re probably finding yourself getting pretty ticked off more often, even at the smallest things. When the body is short of carbohydrates, serotonin levels drop and cortisol levels rise. This makes you mad, stressed and moody, very fast. To prevent this from ruining your mood (and your relationships), be sure to eat complex carbs that won’t spike your blood sugar. These include winter squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, oats, quinoa, brown rice and non-starchy veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and kale.
7. You’re Foggy
If you can’t seem to concentrate and seem to have a “foggy” brain all the time, check your protein intake while dieting. Protein alerts neurotransmitters in the brain through their amino acid composition. This fuels neurons to allow you to focus and stay on task longer. It gives you energy as well. Don’t drown yourself in coffee for this effect, but instead, fuel up on healthy protein sources like protein smoothies, eggs or quinoa first thing in the morning. Avoid diet cereals and bars, which are much more processed and can cause really negative effects in the body later on.
If you‘ve recently lost weight and struggled with any of these things, I’d love to hear about it. What’s a helpful tip you could use for increasing your mood while dieting? Or, if you have a tip to share to keep your brain happy during weight loss, feel free to share it!