Today I’m going to touch on a subject that nearly everyone is interested in: Eating Less and Losing weight.
Now, I’m sure you’re familiar with many of the health benefits you can gain by dropping a few pounds.
You’ve probably heard from your own doctor that reducing your weight can also:
- reduce your blood pressure 1
- reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke 2
- reduce the risk of diabetes 3
- reduce joint pain 4
…and much, much more.
But today I want to tell you about a less obvious, more unusual benefit you can get from cutting back on calories.
According to a new study, eating less can actually improve your mood. 5
Four top medical schools collaborated on the study from 2007 to 2015. All the study participants were overweight, but not obese.
And each participant kept track of their mood, quality of life, sleep, and sexual function for a two-year period.
The researchers divided the participants into two groups:
Group 1 had to cut their daily calorie intake by 25% for two years.
Group 2 served as the control, so they just ate their regular diet.
Here’s what the researchers found:
Group 1 lost an average of almost 17 pounds, compared to just 1 pound for the control group.
Okay, that makes sense. But here’s the surprise:
The subjects who cut calories had significantly improved moods, were less tense, slept better, and even reported having better sex.
Now, the researchers suspect that maybe the calorie-cutters felt better because of known benefits of weight loss, like having more energy and sleeping better.
And maybe when they found their pants felt a little roomier, it gave their mood a boost.
However, there’s an important lesson in this study that’s got nothing to do with the results.
It’s all about the process.
These people cut their calories by 25%…but anyone who has been on a diet has done that…
The important part is… They kept it up for two years!
To do that, you have to find a diet you can live with. And that is really the secret. We’ve got to lose the notion that a “diet” is something we “go on” for a few weeks or months.
Your diet is something you’re “on” for your entire life. And the healthier you make it, the healthier – and longer – your life will be.
We’re going to dive a little deeper on diet and weight control in future posts – along with heart health, stress reduction, and other hot topics.
But today, I want to keep it short and sweet. So I will leave you with this excellent dietary guideline from my Nana Bereliani:
“Eat all your vegetables or no dessert for you!”
For more health news you can use, keep reading:
1. Siebenhofer A, Jeitler K, Berghold A, et al. Long-term effects of weight-reducing diets in hypertensive patients. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Sep 7;(9):CD008274. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008274.pub2. Accessed July 21, 2016.
2. Iliades C. How Losing Weight Changes Your Heart. http://www.everydayhealth.com/heart-health/how-losing-weight-changes-your-heart.aspx. Published February 8, 2012. Accessed July 21, 2016.
3. Hamman RF, Wing RR, Edelstein SL, et al. Effect of weight loss with lifestyle intervention on risk of diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2006 Sep;29(9):2102-7.
4. Vincent HK, Heywood K, Connelley J, and Hurley RW. PM R. 2012 May;4(5 0): S59–S67.doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2012.01.005.
5. Martin CK, Bhapkar M, Pittas AG, et al. Effect of Calorie Restriction on Mood, Quality of Life, Sleep, and Sexual Function in Healthy Nonobese Adults — The CALERIE 2 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(6):743-752. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.1189.