Managing Stress for Weight ManagementPosted: December 14, 2015 in Lifestyle by Craig Primack MD FACP
Living a healthy lifestyle means a lot more than adjusting to a healthier diet and becoming physically active. Once you begin a medical weight loss program you’ll be encouraged to make a series of healthy changes in your life, starting from the inside out. This includes learning how to manage stress.
Eating a healthy diet and engaging in regular physical activity may be the two pillars of living a healthy lifestyle and losing weight, but managing stress is an easy third component. When you are overloaded with stress you aren’t able to make the healthiest choices, and this means that even the strongest commitment to medical weight loss might not be enough to combat a stress-induced proclivity to weight gain. Simply, too much stress can lead to heightened levels of fatigue, will increase hunger, and can even disrupt digestion.
Much Ado about Stress
Everyone experiences some type of stress. Whether it comes from work obligations, family issues, or other personal concerns, stress is a reality that we all face. And the reality of the situation is that stress happens every day, even when you think you can avoid it.
Avoiding stress altogether isn’t possible, nor is attempting to do so wise. Stress is helpful in its own unique way, by triggering concerns and encouraging us to experience emotions deeply. However, without the right tools to balance stress it can easily spin us out of control, and this can derail weight loss efforts if you aren’t careful.
Rather than avoid stress, learn to deal with it. Here are a few strategies for coping with stress in ways that will promote health and support your weight loss efforts:
- Try preventing stress rather than just reacting to it. Keeping a journal to log feelings and track potential stress triggers can support this effort.
- When your stress is increasing, practice deep breathing exercises to help keep your stress from overwhelming you.
- On particularly stressful days, make a point to choose even healthier food options than normal and make exercise a priority.
Making healthy choices like these can help you reduce stress and promote a healthier lifestyle by encouraging balance. Knowing what is causing stress in your life is often the first step to learning how to prevent it. During your medical weight loss program, stressful events aren’t going to disappear. Come up with a plan as to how you will cope with stress so that you can manage in the moment and stay on track with your weight loss goals.