The Easiest Weight Loss Solution
Overall, happiness and wellbeing are very closely linked to health, yet, they are often neglected in motherhood. For example, mothers are often extremely focused on how well their children eat, so their own health is often not given all the attention it deserves. However, a mother’s health directly impacts on her ability to care for her children. Tiredness often results in less patience, tolerance and lower levels of concentration. Poor diet also often results in lower energy levels, irritability and lower self-confidence. Thus, a mother’s wellbeing is as important for her, as it is for her child.
Are Your Suffering In Silence?
In a 2009 paper, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that “in 2007, 45% of Australians aged 16-85 years (or 7.3 million people) had, at some point in their lifetime, experienced at least one of the selected mental disorders (anxiety, mood, or substance use disorders)”. Specifically, mood disorders, such as depression, dysthymia and bipolar affective disorder, affected 6.2% of people aged 16−85 years in 20078. These figures are alarming and give an indication of how significant the issue of wellbeing is for the Australian population; and mothers are no exception.
Eating a Guilt-Free Diet
Eating a balanced diet is at the core of good health. The types of foods consumed directly effect mood and energy levels. Similar to the links made between behaviour and food in children, adults are affected by food on a daily basis, often without much awareness of the causal link between food and mood. Eating the wrong foods can quickly result in less patience, less energy and an increase in feelings of agitation. In addition, the more health is ignored, the higher the chance of being forced to take additional supplements, medicines and herbal remedies to counteract poor eating habits, not to mention countless visits to health professionals in an effort to improve wellbeing.
As a mother, you need all the energy and patience you can obtain, so skimping on your health should not be an option. All individuals living, or working in caring roles need to look after their health because they are taxing roles. Those being cared for directly count on the carer’s strength and endurance to manage and survive. So, whilst it may seem desirable to put everyone else’s needs above your own, it’s in other’s interests for you to be happy and healthy too. Thus, your needs are just as important as the needs of those you care for.
Speeding Up Your Weight Loss with Feel-Good Food
One of the easiest ways to boost your mood through food is to select foods that are higher in serotonin. This ‘feel good’ chemical originates from tryptophan. Tryptophan can be found in many foods, such as turkey, tuna and chicken. There is debate in the literature about whether foods (such as bananas) which are high in serotonin can improve mood without passing the blood brain barrier. However, recent research suggests the impact on mood is mediated by the ratio and level of tryptophan. Anecdotally I can attest to feeling the immediate effect of increased alertness and concentration after consuming a tin of plain tuna in springwater. This positive mood boost lasts until I consume other food (such as bread, or rice).
Typical foods associated with feeling good:
- Sardines (canned in oil) and fatty fish
- Eggs, Turkey
- Fruit such as strawberries, peaches, nectarines, pears, apples, cherries, pineapple, mango, kiwi and ripe bananas
- Tomatoes and green leafy vegetables
- Brown rice and sesame seeds
Certain types of foods have different reactions in the body. For instance, protein rich foods like meat, milk, eggs, cheese, fish and beans release dopamine and norepinephrine which increase alertness and concentration. In contrast, carbohydrates, such as grains, release serotonin and induce feelings of calmness and relaxation.
Being more aware of the impact food can have on your moods empowers you to make more informed choices and hence increase your energy, happiness, tolerance and patience as a parent.
So begin your healthy living journey by starting to pay closer attention to how you feel after eating certain foods. That way you will begin to link feeling good with better foods and your brain will naturally gravitate towards what it now remembers made you feel so much better.
Lizzie O'Halloran, BBSc, MASR, NLP Prac
Personal Development Coach & Author
Help For Mums
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