Did you know that up to 95 percent of the hormone called serotonin, which regulates happiness, is found in your gut? Some studies have shown that gut serotonin is a regulator of obesity and metabolism while other studies have shown that stress can increase our need for more serotonin, which often manifest itself as cravings for sugary foods or carbs.
The simple formula of “diet plus exercise equals weight-loss” often overlooks the mental aspect, which is just as important. Our mood affects our food choices and frequency of meals. The correlation between our mood and our eating habits is hinged on how well we handle stress and sadness in your life. This can truly make or break our goals as low levels of serotonin can make us eat more and crave more foods, particularly carbohydrate-rich ones.
On the opposite end of happiness we find depression. Depression of any form affects neurotransmitters that control mood, thinking, appetite, and behaviour, which making us more likely to eat poorly, skip exercise, and gain weight. Similarly, high stress levels cause our bodies to release the hormone called cortisol, which makes us crave energy and comfort. In turn we resort to the comforts of sugary high carb foods and this leads to a sugar-induced dopamine high, followed by the inevitable crash that causes us to seek even more sugary foods and dopamine. Eventually, all those extra calories are then stored in your bodies as fat and we are left feeling like failures.
We can combat bad food choices and even sabotage through the slimming benefits of a positive mood and happiness. Happiness can be achieve by smiling more, helping others, meditation, and engaging in all forms of exercise including yoga. Happiness is a choice …so choose to be happy!