You might be surprised to learn that stress and weight loss are closely related. But how? Stress impacts your hormones, particularly those that regulate sleep, metabolism, and cravings, and can lead to a downward cycle. You’re stressed, so you feel tired and crave unhealthy foods, but that causes your blood sugar levels to spike and crash, leading to more tiredness and stress. Until you address the sources of this problems, your stress and weight loss plan will continue to battle one another.
Each person has their own needs, and there are no anti-stress solutions that work perfectly for everyone. Having said that, these five tips can get you thinking about the sources of stress in your life, and help you develop your own plan to combat it.
Wake up in peace. Avoid starting your day with stressful activities, like rushing, trying to find lost items, paying bills, and so on. Create a relaxing morning routine for yourself. Wake up earlier than you need to, so that you have plenty of time to get ready for the day. Prep for breakfast and lunch the night before, and find all necessary items for the day. Engage in a brief yoga practice, drink soothing hot tea, read a few moments, or choose another activity that helps you wake up gently and peacefully.
Meditate. Begin a daily meditation practice, and plan it into your day. Even just five minutes can make a huge difference, and almost anyone has time for that!
Try journaling. As part of your daily relaxation practices, write out your feelings or even just organize the week’s to-do list. If you’re struggling with a difficult problem or negative emotions, sometimes it can help to write it out, then tear it up and throw it away.
Exercise. The endorphins released during exercise boost our moods, and if you choose an outdoor setting you’ll benefit from the sunlight too (it regulates your sleep cycles and boosts vitamin D, which can fight depression).
Reach out and connect. As social creatures, human beings thrive on connections with family and friends – or even a brief interaction with a stranger. Sometimes in the course of our harried lives, we forget to truly connect with those around us. Take a moment to be mindful, put away distracting devices, stop by a co-worker’s cubicle, enjoy a conversation over dinner, or even just chat with a supermarket cashier. A brief moment of connection can do wonders to boost your mood.
If you’re still struggling with stress and weight loss, please give us a call. We can help you analyze where your plans might be going off track, and put together an eating regimen and stress relief routine to help you achieve your goals.