A study at Ohio State University found that women who deal with stressful events and then eat high-fat meals are experiencing slower metabolisms. This can contribute to weight gain. Many people feel cravings for higher calorie foods when they are anxious, nervous or under duress. During your weight-loss journey, you're going to have some moments where you are highly stressed, which can change your attitude towards food and potentially alter the speed at which your body processes food. Here are some tips to deal with stress while trying to lose weight:
Exercise isn't just a way to lose weight. Being physically active can be a major stress-reliever and completely alter your mood for the better. Increasing your heart rate and blood circulation triggers your brain to release serotonin, a chemical that helps relieve anxiety and makes you feel good. The next time you find yourself feeling stressed out, get active. Don't sit on the couch and watch TV, instead put on some tennis shoes and head outside. Go for a fast walk, jog or a run and you may even find yourself smiling a few minutes in. It feels good to know you're working toward creating a healthier lifestyle and that you'll be on the way to your weight loss goal while also improving your mental attitude.
Your body often signals what it needs by causing you to have a craving. However, just because you suddenly feel the urge to eat a cheeseburger right before a big meeting at work doesn't mean you should actually head to a fast food restaurant. The anxiety you are feeling causes your body to release adrenaline which can lead to overeating.
"You can address cravings without guilt and shame."
Grab a small snack like a mini-bag of pretzels and some beef jerky instead of a double patty burger. You'll still be addressing the craving for salty protein but without the extra fat found in a full-on sandwich. You'll be energized and ready to head into the meeting and avoid being distracted by an unsatiated craving.
Talk it out
Everyone has moments when they let everything build to a boiling point. Anger and frustration, even confusion and sadness can all make you a very worried person. As the OSU study mentioned, this can alter the way your body processes food into energy, slowing down your metabolism and causing you to burn fewer calories. Instead of stewing about something that's bothering you, talk to someone. Call a friend, visit your mom or even write a quick email to someone you care about. You don't necessarily need to directly address the problem, but talking about possible solutions and how you feel can improve your stress levels. You may even find that attending therapy offers a great place to discuss your hopes and fears, particularly if you want to talk about weight-loss and receive unbiased support as you change your lifestyle.
Get some rest
The American Psychological Association's 2014 Stress Report found that 51 percent of women and 32 percent of men have lain awake at night due to stress. Insomnia is a serious health issue that affects your ability to be productive at work, form and keep healthy relationships and can even alter how you feel about yourself. Have you ever noticed that not having a good nights sleep doesn't just leave you feeling tired and groggy, but even puts you in a bad mood? These all contribute to stress, and eventually may lead to weight gain. Plus, when you don't get enough sleep your body needs more fuel so you may end up eating more than you normally would. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults between ages 26 and 64 get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. If you are too stressed out to get proper rest, consider exercising a couple of hours before bed or talking with your doctor about taking supplements to help you get to sleep. You will feel better and make more progress on your weight-loss journey.
Pick a healthy, sustainable weight-loss program
The Food Lovers Fat Loss program teaches people how to lose weight - without stress or deprivation - simply by making a few easy changes to their lifestyle. Instead of just popping diet pills or only eating pre-packaged meals, you can enjoy home-cooked dishes and indulge in foods you love. If you're feeling anxious and decide to eat some sweets or salty snacks you won't have to feel ashamed and guilty. Instead, you'll know how to create a fat-loss plate at each meal that boosts your metabolism and puts your body in fat-burning mode so that you can shed pounds, lose inches and feel your best. We provide recipes and tips for changing your favorite meals into ones that promote fat loss with simple combinations of fast and slow carbohydrates and proteins. With Food Lovers, you can use your energy on exercising and partaking in activities you love instead of fretting over what you'll eat for your next meal.