Sometimes it feels as if the only cure for a bad mood is a nice big bar of chocolate. Sadly new research has suggested that far from improving our moods, comfort eating when we’re already feeling low can make us feel even worse.
The research was carried out at Pennsylvania State University in the U.S. and claims that people who are conscious of their weight and diet will experience a poorer mood after indulging in something unhealthy.
On the other hand, it was discovered that people who were in a good mood did not feel better or worse after eating something unhealthy.
The research was gathered from participants in real-life situations. A handheld computer was given to 131 women with unhealthy eating habits and concerns over their weight – but not suffering from an eating disorder. During the day the computer would prompt participants to answer questions about their eating behaviours and mood.
What scientists do know about mood and eating habits stems primarily from studies with eating disorder patients or participants in a laboratory. This study aimed to assess the link outside of a scientific environment and in real-life situations.
The unique study evaluates correlation between mood and eating in everyday life, offering a more accurate picture of our relationship with mood and eating.
The results back up previous studies, which suggest that comfort eating can be bad for mental wellbeing. Many of us crave sugary foods for a quick mood fix or energy burst, but the crash that occurs after leads us to feel worse and more lethargic.
Helen Bond of the British Dietetic Association explains, “Our mood is determined by a steady supply of energy from blood glucose to the brains.”
Conquering cravings can be a tall order, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. Hypnotherapy can help to change thought patterns and allow healthier eating habits take place. For more information, please see our Weight Loss page.
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