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drinking-87155_960_720Diets can have an effect on your mood and metabolism – both of which play a role in weight-loss. Maintaining a positive mood will help you adhere to a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and increase self-esteem. Having a strong and effective metabolism will help you feel your best, have more energy, and help you lose the unwanted weight. Here are some suggestions that are not only important for weight-loss but also for maintaining your overall health.

Eat breakfast: Your body goes into a state of conservation during sleep, slowing down your basal metabolic rate. And if you sleep for hours upon hours, your metabolism will slow down even further. When you eat something in the morning, even if it is something small, your body’s metabolism will increase. Studies consistently show that those who eat breakfast not only lose weight but are better a maintaining it. When breakfast is skipped, most of us overeat later, which translates into extra storage of fat.

Have regular meals and planned snacks throughout the day: Skipping a meal can cause a dip in your blood sugar, leading to crankiness, lethargy, and overeating later in the day. Maintain your blood sugar levels and your energy by eating small amounts of food throughout the day. You could try eating six smaller meals rather than three larger ones.

Drink water: Dehydration can also make you feel sluggish and lethargic. Remember, every system in your body requires water to function metabolically. Be sure to drink water throughout the day and do not just rely on the sensation of thirst alone to remind you to have another glass of water.

If you deviate from your diet, do so in moderation: Avoid products with high amounts of caffeine, refined carbohydrates, sugar, alcohol, salt, and other food additives. Any of these, especially in large amounts, can decrease your metabolic efficiency. Eating large quantities of carbohydrates tend to cause an energy rush and then a big crash that can lead to crankiness and fatigue. Excess salt consumption, if you are not consuming adequate water, can disrupt your fluid balance, daily water needs, and increase risk for high blood pressure.

Strive for balance: Properly combine protein, carbohydrates, and fat to achieve a balanced energy intake. Always have protein with carbohydrates to balance blood sugar.

Get a boost from “good mood” food: While research about the mood and metabolism-boosting quality of certain foods is mixed, there is a consensus with some foods. Omega-3 fatty acids, rich in salmon and mackerel, may help elevate mood while reducing anxiety and depression. Foods high in the amino acid tryptophan can increase serotonin levels in the brain, contributing to feelings of optimism and calmness. Sources of tryptophan include avocados, apricots, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

Keep a food diary: Some foods can have the opposite effect of tryptophan and trigger negative changes in mood, causing irritability or headaches. If you think a particular food might be affecting your mood, start a food diary. Record all the foods you eat each day and how you feel before and after every meal. After two weeks, review your entries to see if any foods line up with specific moods. A food diary in general keeps you in check with your diet plan, and it has been shown to be the most effective weight-loss tool for weight management.

Exercise regularly: Exercise, in combination with a healthy diet, will provide a boost to both your mood and metabolism. The key message here is balance. A variety of healthy foods with a dose of exercise will help you maintain your energy, speed up your metabolism, and boost your mood.

Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep affects the body’s ability to effectively metabolize carbohydrates, which raises insulin levels and increase fat storage. Lack of sleep impairs growth hormones that promote muscle growth, which in turn affects metabolism. A fatigued body craves energy, making you vulnerable to selecting poor food choices. Sleep deprivation also raises cortisol (stress hormone) levels and cause hunger even if you have eaten adequately. In general, lack of sleep depletes serotonin. This is responsible for good Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, mood, and appetite control.

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