Depending on the person, stress can cause both weight loss and weight gain. Stress-related weight gain is one of the most frequent complaints in women. With our demanding jobs, family responsibilities and requirements, constant pressure to be perfect and successful, relationships and bills, it’s no wonder we are feeling stressed. I’ve coped with stress-related weight gain many points in my life, and I have a few tried and true tips on how to prevent stress-related weigh gain, which I’m going to share with you.
1. Get enough sleep
Getting 7-8 hours of sleep is a key factor in being healthy. Make good sleep a priority and wake up in a good mood, feeling refreshed every single morning. When you don’t get enough sleep, the body experiences physiological stress and can store more weight. To prevent stress-related weigh gain, make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night.
2. Get yourself moving
Another proven way to combat stress-related weigh gain is to get moving. Exercise is a great weapon against both weight gain and stress. It reduces your cortisol level, lowers stress and helps your body store less fat. The morning is the most effective time to do it, since it will make you feel better and more in control the whole day. Plus, you won’t spend your day thinking that you have to work out in the evening. For me, the idea of exercising in the evening is stressful, which is why I usually work out in the morning.
3. Eat healthy
It’s important to eat healthy every day. Try to avoid foods that are considered to be healthy, but they aren’t. Stay away from a flavored yogurt which is filled with sugar, the whole grain bread, protein bar and quick diet dinners out of the freezer. To prevent stress-related weight gain, start eating the whole foods. Yes, they aren’t promoted as diet foods and they aren’t flavored, but they have lots of benefits. After all, you can always flavor your plain, unsweetened yogurt with stevia, opt for whole grains like oats and quinoa instead of bars and bread, and drink clean water instead of that unhealthy diet soda. Make healthy food a priority and make sure you stick to it. Eating healthy foods lowers stress on your body since these foods contain nutrients that combat stress. Don’t forget to add to your diet healthy fats from seeds like hemp, chia and flax, raw nuts, coconut and avocado. Also, consume fish 2-3 times a week. It helps combat stress, improve your energy and mood and prevent weight gain.
4. Eat in a calm manner
Cortisol is flooding your body, when you eat when you are stressed. Make sure you eat slowly since any calories you consume while you are stressed are stored as fat. Your blood diverts away from your digestive system during stress and you are likely to get a stomachache, indigestion, or even heartburn.
5. Avoid sugar
Have you ever noticed that when you are stressed you opt for sugar? The thing is that sugar acts like a drug in your system and it calms you almost instantly, but later leaves you craving even more sugar, and in the meanwhile, you are also storing fat. Avoid sugar in order to prevent stress-related weigh gain and in order to feel better. You can opt for stevia instead.
6. Avoid alcohol
Never turn to alcohol because you are stressed. Drinking alcohol will make things even worse. This will not help you reduce stress; alcohol can actually increase stress and anxiety. Keeping your body healthy is one of the best ways to combat stress and prevent the weight gain.
7. Ease the pressure
It’s important to ease the pressure, when you are trying to prevent stress-related weigh gain. For instance, take one thing off the schedule, find time to take a nap during the day, don’t work late at night, and don’t do things that you hate doing. When you are stressed, don’t forget that you can always say no to something you don’t want to do. You will feel more peaceful and have some time to calm down.
8. Make a plan
Have you recently gained weight? Now start making a plan for losing the weight. Give yourself a month or more to get back down to your normal weight. You can write out what you will buy at the store, cook at home, and begin to eat. Write out the positive changes you want to make and begin implementing them. I recommend you to keep an exercise and food journal. They will help you control your weight loss plan.
It’s hard to prevent stress-related weight gain, but it’s possible. If you know any other ways, feel free to share them with us.