How to Balance Stress with Your New DietPosted: April 11, 2019 in Lifestyle by Craig Primack MD FACP
Stress is a major threat to your weight loss diet. If you’ve ever started a stressful new job and have noticed yourself overeating, you might be susceptible to stress eating. Maintaining your diet through a trying time can be difficult, but with the methods below, you can reduce your stress levels and reach your dietary goals!
Find ways to lower your stress. Your primary goal should be identifying the sources of your stress and working to reduce them. This might mean leaving early to avoid a hectic commute, or resolving lingering issues at your work or with friends and family. Now, not all stress can be addressed this way, but anything you can take off your plate will make a major difference to your health.
Remind yourself of your goals before eating. After a stressful morning at work, you might be ready to drive to the nearest fast food restaurant and have a big lunch. This is one of the most common symptoms of stress eating. Food can help you feel less vulnerable, which will in turn help with stress, but it won’t last forever. Before lunchtime, or any meal, remind yourself of your dietary goals. Remember that you don’t need to eat to make up for a bad day. Try to envision how much better you’ll feel once you’ve lost weight, or have otherwise reached your dietary goals. Once you have the hunger urge under control, have a healthy meal and use your lunch break as a chance to relax.
Engage in stress-reduction methods. Sometimes the stress will be too great for you to overcome through sheer will alone. Luckily, there are a variety of tools available for you to combat stress. Whenever you begin to feel overwhelmed, try to take deliberate breaths. Slowly, breath in and out for twenty breaths, or until you feel the stress fully subside. You may also benefit from a stress ball to help you vent. A good stress ball can serve as an anchor to keep your stress from becoming unmanageable. Finally, incorporating more music into your life has been proven to help reduce stress levels. Consider adding music to your commute to help keep your mind off the traffic.
Have some caffeine. If you want a quick way to counter stress-related hunger, a little bit of caffeine can help reduce your urge to eat. Coffee, diet soda, and tea are all excellent sources of caffeine that can dampen your hunger and stop you from overeating. But don’t have too much, as an excess of caffeine can exacerbate your stress and prevent you from being able to relax. Just a cup of coffee or a glass of tea can help tame your hunger and keep your diet on the right track.
The key to sticking to your diet is to manage your stress. Stress can often sneak up on you, and it might have sabotaged your diets in the past. But once you have identified that stress is causing you to overeat, you can fight it. Implementing these steps into your daily life will save your diet and help you feel better each day.