Even if you are successfully following your weight loss program and are seeing the result that you wanted, the dieting itself can be a stressful process. Since stress can increase the hormone cortisol in your body and make it easier to put weight back on, managing this risk-factor is important for the long-term success of your regimen. Below are seven tips to help reduce weight-loss related stress.
Avoid the High-Glycemic Foods
Foods high on the glycemic index are best avoided: not only do they make weight loss difficult, they add to stress due to their ability to cause sharp rises and drops in the blood sugar. These high glycemic index foods include white sugar (or anything that contains it), white flour products and most processed foods.
Walk it Out
If you are finding that your daily run is not giving you the weight loss results you want, try walking instead. A 45 minute walk each day can lead to weight loss, a flatter tummy and less stress in a matter of weeks. It can be even more effective than running: while walking decreases cortisol levels, running actually increases them.
Eat Every Meal
Skipping meals will cause your body to go into a kind of “starvation mode” where it will automatically store what you eat as fat, even if you are not getting much fat in your diet. Eating is a way to reassure your body that you will be giving it the fuel that it needs to do its job and your metabolism will be stimulated to burn off the unwanted fat.
Learn to Relax
Every day, no matter how busy you are, take a little time out for yourself to relax. Again, this time will help lower stress and prevent the rise in the cortisol levels that is to detrimental to weight loss. It will also lead to an overall greater sense of well-being.
Stretch It Out
Practicing the discipline of yoga – even if you just take 10-15 minutes to go through a few poses – can also help bring down cortisol levels and make it easier for you the drop the weight; it also has a positive impact on your overall health.
Go to Sleep
You can’t get away from it: 7-8 hours of sleep a day is needed for weight loss as much as it is needed for everything else. Sleep deprivation changes the way your hormones function and makes it much more difficult to lose weight even if you are on a strict diet. So get to bed earlier, give your body the rest it needs, and you fill find that you shed the pounds much more easily.
Thinking about just weight loss all the time can lead to an unhealthy fixation on it. Make sure you to take time out to spend with friends, enjoy nature or put in some time with a hobby you love while you are dieting. This again will keep stress low and make the dieting process more enjoyable – and more effective.
Dieting can easily turn into a big stressor and ironically, the more you stress about losing weight, the harder the weight loss will become. So follow any or all of these tips while dieting to make it an enjoyable experience.