Stress has a significantly varied effect on people. While some people know how to manage their stress, others succumb to the pressure and this has an adverse effect on their metabolism.
Possible effects of stress include a loss of appetite which triggers weight loss, and on the other end, some people stress-eat. The food is normally unhealthy and this invariably leads to weight gain.
To prevent stress-induced weight gain, it is crucial to manage stress. Stress is an unavoidable part of life but how we respond to and manage it determines the outcome.
Luckily, there are several measures you can take to curb the onset or progression of stress-induced weight gain.
To reduce any weight gained due to stress you need to be able to recognize how your body responds to the onset of stress.
If you do not recognize stress and take measures to mitigate it you will reduce your chances of losing any weight.
Common stress indicators which can act as telltale signs and help you safeguard against a full stress attack include muscle tension, anxiety, and irritability.
Take Care of Your Mind
Stress is a mental-related problem, therefore, it is vital to go back to the root if you are to lose the weight. By taking care of your mind you make it possible to manage stress and this will allow you to shift your mindset and tune it in line with losing weight.
If you do not take care of your mind you will struggle to manage the stress resulting in an inability to lose weight.
Possible ways to take care of your mind include exercise, meditation and yoga. Techniques like exercise and yoga are good for the brain, but they also directly deal with losing weight.
Create Positive Habits
This is perhaps one of the fundamental ways to reduce stress-induced weight gain. The idea behind positive habit-building is that with correcting your habits you can lose weight on autopilot.
Losing weight without thinking too much about it involves leading a healthy lifestyle rather than focusing solely on losing weight.
Although positive habits take time to form, once mastered, they will result in an overall improvement in health. There are several habits that you can form in order to help you lose weight.
Walk It Out
Walking does not mean entering a walking marathon but it is about making the minutes count.
If you make it a habit to ditch the stairs or to take the time to walk to the nearby stores you will see some positive results in your weight-loss journey.
By walking for just 5 minutes a day, you can compound the minutes into something tangible.
Eat at the Correct Times and Drink A Lot
Studies have shown that eating heavy meals after 6:30 pm does not do your metabolism any good. You should strive to eat your dinner early and to minimize the light snacks you consume after 6:30 pm.
This will improve your metabolism and energy levels, which are both necessary to lose weight.
If you manage to form these positive habits you will automatically start living healthy and you can manage your weight even when you feel pressured or you are stressed.
Make Working out A Lifestyle
Working out is a chore to most people but if you are going to lose stress-induced weight you need to make it a lifestyle.
Once your brain perceives exercising as a chore it will have a negative reaction to it, therefore, every time you try to exercise you may find yourself feeling demotivated or too lazy.
By making exercise your lifestyle you will start working out effortlessly and you should start to reap the benefits in no time.
When you habitually work out, even stress cannot deter you so you will find yourself still working out even when you are under stress which means that your chances of putting on any more weight will be considerably reduced.
Ditch Diets and Calorie Counting
While you may think that keeping track of the number of calories you are consuming is great, you may be doing yourself a disservice. If the calories are, on most days not tallying up with the expected number you may trigger anxiety, and this will, in turn, bring about stress which will exacerbate your weight problem.
Your primary aim should be to eat healthy without regarding the calories. Once you start eating right, the calories will take care of themselves because healthy food cannot become unhealthy if taken in the right amounts.
Several studies have also shown that it’s not about the calories in isolation, your metabolism also needs to be right – so ditch the counting and start thinking healthy.
You need to be able to treat yourself once in a while without feeling guilty about it. Whether its cookies, ice-cream, or some other guilty pleasure, treat yourself. Do not develop a negative attitude towards your guilty pleasures, associating them with failure to control yourself.
If you treat yourself occasionally you will likely not feel the need to binge on the treat when you are stressed because it will not be something you deprive yourself of.
If you combine treating yourself and exercising habitually, you will find that indulging yourself, staying healthy, and losing weight are all achievable simultaneously.
Your body needs time to rest if it is going to function well and lose that unwanted weight. Rest deprivation is a stressor and this is counterproductive if you are trying to shed stress-induced weight.
If you do not rest well and get enough sleep your body will produce cortisol, a hormone whose release by the body is induced by stress.
Cortisol will suppress the immune system and increase your appetite, resulting in more weight gain, therefore, you need to get enough sleep, which is on average 7-9 hours, in order to inhibit the release of cortisol.
Curb the Caffeine
Too much of anything will definitely make you sick and caffeine is no exception.
Caffeine is usually one of the main components in weight loss pills and supplements due to its ability to increase metabolism (thanks to the various stimulants it contains) and stimulate the fat tissue to break down fat cells.
Increased metabolism makes eating less and shedding the weight easier. This is all good, however, when combined with stress, caffeine promotes the release of cortisol, that hormone which promotes weight gain.
If you are trying to reduce the weight, it is advisable to skip the caffeine completely, but if you must have some, restrict it to 1 or 2 cups.
Reducing weight gain triggered by stress is all about changing your lifestyle for the best. Simple things like decluttering and removing negative influences from your life coupled with the tips given above will go a long way in reducing or completely eliminating the excess weight.
Marcus regularly blogs at psysci, a psychology, science blog that examines the latest research and explains how findings can impact and improve people’s lives.