A 2010 Opinion Research Corporation survey of 443 women, ages 25 to 49, found that those who work out regularly do it for more than the health benefits. Eighty-six percent reported that working out regularly makes them feel more confident and accomplished. Fifty-one percent said they felt more inclined toward romance, 37 percent said they felt more likely to go out on the town with friends, and 36 percent reported they were more inclined to go out on a date when working out regularly.
What we put into our mouths directly affects mood. Think about it: If you sit down and eat a bag of greasy potato chips, you are going to feel a lot different than if you eat a turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread with a side of crunchy carrots and apples.
Certain foods actually increase confidence levels. According to one study by Benton and Donahoe (1999), insufficient amounts of thiamine (vitamin B1) caused "introversion, inactivity, fatigue, decreased self-confidence and generally poorer mood." Conversely, higher levels of thiamine actually increased well-being, sociability and overall energy levels in participants. Foods that contain thiamine include cereal grains, pork, yeast, potatoes, cauliflower, oranges and eggs.
While researchers say there is no magic diet to optimize a person's mood, they recommend a well-balanced diet rich in protein, moderate in carbohydrates and low in fat. Micronutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, iron, folic acid and thiamine are also recommended.
If it's confidence you need, try hitting the gym and fueling up with a healthy diet. Then take a deep breath and go for it.
And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .
SheKnows is making some changes!