Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Maybe the Hulk Was Just Hungry...

In case you're not familiar, The Hulk started out as just a regular, peaceful guy who went about his daily life not bothering anybody. You didn't want to make him mad though; as soon as he started to get just the tiniest bit stressed, he changed colour (turned bright green in this case) and erupted into a rage, stomping about and smashing everything in sight. This sort of phenomenon doesn't just occur with fictional comic figures; it can also be witnessed in the homes and cars of many hungry dieters. Was the poor Hulk just hungry?

In the least surprising, "no duh" headline of the day, the results of a new study have "found" that dieting makes people stressed out, irritable, and more likely to become aggressive. Truthfully, whatever diets those people in the study were on must have been poorly designed. I'll explain.

The whole phenomena being described above is closely tied to a person's blood sugar levels, but also to the amounts of perceived stress they endure while dieting. Both of these factors can be related to deprivation - omitting foods they enjoy in addition to not consuming enough calories, not spacing out their meals appropriately, and not eating balanced meals and snacks! That already sounds crappy to me and makes me irritable and angry just thinking about it!

The key to a successful weight loss program is first and foremost to enjoy it - that in and of itself makes it easy to follow and massively reduces diet-related stress. In fact, you would think that you would be less stressed if you liked the foods you were eating and looked forward to them, in addition to losing weight. Next, snacks should be eaten in between meals and dessert should be enjoyed every day, for a total of 6 or more mealtimes each day, such that a person's blood sugar levels do not dip so low as to cause this 'Hulk-like' phenomenon. And of course, meals need to be properly balanced with protein, fats and carbohydrates.

People often focus all their energy on protein, placing all their hopes on it to help them lose weight. Carbs and fats are perceived as the bad guys, and they're usually the first to get cut in diets. The truth is, carbs are what give you energy and keep you from going into an angry rage, while fats are necessary for long-lasting energy and feelings of fullness and satisfaction. For the best health in addition to the best weight loss results, calories should be reduced while the composition of those calories should be well balanced!

So before you start biting people's heads off, try consulting a trusted resource for some help with dietary modification. Be smart about your diet and you'll reach your goals peacefully and happily in no time!