Face it – dieting can be stressful. You’d think that you should just be able to “cut back” and lose weight, right? But even cutting back has its stress factors. Here are some ways that emotions can make dieting stressful, and some tips on keeping stress levels low on your next diet.
Most people are stress eaters. This means that, for them, the physical manifestation of stress is a sense of hunger. Stress is actually a natural part of our everyday lives. There is an old story about a frog in hot water. If you drop a frog into a pot of hot water, it will jump out. But, if you put the frog in a pot of cool water, and gradually increase the heat, the frog will adapt to the temperature, until the water is boiling and the frog is cooked!
That’s the way people are with stress. The presence of stress is what makes us get out of bed every morning and go to work. It’s normal, and we get used to it. But, we also come to expect that sense of urgency to continue, and stress builds. The body craves food as a sedative to calm itself down.
One way to reduce stress is through yoga. As you stretch your muscles and focus on your own breathing and body movements, you begin to shed stress. This increases your sense of wellbeing, and your cravings will gradually begin to dissipate. This can be crucial for a successful diet.
Boredom is a leading cause of obesity. When people get bored, they look for something to do, and eating is the easiest, least challenging thing to do. While learning to turn your attention elsewhere when you’re bored is a valuable habit, having healthy snacks around will also reduce your stress levels. If you want to eat chocolate while you’re watching a movie, mix up your own trail mix with chocolate candies mixed with nuts. If you like the crunchy texture of chips, find other, healthier foods to munch on that are also crunchy, such as apple slices or carrot sticks.
Preparing To Diet
Quite often, a person will decide to diet in a moment of inspiration – or of self-disgust! When you go shopping, and can’t find anything that fits, it’s easy to decide to go on a diet.
But, while you may have a lunch of a delicious salad on your shopping day, it may be hard to continue the diet the next morning when cinnamon rolls are calling you to breakfast. By planning ahead and providing yourself with flavorful, delicious foods for your diet, you can reduce your stress levels. If you can take the time to prepare foods ahead of time, or purchase them already prepared, you’ll have more success.
For example, if you simply don’t have time to wash and chop vegetables and fruit, then purchase them already prepared. If it will help you to lose weight, it’s worth the extra few pennies.