How Your Weight Affects Your Mood
Have you noticed how good it feels when you step on the scales and you’ve lost a pound or two, or when those jeans that were a little tight last summer now fit? You’re not alone. A 2010 study showed an intrinsic link between weight and happiness. And contrary to popular belief, being thin doesn’t always equate to being a happier person. The key is balance and finding a weight that works for you – and weight isn’t necessarily the right word nor measurement. You could lose inches around your waist but weigh more on the scales as you convert fat to muscle. However, more important than numbers is how you feel within yourself. Here are five reasons why your weight can impact your mental health.
Happy Gut, Happy You
There’s a strong gut-brain connection. It’s little surprise that when you’re anxious or scared, you feel it in your stomach in the same way you get butterflies when you’re excited or fall in love, and there’s a good reason for this. You produce 90 percent of the chemical serotonin in your stomach. Also known as the happy chemical, it contributes to your happiness and well-being, so if your gut is imbalanced and unable to function as it should, it could impact your serotonin production. Introducing digestive enzymes such as bromelain into your diet helps balance your digestive system, breaking down foods more efficiently and effectively.
Physical Activity Releases Endorphins
The positive relationship between exercising and endorphins is well documented. Endorphins are chemicals produced in the pituitary glands and hypothalamus proven to block out pain and give you a natural high. When you exercise, your body releases more endorphins, leaving you feeling great to the point where it can be addictive – the more you exercise, the better you feel, the more you chase the feeling leading you to exercise more, and so it goes on. And, of course, the more you exercise, the more weight you lose, which feeds into the feel-good factor.
Look Good, Feel Good
When you look in the mirror and like what you see, you feel great. How much you weigh not only affects what clothes look like on you but also other physical attributes too. Being overweight affects how your body works. If it has to work harder to keep core systems functioning properly – your digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems, for example –other body parts will be neglected. Your skin, hair and nails are some of the first things to deteriorate as your body diverts much-needed nutrients to organs more essential to survival. Find your healthy weight and get your glow back.
Say Goodbye to Comfort Eating
Comfort eating is the start of a slippery slope. If you eat whenever you’re unhappy, you’ll gain weight, which in turn makes you more unhappy, leading you to eat more – it’s a vicious cycle. If you can break it, you can flip to a sequence of positivity – you lose weight and feel great, which leads to you do more of what made you lose weight in the first place, resulting in even more weight loss or making it easier to maintain a healthy weight, leading to – guess what – a happier you. Eating becomes more focused on fueling your body, and you’ll find yourself craving foods rich in the nutrients your body needs.
No Energy, No Motivation
Whether you're over- or underweight, both affect your energy levels. If your body isn’t able to absorb enough of the nutrients it needs to optimally function, you’ll feel sluggish and lethargic, lacking the energy or inclination to do anything. The more you feel like this, the less you’ll do, which leads you into a downward spiral where you lack the motivation to make the necessary changes that’ll get you out of it.
What are you waiting for? Get back on track to becoming a happier, healthier you. Simply by making a few small lifestyle changes, you can put a bounce back in your step and feel good about yourself.