Does dieting have your mood down in the dumps? According to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, it probably doesn’t. The new research suggests that a calorie restriction diet actually improves your mood.
Researchers studied two groups of participants. One group had their daily calories cut by 25% for two years while the control group ate an unchanged amount of calories. 25% is a major cut.
All of them were overweight at the beginning of the study. They filled out subjective questionnaires about their quality of life, sexual function and overall mood periodically throughout the course of the study.
Turns out that the people with restricted calories had a better mood, better sleep, better sex lives and felt less stress. The average weight loss for the calorie controlled group was 17 pounds. The control group had an average weight loss of only one pound.
So does dieting automatically make you happier? No, not really. Extreme dieting can result in exacerbated weight fluctuations over the long haul and screw with your mood. Bizarre or unreasonably strict diets are probably not a great idea. But restricting overall calories is a good, time-tested method to control your weight.
If you’ve never counted calories before, it can be a pain to get used to. But with a little discipline, it becomes just another daily habit. And if you’re diligent about it over a long period of time, you can track your results. They’ll probably be good if you’re doing your homework.
There are any number of weight loss apps that can help you keep track. They also monitor your weight and can improve your overall health significantly if used properly. A calorie restriction diet is a good starting point for a new body and a better mood. Just stay away from donuts.