When you need a mood boost, do you reach for comfort foods, like ice cream, chips, and mac-and-cheese? Be careful! Because overdosing on high-fat, high-calorie foods can pack on the pounds. Here’s how to feel better without buying bigger jeans, courtesy of our friend, Dr. Mehmet Oz:
Find a mental distraction. This is for those of you who relieve stress by eating comfort foods. In a study that examined how nurses cope with stress, distraction was found to be an effective method. Dr. Oz says that means doing anything that takes your mind off your worries, like calling a friend, listening to music, or going for a run.
You don’t have to eat tons of chips or candy to boost your mood. Researchers say that even a taste of chocolate triggers the release of mood-boosting chemicals. So, go for quality – not quantity.
But there are also foods that will kill your mood – we’ll call them anti-comfort foods. Want to know what to watch out for? We’ve rounded up the worst offenders:
Anything with trans-fats. That includes fast food, processed foods, and commercially made chips, candy, crackers and baked goods. A recent study found that trans fats can make your mood worse, because they increase irritability and aggression. And may prevent the production of mood-boosting omega-3 fatty acids.
Avoid refined sugar. It’ll cause a quick energy boost, followed by a crash – which can leave you feeling irritated and exhausted.
Dehydration! According to The Journal of Nutrition, being just one percent dehydrated can cause headaches, loss of focus, and fatigue. That means, if you weigh 150 pounds – you’d be dehydrated if you lost just a pound-and-a-half of water – or about 3 cups.