Friday, October 19, 2012

The Effects of Diet and Exercise on Self Esteem

Reposted from
Eating healthy foods and getting regular physical activity are two ways to improve your health and decrease your risk of suffering from serious medical problems. There is an added benefit to eating right and exercising. As you do things that are good for your body, your self-esteem improves for many reasons, including weight loss. Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz note in their book, "You on a Diet: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management," that when you take control over your health by filling up on healthy foods and being active, your self-esteem may increase as you reach your goals.


Improved Body Image Perception

When you eat right and exercise regularly, you may like what you see in the mirror more than when you make unhealthy choices. Stuart Biddle, Kenneth R. Fox and Stephen Hugh Boutcher report in their book, "Physical Activity and Psychological Well-Being," that if you have a positive view of yourself in terms of weight, you are more likely to stick to your healthy eating and exercise habits. In order to achieve peace with your appearance, you must make healthy lifestyle choices. When you are able to fill up on nutritious foods and get plenty of exercise, you may lose weight, but you will also feel better about the way you look.


A Sense of Control

When you make the decision to improve your eating habits and exercise regimen, you are taking control of your health. The power you feel when you make a decision that you know is good for you can increase your self-esteem, Roizen and Oz note. As you repeat your healthy choices on a daily basis, you begin to feel a sense of accomplishment and pride that encourages you to continue making those decisions.


Reduced Anxiety and Stress

Many people who are struggling to lose weight, eat right and exercise experience increased stress and anxiety if they eat a piece of cake or take a day off from being active. In order to overcome these feelings, Roizen and Oz, suggest taking small steps to keep you motivated. If you eat a healthy meal, your body produces nitric oxide, which encourage you to feel hopeful and optimistic about your goals. Roizen and Oz also suggest that you need constant examples of healthy choices for your self-esteem to increase as your anxiety and stress decrease. Choose the apple instead of the cake or walk for 10 minutes. These are small steps that keep you motivated and help you increase your self-esteem.


Improved Mental Health

Your mental health is a key component of self-esteem. If you lack good mental health, you may see yourself in a distorted way, which can lead to a decrease in self-esteem. Regular physical activity has been associated with a decrease in symptoms of depression, which improves your mental health and allows you to see yourself in a different, and more positive, way. Coupled with eating healthy, your serotonin levels may increase, which will improve your mood and help you make decisions that boost your self-esteem and improve how you view yours.

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