Weight Loss Support - I've Suddenly Got A Very Short Fuse (new member needs help!)

02-18-2004, 11:17 PM
Hi, I'm new here and I wonder if someone can help me. Since I started my diet and exercise regime nearly two months ago, I've experienced a marked increase in aggressive emotion and behaviour, and a shortened temper. I've lashed out at my housemate on several occasions over insignificant disagreements, where before I would have bitten my tongue or counted to ten. It came to a head today when one of our young kittens had an "accident" on some clean clothes I'd laid out; I had a screaming fit, which is totally unlike me.

I'm currently on the Slimfast Plan, two shakes a day and a supper of salad with lite tuna; I snack on fresh fruit 3 times a day. Sometimes if I'm planning a high-impact workout, I'll substitute my afternoon fruit snack with a Slimfast meal-replacement bar. I've cut out caffeine and alcohol, and drink only filtered water with a twist or herbal tea - green, jasmine, camomile, ginseng or licorice. I'm also taking a multivitamin with iron as well as cod liver oil, vitamin C, magnesium and gingko biloba tablets.

For exercise I do a daily morning workout of low-impact aerobics followed by yoga-style stretching (approx. 45 mins); 3 times a week I do 90 minutes of interval-impact aerobics, floorwork and free weights; on alternate days I do 60 minutes of interval dance. I also swim and take brisk walks. I'm 39 and a reasonably fit woman (aside from smoking) with a background in physical theatre and dance, I've just been really slack the past couple of years and want my old figure back. Could any of the above (or a combination) be causing my negative mood swings?

I'm getting fantastic physical results and increased energy from this regime, but the downside is my cats are scared of me and my housemate's getting fed up with my brief tantrums. Has anyone else ever experienced this, and does anyone know what I need to do (or not do) to bring back the happier, more patient me?

Many thanks in advance,


02-19-2004, 08:23 AM
If this isn't your nomal temperment I might have an answer. Sugar, Slimfast and your overall plan has alot of sugar. If your senstive to it at all it can be messing with your serotonin levels. Otherwise it might be the herbs and/or the tea. Sounds like something has thrown your body chemistry out of whack. An emotion journal tied with your food plan may help.

Miss Chris

02-19-2004, 12:45 PM
I agree with Chris on the sugar thing. It can really mess you up.

There are some other things to consider. How many calories are you getting a day? My personal experience has been that programs that severely restrict my calories make me grumpy. (I've been as low as 800 - 1000 calories per day).

You may want to consider switching to a plan that is focused more on whole foods as opposed to processed shakes. Again, my personal experience is that getting away from processed foods and sticking with fresh veggies, fruit, whole grains, etc. make me feel worlds better.

One more thing. How long ago did you cut out the caffeine? It's possible that the grumpiness is a withdrawl symptom.

02-20-2004, 03:10 AM
Thanks for the prompt and helpful replies, folks! I think you're both right - though I've cut out sugar consumption too, as soon as I read Miss Chris' reply I checked the ingredients list on my SlimFast tub. I had no idea it contained so much sugar. I chose the SlimFast Plan because I have a very busy career and lifestyle, and it seemed the most convenient way to manage my calorie intake with a simple shake for breakfast and lunch. I think there's also something in them that helps suppress my appetite; I no longer get cravings or the munchies between meals.

I'm currently borderline fish-eating vegetarian - my suppers consist of green, leafy salads, tuna, raw fruits and veggies, organic hummus, tahini, vegetable soups (my local organic supermarket whips up some superb all-natural varieties). I don't eat potatoes or other high-carb, high-starch veggies, bread, pasta or rice. I don't eat nuts (except for occasionally sprinkling my salads with roasted sesame seeds). I've never done a calorie count, but I reckon I'm somewhere in the 1200-1500 per day neighbourhood.

I quit caffeine when I started my diet in the New Year, but I was never a big coffee drinker; I did, however, drink large amounts of caffeinated tea. Star Princess' caffeine theory could hold a lot of weight.

Is anyone here more knowledgeable about vitamins and herbs than I am? I'm wondering if it's the gingko biloba tablets and tea that are causing my mood swings. Gingko increases blood circulation and is said to improve memory and mental capacity. And licorice root can act like caffeine; it gives me a big boost before a workout.

Would switching my fruit snacks with raw veggies, like celery or carrot sticks, reduce my sugar intake? I also use saccharine-based sweeteners in my hot drinks - should I cut those out too? I want to bring my sugar intake down and see if it helps.

Thanks again for everyone's help. Please feel free to keep replying. Cheers!