Stress and weight loss go hand in hand as dieting is one of the most stressful of activities – so how can you ease the pressure and lose weight without the stress?
Ironic, isn’t it but for some people weight loss results from being stressed. For others, stress can lead to overeating as a way of coping and before you know it you’ve put on 10lbs, a dress size, a notch or two on your belt.
For many people being overweight is stressful in itself and trying to lose that excess weight even more so!
Now some stress is a good thing…it gets you out of bed in the morning, it livens up your day, it keeps you feeling motivated and alive.
However, too much stress makes you ill and stress is the second most common cause of work-related illness.
If trying to lose weight is stressful for you, how do you balance the stress and weight loss conundrum?
Stress and Weight Loss – 10 Tips to Help You to Cope
Ok, you know the feeling. You’re on a diet, trying to lose 10lbs, 20lbs, 50lbs – whatever.
You’re struggling to resist the temptation to snack, you’ve given in to temptation and feel guilty, you’ve missed a workout because you were just too tired to hit the gym…
Whilst trying to lose weight is a healthy challenge, for many people it becomes one long stressful guilt-trip.
A constant battle against the scales and tape measure that makes you feel guilty, deprived, depressed, weak, fed up…
Too much stress and weight loss grinds to a halt!
But with a little effort and planning, stress can help to motivate you — without destroying your will to live healthily!
Stress and weight loss can become less of a problem if you make a conscious effort to wrestle yourself free from the stress of weight loss.
Ok, so how do you do that, then…?
#1. Talk to someone
It’s good to talk. A problem solved is a problem shared as the simple act of unburdening your frustrations on a receptive listener can immediately make you feel better.
Talk your problems through with a family member, friend, a counsellor – it’s cathartic and quite often generates a solution to your original problem.
Easier said than done if you’ve a busy life – family, job, a house to look after…
But just five minutes a day when you can close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and relax can make a huge difference to your stress levels.
#3. Hug someone
Now I’m not suggesting you hug just anyone, but a big hug from someone you care about releases your feel good hormones and can boost your self esteem.
A big hug from my kids when I’m down really makes me focus on what’s important in life!
#4. Listen to some music
Music makes you feel good…there’s no doubt about it!
Whether it’s U2, AC/DC, Abba, Barry Manilow, Wagner… whatever does it for you.
Put on a favourite CD and you’ll feel better for it…Life goes better to music!
#5. Get some sleep
Not always easy, but seven or eight hours a night is vital to keeping you healthy and alert.
Without it you’ll feel sluggish, irritable, easily tempted…
#6. Eat well
Goes without saying really! Eat a balanced diet full of fresh fruit and veg, wholegrain carbs and lean protein.
A diet packed full of essential nutrients and antioxidants will support your immune system, protect you from illness and disease, counter the effects of stress and help you to lose weight…and keep it off!
#7. Stock up on essential fatty acids
If your diet is too low in fat, you’ll end up being deficient in healthy fats like Omega 3 fatty acids.
They can not only aid weight loss, but enhance both your immune and cardiovascular systems, as well as combat stress through their anti-inflammatory properties.
#8. Supplement your diet
If you eat a wide range of foods, particularly fresh fruit and veg then dietary supplements shouldn’t be necessary. But from time to time they may help.
Dieting being one of those times.
Extra vitamins and minerals from a high quality supplement can give your body a top up as 1,200-1,500 calories a day is unlikely to supply you with all the nutrients your body needs to function at optimum levels.
#9. Drink plenty of water
If you don’t you’ll become dehydrated and feel tired…which is going to make sticking to your weight loss program all the more traumatic!
Drink around 2 liters of water a day and cut back on your alcohol and coffee intake. Try drinking green tea instead as it contains an amino acid that will promote a sense of calm and well being.
It will also rev up your metabolism and may help you to lose a few pounds as the links between green tea and weight loss are becoming more and more established.
#10. Exercise, exercise, exercise!
Had to be there, didn’t it!
Exercise is perhaps the ultimate stress reliever. Stress and weight loss needn’t be such a problem if you can build in 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
A workout at the gym, aerobics, walking the dog, a trip to the park with the kids…
Whatever you can build into your busy schedule will be of some benefit as exercise:
And so the list goes on!
Stress and Weight Loss – The Bottom Line…
If your diet is causing you grief and you’re feeling stressed out as a result, then try employing one or two of these tips on a regular basis and you’ll soon notice a difference!
They can help you to improve your coping abilities and self confidence, tackle the causes of your stress and help you to let go of stress and tension.
Stress and weight loss needn’t be a problem if you have a few simple strategies to manage it.
Take action, take control and lose weight the stress free way!