Eat for happiness not weight-loss

When I say ‘Eat for happiness’ what do you think of? Cake? Chocolate? Something sweet and pretty? I certainly used to!

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These types of foods release sugar into your bloodstream quickly and release dopamine for that quick feel-good high. Unfortunately, this doesn’t last. Furthermore, it can lead to feelings of guilt and disappointment especially if you are trying to ‘be good’ or reach a certain health goal.

To achieve true inner happiness through food, we need to create a steady stream of hormones and neurotransmitters. Our body makes these from:

  • protein
  • healthy fats
  • complex carbohydrates

We need a good well-balanced and consistent supply of these nutrients.


Eating for hormone balance

Have you ever felt irritable, tired or had a foggy brain? This is due to hormone imbalance and can be caused (to name a few) by:

  • restrictive diets
  • peri-menopause
  • stress

Gut health is extremely important when it comes to balancing our happy hormones. You aren’t what you eat, you are what you absorb! Lack of gut health work against us in two ways:

  1. If you are unable to absorb the nutrients through your gut lining, your body won’t be able to make enough hormones.
  2. If your body is trying to excrete excess hormones (such as estrogen), a sluggish gut will allow your body to re-absorb what was supposed to be eliminated.

Why should you eat for happiness?

I recently did some research asking women what their biggest health goals were. Although most women want to ‘lose a few lbs’ the biggest pain points were:

  • lack of energy
  • wanting to feel happy

As we get older (I am rapidly approaching 48), we start to think about our own mortality. We may have lost a friend or family member too soon or we are looking after elderly members of our family and realise it’s true that our greatest wealth is in fact our health!

Health comes in all shapes and sizes. People living in smaller bodies or larger bodies can be malnourished and this leads to hormone imbalance and disease.

Our body is made up of many components:

  • bone
  • muscle
  • fluids
  • tissues/cells
  • fat

People who have dieted for many years may be satisfied with the number on the scales but this could come at the cost of bone density and future risk of osteoporosis.


Eating for weight-loss

Weight-loss, especially in women, is about far more than energy in vs energy out and don’t even get me started on archaic metrics such as BMI - which was invented by a (male) mathematician nearly 200 years ago! Humans have evolved in the past 200 years but this equation hasn’t. Malnourishment doesn’t just look skinny, it can look fat too.

Our body has one goal, to survive, and it will do this above all else.

We might have a goal to be a certain weight but if our body doesn’t agree, it will reduce our metabolism and store the energy it needs.

If we reach our goal of a lower weight but our body needs to make new cells and hormones to repair and renew, it will take the fuel it needs from our muscle and bones (including teeth).


Eating for happiness

Eating for happiness works with our body rather than against it. We focus on nourishment.

Nourishment keeps our body calm, focused and balanced. It makes us feel content and happy. When we feel like this, anything is possible.

If our body is not fighting to stay alive it can find its natural balance. We will benefit from optimal weight and optimal health.

So, what do you eat for happiness?

Come and join my six-day eat for happiness challenge starting on Monday 16th May. You will receive a complete meal plan, workbook and simple daily lessons to help you create a plan to suit your lifestyle and start your journey to achieving a life of happiness.

Nutritionist Resource is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG2
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Written by Sue Wappett, Holistic Nutritional Therapist mFHN adv.dip.nutrition/WM
Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG2

Sue is a summer loving peri-menopausal woman who loves helping women create a life they are excited to live!

She believes that finding your optimal health (and weight) comes from nourishing your body not depriving it.

She is on a mission to support as many women as possible through her 1-1 coaching, courses and membership.

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