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Pay attention, brides-to-be: If you're trying to squeeze into your wedding dress in a few months, the findings of a new studywill give you incentive to smile: According to researchers at the University of Delaware, people who are in happier moods make better eating choices.
The researchers say that when we feel uncomfortable, or are in a bad mood, we're more likely to handle it by reaching for what's in front of us as a quick pick-me-up. (Think: that bag of chips or the pint of ice cream in the back of the freezer). It's our default, the experts say. When we're in a good mood, we tend to choose healthy options. When we're in a bad mood? Not so much.
The takeaway? Knowing that you're hardwired to make unhealthy choices when your mood is foul can help you outsmart your snacking DNA, and help your steer toward better-for-you choices, like fresh fruits and veggies instead of chips, and water instead of soda or high-calorie juices and sweet tea. (We know, water is so unappealing. But most health experts agree that when you're craving food, oftentimes you're actually just thirsty.) It can also help you make smarter choices in the grocery aisle—so that tempting junk food never even makes it onto your kitchen shelves.
So be aware of how your brain will lead you when you're feeling down or stressed out, power through, and think about how svelte you'll look in that wedding dress!