Poor Eating May Perpetuate Weight Gain & Depression

December 17, 2012

Weight GainWhat you eat can change your brain chemistry—causing a cascade effect that leads to weight gain. Eating a high fat, high sugar diet may will have two effects, according to a new study. First, it can worsen negative emotions like anxiety and depression, which can be a trigger for some people to overeat, or just eat poorly. Second, sugar and fat are addicting—rats in the experiment even should signs of withdrawal when put back onto a healthy diet. So once you start eating a diet mostly of sugar and fat, you’re more likely to get stuck on it.

The best way to lose weight, then, is to commit to a healthy diet for a week. Even better if you can exercise at least 10 minutes a day (30 minutes of vigorous exercise is recommended, but that depends on where you’re starting from—talk to your doctor about your exercise plans and health goals).

A week should be enough time to feel the changes in your brain (and body!). It can help replace those negative feelings a high sugar and high fat diet create with positive ones, as well as an increased sense of energy. Those feelings are critical to overcoming the addictive nature of sugar and fat—whenever you feel like cheating, just close your eyes and focus on how your body feels when you eat healthy.

After two weeks of eating healthy, reintroduce small treats to your diet. While too much fat is a bad thing, you definitely need it, and there’s nothing wrong with having a “sometimes food” that contains sugar.

Do you associate emotions with weight gain? What have you found is the best way to lose weight?

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