We all have those days when we wake up feeling a little worse for wear and the world around us looks duller than a bad cup of tea. It happens to the best of us, we’re only human! For most of us, our mood and emotions change quicker than the British weather and with unforeseen events that pop up and change the way we live our lives – we won’t mention any names – achieving daily happiness can seem like a fairy-tale.
If there were only a day to remind us how to be optimistic. Cue – International Day of Happiness, a lovely little reminder to spread the cheer to the world – even through unwelcome events.
Want to know how our mood and emotions affect our weight? Read on as we reveal the connections between mood and food. We also ask NHS Doctor, Dr Frankie Jackson-Spence to share some realistic steps we can put into practice to help boost our happiness and wellbeing.
How does mood affect our daily life?
In these modern times, we don’t prioritise our happiness as much as we deserve. We don’t often look at how our mood can be affecting our lives, but maybe it’s about time we did. The connection between our mental health and our physical health is strong. Our mood can affect us in so many ways – from our brain and our body to the relationships we have with our loved ones.
The good news is that, oftentimes, it doesn’t take a lot to cheer us up. Even something as little as finding a £1 in your supermarket trolly, or having a delicious sweet treat can boost our mood .
… Need a little something to perk your mood? Try our limited edition Hot Cross Bun Bar!
The sobering connection between mood & food
Using food as an occasional treat or reward isn’t such a bad thing. Food should be celebrated after all! But, when we start to habitually use food as a coping strategy, rather than tackling the issue at hand, that’s when problems occur and we can quickly find ourselves stuck in a bit of a rut . Enter – the food-mood cycle.
See, when we’re emotional eating, we’re not usually physically hungry. More likely, we’re eating to dampen how we feel. We also tend to reach for high calorie, high fat or sweet foods that create a temporary satisfaction… Soon after, once we’ve realised what we’ve done, we often experience negative feelings, like guilt and shame – you see how quickly this can become an endless cycle?
So, how can we break the cycle?
Here’s a few little things we can do:
Can food raise our mood?
How about the other way around? Does what we eat affect our mood? The answer, in short, is yes. It does. Let’s delve into the details:
- Eat regularly – the more regular are meals, the more stable our blood sugar levels.
- Slow-release carbs – complex, high fibre carbs like wholegrain bread, brown rice and oats, move slowly through the digestive system, resulting in a more graduate blood sugar rise.
- Eat protein – protein also moves slowly through the digestive system. When combined with carbs, it can help dampen the impact on our blood sugar levels.
- Eat a rainbow – eating a wide variety of fruit and veg provides us with the nutrients our bodies need to stay happy . If you’re replacing most of your meals with exante shakes and bars, don’t worry. They’re all enriched with all the essentials, so you can lose weight whilst getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs!
- Cut down of caffeine – too much caffeine can make us feel anxious or depressed and can also stop us getting a good night’s sleep. Need a replacement? Have you tried our energising caffeine free BURST?
- Fibre – fibre loves our gut! Not only is it digested slowly, it also helps keep things moving – if you know what I mean? The happier we are on the inside, the happier we are on the outside .
- Intolerance – some times our bodies don’t react well with certain foods. If you experience this, it’s worth checking with a registered nutritionist or dietitian to rule out any concerns. Some people find that switching to our delicious dairy-free exante vegan range helps reduce symptoms.