The Effect of a 12 Week Calorie Restricting Diet on Affect and Mood
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There are currently a number of health conditions that can be improved with the implementation of a calorie restrictive diet and physical activity. In order to understand why participants adhere to calorie restrictive diets or remove themselves from them would lead to a greater understanding as to ways of tailoring specific dietary interventions in order to maximise potential weight loss and maximise potential health improvements. By understanding the moods that participants go through during a dietary period would also increase the chances of improving adherence rates in future studies. The aim of the current study is to investigate how being under a caloric restriction will influence the mood and effect of individuals undertaking a 12 week NHS prescribed diet. Twenty-four participants, 18 female (mean ± SD age 25 ± 6; mean ± SD starting weight 71.8kg ± 3.5kg; mean ± SD starting BMI: 25.2kg/m2 ± 1.3kg/m2) and 6 male participants (mean ± SD age: 28 ± 7; mean ± SD starting weight: 86.5kg ± 11kg; mean ± SD BMI: 25.4kg/m2 ± 2kg/m2) engaged within the intervention. Target calorie intakes for females was set at 1400Kcal and 1900Kcal for males respectively. The participants performed the 12 week diet, recording daily calorie intake, completing a weekly mood questionnaire and an optional weekly diary to explain any notable experiences. The weekly mood questionnaire included multiple choice response questionnaires focusing upon motivation, depressive tendencies, insomnia, lethargy, self-belief, defeatism and happiness in relation to how they felt the intervention was progressing. Spearman’s Rho correlation (P<0.05) tests were performed in order to assess the correlation between weekly calorie intake and the total mood response score. Minor significant correlations were found but due to the subjective nature of the self-reporting it is difficult to ascertain a standardised population response. The present study indicates that a decrease in weekly calorie consumption may produce a negative mood response, however due to a number of subjective factors such as dietary experience and personalised specific calorie intakes (varying Basal Metabolic Rates and energy expenditures) the responses prove to be varied.
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