Reduce Stress, Improve Weight?
Reduce stress in your life: it might help you lose weight. Of course, by itself, reducing stress in your life isn’t going to help you lose a significant amount of weight. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight require a combination of healthy behaviors that include proper nutrition and regular exercise.
Many people need help to lose weight. For some, the best option is bariatric surgery – the most effective weight-loss strategy for people who have obesity. Other people lose weight on a Very-Low Calorie Diet or by having a gastric balloon placed in their stomach to control hunger and portion control.
No matter which strategy your doctor recommends, a healthy diet and regular exercise will play a role while you lose weight and after you meet your weight-loss goals. Additionally, keeping your stress at a manageable level is important as well. Too much stress can put the pounds back on. It’s common for people to mindlessly snack on unhealthy foods when they’re feeling overwhelmed. People use food to comfort themselves in times of stress.
Six strategies to reduce stress in your life.
Exercise. Regular physical activity can lower your stress levels. Aim for 2.5 hours of exercise every week. Break that into smaller chunks of time to make it more management. Try to exercise for 30 minutes five times a week.
Limit alcohol. Drink in moderation or not at all. It’s not a good idea to rely on alcohol to help you manage stress. If you do drink, make sure to only drink in moderation. For women, health authorities recommend no more than one drink per day. For men, the limit is two. Remember, drinking alcohol can make it harder to stick to healthy eating habits.
Deep breathing exercises. Breathing exercises can force your body to relax and let go of stress. Take a deep breath allowing your abdomen to rise and fill with air. Slowly exhale through your mouth. Place your hand over your abdomen to help take deep breaths instead of shallow ones.
Mindful meditation. Mindful meditation works by training your mind to focus on the present instead of thinking about painful memories or future worries. You can practice mindful meditation by using an app or by taking time every day to focus on your senses – what you hear, smell and see at the present moment. Try a yoga class to combine your meditation practice with a little exercise.
Eat nutritious foods. Your body needs nutrition that comes from fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. If you’re not sure what a healthy diet should look like, take a nutrition class from a Registered Dietitian. Understanding food labels and how much protein or carbs your body needs makes choosing the right foods so much easier.
Get help if you need it. Stress happens but it shouldn’t be something you constantly endure. If you feel stressed out all the time or overly anxious, talk to your health provider.
+ Do you need help losing weight? Attend a free seminar to learn about surgical options at Bon Secours Surgical Weight Loss Center.