Who doesn’t want to lose weight, feel positive, and have more energy? Sure, there are a few folks who have no trouble maintaining their ideal weight. And, there are probably some who wake up feeling positive every day and have energy to spare. But, for the rest of us, it’s a daily quest to get to or maintain our weight, see life in a positive light, and end the day anything short of exhaustion. In this article, we’ll explore a simple secret that you can use to get rid of unwanted body-fat, boost your mood, and have consistent energy throughout the day.
Now, you undoubtedly know the importance of what and how much you eat for maintaining your weight. But, did you know that nutrition significantly affects your mood and energy levels? While it’s common to talk about addictions to drugs, alcohol, caffeine, or cigarettes—even more people are addicted to foods that make them fat, depressed, and lethargic.
Why do we become addicted to foods that have bad consequences? Well, it seems that many foods give you a short-term pleasure that quickly turns into long-term trouble. For example, processed sugars give you a little pleasure in your mouth, a short-lived energy boost, and then saddle you with extra body-fat, fatigue, and depression. Other foods you may crave even though you have allergies to them. These can show up as indigestion, irritability, susceptibility to illness, low energy, inflammation, and weight gain.
Now, without going through extensive testing, here’s a simple way to monitor what you eat, so you can discover what foods work best for you and how much to eat of them. I call it a Daily Food and Mood Log. Using this simple log will increase your awareness of what you are actually eating and how it’s affecting you.
For example, most people aren’t really aware of how much they eat. How much of what you eat is because you are hungry? How much is from habit? Do you eat at set times whether you are hungry or not? Do you eat certain foods in certain situations? How much of your eating is to comfort yourself or to reward yourself? When you begin to monitor what you eat and drink along with when, where, and why, you’ll probably find that you do some of each of these kinds of eating.
Now, rather than list different foods and their known effects on mood, energy, body-fat, and health, what I suggest is that you discover these things for yourself. You see, no matter what you read in the latest scientific research, the truth is that there is no one diet that is right for everyone. We each have our own unique bio-chemistry. What foods work for you is the result of your race, your culture, your genetics, your family upbringing, your body type, your individual bio-chemistry, your personal life-history, and what’s happening in your life right now.
While it is good to be aware of what nutritional science is discovering, it is even more important for you to monitor the effect of food and drink on your own weight, mood, energy, and health. That’s where the DAILY FOOD and MOOD LOG comes in. Here’s how to set one up. Begin with a small notebook or portable device that you can easily carry around with you.
I suggest that you track the following things:
1. Weigh yourself first thing every morning and write that at the top of each day’s page.
2. Write the hours you are awake in a column down the left margin.
3. Track your mood and energy on an hourly basis from waking to going to sleep at night. Write a brief description next to each hour.
4. In columns next to your hourly energy and mood notations, keep track of what you eat and drink along with rough quantities.
If you do this for even a few days, you’ll begin to notice patterns. For example, does your energy have cycles? Do you wake up with energy, have it dip in the afternoon, then get a second wind before you crash at night? How does what you eat and drink effect these cycles?
When you eat certain foods or drink certain beverages, how does it affect your mood and energy and for how long? Note how you feel before you eat or drink something and then fifteen minutes after you eat something. How do you feel an hour later?
Get to know your patterns and you’ll discover what you can do through eating and drinking to give you more consistent energy and positive mood. As you eat and drink the right foods and beverages for you, in quantities that make you feel better and give you more energy, you’ll likely find that the excess weight drops off as well. Add a little daily exercise that you enjoy—which also helps you burn calories, improves your mood, and boosts your energy—and you’re on your way to being leaner, healthier, and happier!
I’d love to hear your best tips for weight loss, positive mood, and increased energy in the Comments below. And, please pass this post along to your family, friends, and co-workers through the social sharing links. Thanks for sharing!