Calm Energy: How People Regulate Mood with Food and Exercise

Calm Energy: How People Regulate Mood with Food and Exercise

Calm Energy: How People Regulate Mood with Food and Exercise

Calm Energy: How People Regulate Mood with Food and Exercise

Synopsis

Obesity is reaching alarming proportions. In this insightful new approach to understanding why this is happening, acclaimed mood scientist Robert Thayer offers a new appreciation of the real cause--emotional eating. But this is not just emotional eating as previously known; rather it is a new scientific analysis of exactly how different moods affect eating. He shows how unprecedented stress in society and epidemic levels of depression have led people to food as a poor means of managing mood. In this original approach, Thayer describes how people's daily energy and tension variations occur, and how this knowledge helps overcome the urge to eat the wrong food and to achieve the goal of "calm energy." Also, in this most up-to-date scientific analysis of exercise and mood, he shows how physical activity is essential to psychological and physical health, yet why it is resisted. Thayer's work has been discussed in hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles, and here he outlines in detail the cutting-edge theories and scientific research findings that have generated this extensive media attention.

Excerpt

Alarming predictions about the epidemic of obesity have been the subject of countless discussions in the popular media, fueled by dire warnings from public health experts. But the reasons why so many more people are overweight or obese have remained mysterious. Why we eat too much and exercise too little becomes apparent when we look at mood as the backdrop of our lives. Much of what we do, day in and day out, revolves around our moods and the ways we attempt to manage them. Society at large provides an important stage for our mood-regulating activities. We live in a faster-paced and more stressful world than our grandparents did. Many people turn to food as a kind of self-medication.

In this book I try to clarify the active role our complicated moods play in our daily lives, including how we experience energy and tension. I try to show that poor eating habits and the avoidance of exercise are directly traceable to these moods. I also demonstrate how our awareness of important signals provided by our bodies can be effectively used to manage overeating and to increase exercise.

This book is not a self-help manual, but I do try to provide clear suggestions about how to control overeating and how to motivate ourselves to exercise. Since I started my scientific studies, over two decades ago, I have had an abiding interest in the nature of mood and in what causes our moods to change. My first research projects took place in the physiological laboratory with precise experimental manipulations and observations, but later they progressed to a naturalistic setting with analyses of how moods affect the totality of our lives. Throughout the years, I have seen . . .

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