When trying to lose weight, one of the biggest hindrances you are likely to face is stress. In addition to causing weight gain, chronically high levels of stress can also lead to health conditions like high blood pressure and depression as well. Fortunately, you can easily learn how to stop gaining weight from stress by following these six tips in our article.
1. Regular Physical Activity
Our first tip we are going to focus on for learning how to stop gaining weight from stress is the importance of regular physical activity. During your day to day life, it’s entirely normal for stress to build up. Common sources can include strict deadlines at work, frequent exposure to heavy traffic, and even just general frustration with simple things like the price of groceries.
With these types of events, the amount of initial stress for each action is typically quite small. However, if they’re allowed to continue to build, this stress just compounds on itself and can grow to dangerous levels. Over time, high levels of stress can cause cortisol levels to rise and lead to weight gain.
Fortunately, physical activity is a healthy way to reduce your stress levels. The exact physical activity you decide to stick with doesn’t really matter. The only important thing to remember is that you should love the activity and enjoy doing it regularly. Even people who are already overweight can benefit from less strenuous activities like walking and swimming.
2. Consider Yoga or Meditation
The second tip we are going to cover in our article on how to stop gaining weight from stress is the potential benefits of yoga or meditation. Yoga and meditation have many great benefits over other forms of stress-reducing activities. For starters, they require minimum to no equipment and can be done from the comfort of your own home. In addition, there are various routines available that are ideal for all activity levels and ages.
For many individuals, the structured breathing used in meditation and yoga is one of the main reasons it helps with stress. Ultimately, relaxing in a calm environment away from your daily stressors is one of the best ways to blow off your pent-up steam and really put things in perspective. In addition to helping to manage stress effectively, these types of exercises can help improve your flexibility as well.
3. Always Be Wary of Early Warning Signs
The third tip we are going to cover on how to stop gaining weight from stress has to deal with the early warning signs of your body. As mentioned earlier, stress tends to come from a variety of small events that tend to build up over time. However, your body is always giving you signs to alert you that you are experiencing a stressful event.
Just like the stress events themselves, these signs from your body tend to start out small and increase in intensity to match the level of stress. This is why it is so important to learn what your individual stress warning signs are. The most common examples include clenching your fist, increased perspiration, rapid heartbeat, and headaches.
When you notice these types of symptoms, go ahead and take an immediate step back from the situation and take a few deep breaths. Remind yourself that things will ultimately get better and that you should focus on the bigger picture instead of the small things in life.
4. Put Away the Junk Food
The fourth tip that is really important when learning how to stop gaining weight from stress has to deal with putting away junk food. When we are stressed, it’s natural for us to seek comfort from a wide variety of different outlets. Unfortunately, one of the most readily available options is fatty foods that can spell disaster for your healthy eating plan.
With this in mind, try to reduce or eliminate junk food in your kitchen. Instead, look for healthier options that are less harmful to your diet. If you’re a fan of sugary foods, a great example would be fresh fruit like apples and grapes. For fans of salty snacks, consider a handful of pretzels or healthy nuts like almonds.
5. Reach Out to Friends and Family
When managing stress, you should never underestimate the positive impact of having a strong support group. In many cases, talking with your friends and family can help you vent your frustrations in a positive manner. In addition, enlisting the help of your friends can give you an outsider’s perspective that can really aid the whole brainstorming process for dealing with your individual stressors.
6. Know When to Seek Counseling
In some cases, your daily stress levels may have reached a point where family and friends may not be able to offer enough help. This usually occurs when stress is allowed to built to extreme levels or following a traumatic event like the death of a family member.
In these cases, you should really weigh your professional options and understand when you should seek help from a licensed counselor. In many cases, they can help develop treatment plans to reduce your stress levels and to channel your frustration in a positive way.
No matter where your stress is coming from, you can easily start working on effectively reducing it and channeling it into a positive activity today. Just remember to keep our six tips in mind and you will be one step closer to reducing your stress-related weight gain.
If you have any stress reduction tips you would like to share, please tell us about them in the comments below.
Image Source: DepositPhotos