Weight gain from stress is by far, one of the most common complaints in women these days. It’s no wonder with our demanding jobs, constant pressure to be successful and perfect, family requirements and responsibilities, job duties, and trying to find some time for ourselves in the mean time. Oh, and let’s not forget about cleaning, bills and relationships! It can be enough to drive many of us mad most days, am I right? I’ve dealt with weight gain from stress many points in my life, even if it was just 5 or 10 pounds. What I learned is trying to push yourself on an incredibly restrictive diet is the worst thing you can do. Try some of these tips below if you’re dealing from weight gain from stress. In a few months, you’ll be feeling better and also be back to your normal weight if you put these into regular practice and start putting yourself first.
The first thing you’ve got to do to beat weight gain from stress is to get yourself moving dear! Exercise is a double weapon against stress and weight gain. It lowers your cortisol levels, which in turn reduces stress and helps your body store less stress-induced fat. The most effective time to do it is in the morning because it will make you feel more in control all day, and you won’t be stressed out all day knowing you still have to exercise. For me, just the idea of something else on my schedule, even a workout, is stressful. Get it done first thing as soon as your feet hit the floor each morning. You’ll feel better all day and in no time, be losing weight.
You know how to eat healthy, but are certain products being promoted as healthy fooling you? Those flavored yogurts you love are filled with sugar, that whole grain bread is still lacking the nutritious density of plain old whole grains, and those quick diet dinners out of the freezer aren’t giving your body what they need. Oh, and that protein bar you’re buying? It’s not doing your weight loss any favors. To beat stress effectively, start eating whole, clean foods. These aren’t flavored, they’re not promoted as diet foods and you can make tons of things with each of them. I’m talking produce, plain, unsweetened yogurt which you can flavor with stevia yourself, lean protein that’s not out of a box or package, whole grains like quinoa and oats instead of bread and bars, and most importantly, clean water instead of diet soda. Eating the right foods reduces stress on your body because these foods are rich in nutrients that fight stress. Make food a priority and stick to it. Healthy fats from raw nuts, seeds like flax, chia and hemp, and avocados and coconut are also great to add to your diet. Also eat fish in your meals at least three times a week. It fights stress, weight gain, and improves your mood and energy.
Ease the pressure by taking one thing off your schedule - maybe that consecutive late night at the office, or that outing on the weekend you really don’t have time for, or how about that volunteering obligation that you hate doing, but feel indebted to? Anything you’re doing out of pressure to do so, that you really don’t have time for, is not doing you or your stress any favors. Sometimes you just have to say no. You can choose something different each week to say no to, but plan out your month to knock off one thing off your schedule each week. You’ll get some down time, and feel more peaceful, just from the fact of knowing you have it.
Another tip regarding your eating, is to eat slowly, never in traffic, and in a calm manner. When you eat when you’re stressed, cortisol is flooding your body, which is the stress hormone that tells your body to store fat. Any calories you eat while you’re stressed are immediately stored as fat, and to make things worse, your food can’t be properly digested when you’re stressed. Our blood diverts away from our digestive systems during stress and in the meantime, you’re likely to get indigestion, heartburn, or a stomachache. Wait to eat until you’re calm, or go outside and have lunch if it means getting a few minutes to yourself.
In regards to learning how to deal with the stress associated with your recent weight gain, be sure you make a plan for losing the weight. Perhaps give yourself 2-3 months to get back down to your usual weight. Write out what you’ll begin to eat, buy at the store, and cook at home. Make a list of positive changes you want to make and start implementing them. It might help to also keep a food and exercise journal. Making a plan will help you feel in control. It also helps reduce anxiety, and makes you feel like you’ve already done something to make a healthy change.
Don’t turn to booze because you’re stressed from weight gain! That’s only going to make things worse. I know it’s easy to just think you need to let go and reduce your stress, but you’re not doing yourself any favors here. Remember, keeping your body healthy is the first way to fight the stress and the weight gain.
Another tip I have is to try a supplement. GABA is a natural supplement that naturally reduces stress in the body. It’s not habit forming, won’t make you sleepy, is completely safe, and it’s not a diet pill. It simply helps reduce anxiety when you’re stressed, which can help relieve your anxiety, along with keep you from eating when you’re stressed. Try a 750 mg. supplement whenever you feel tense and out of control. It usually takes about 15-20 minutes to take effect.
Why is it when we are stressed that we reach for sugar? Because sugar acts like a drug in the brain just like opiates do. It immediately calms and satiates us, but later leaves us craving sugar all over again, and in the meantime, we’re also storing fat. Stay as far away from sugar as possible and don’t trick yourself into thinking that healthier sugars are any better for you. They’re all high in calories and still going to cause the same issues sugar does. Use stevia instead - period.
When I’m stressed, many times I feel exhausted, but still have a hard time sleeping. If this is you, I suggest making sleep a priority and taking a night time sleep aid that’s natural if you need to. I like Calms Forte and also magnesium citrate, which are both completely natural, won’t make you groggy, but will help put you to sleep in about 20 minutes. You’ll wake up refreshed and your stress levels will thank you. When you don’t get enough rest, your body stores more weight, and your stress levels continue to get worse. Make sleep a priority, whatever you do.
Dealing with weight gain from stress is hard, but it’s not impossible. If you have a tip for how to deal with stress from weight gain, would you mind sharing it?
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