Angela Day exams food. Bean and avocado dip. Picture: Steve Lawrence
Angela Day exams food. Bean and avocado dip. Picture: Steve Lawrence

What to do about diet brain

By MARIA LALLY Time of article published Aug 13, 2012

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London - Do your attempts to drop a dress size leave you tired and fed up? Then you could be suffering from diet brain.

Research has found that one in three women suffers mood swings, lethargy and a lack of concentration when they’re dieting.

More than half the women surveyed said counting calories left them miserable, a quarter said their work was affected and 40 percent said their marriage or relationship suffered.

“It’s worrying to discover dieting has affected large numbers of women’s relationships and even their jobs,” says nutritionist Linda O’Byrne, who worked on the research.

“If you find yourself suffering from diet brain, then you’re not slimming correctly.”

So how should you do it?

“Eat more fat,” says A-list trainer James Duigan, who works with model Elle Macpherson.

“Too little leads to an inability to concentrate, sluggishness, low mood, difficulty waking up and mid-afternoon energy slumps.

“Women, in particular, suffer because they tend to eat low-fat foods. But fat – the good, heart-healthy type found in nuts, oils and avocados – is fantastic.”

Not only will it help beat diet brain, it could also give your diet a boost.

“Good fat burns fat – especially around your waist,” says James.

“It also helps your body absorb minerals and vitamins better. The more nourished your body is – through fruit and vegetables – the less hungry and more energised it will feel. Research shows that lots of vitamins are fat soluble, meaning you need to eat a little healthy fat alongside them to turbo-charge their benefits.

“So add olive oil, oily fish or goat’s cheese to your salads.’

Good fat also prevents you from over-eating because it switches on your brain’s “I’m full” signals so you eat less throughout the day.

Low-fat processed foods, such as cereal, diet yoghurt and soft drinks, leave you hungry, plus they’re full of sugar, which leads to more sugar cravings, weight gain and tiredness.

So have good fat at every meal and ditch diet products containing sweeteners and sugar for a happier, more energised and slimmer new you. – Daily Mail

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