Most definitely. After all these years of cycling, I still haven't had much energy bars, energy drinks nor gels. (never had the last one). This is another reason why I don't want to get hooked much the stuff and just stick to healthy, well-balanced foods.It's easy to consume too many calories through energy bars, gels, and drinks when you don't need them (rides less than 1.5 hours generally, except for extreme exertion or heat).
As far as cycling benefitting one's psychological positive equilibrium, yes most definitely. It probably saved me abit..more than I realize. I was unemployed for quite awhile and could have easily slid into a serious funk if it weren't for cycling. Cycling for me enhances general self-discipline and sustains personal motivation, psychological endurance for many other areas of my life. Of course, it cannot be the only psychological uplifter, but even simple, short rides can contribute alot for overall well-being.
I credit cycling for keeping me slim, BUT I have made some major changes to my diet in last 4 yrs. due to need to keep my glucose /blood sugar levels normal. I believe it is the latter that is helping me from faster weight gain...cause I haven't cycled in past 4 weeks!! (snow, ice, etc.) I've just been walking alot.