HOW NOT TO GAIN WEIGHT WHEN STRESSED
When under tremendous stress, I observed I tend to lose weight. I do not feel hungry and I do not even remember to eat. On the other hand, I have a couple of friends who I call 'stress-eaters.' They gain weight when under duress because they find an exit from the stressful situation by indulging themselves. There will be people who find food as a means to escape from stress, but the net effect is that they tend to increase weight. This can be even worse if they are office workers. The problem of stress-eat is starting to get more and more prevalent today.
In general, women are more likely to stress-eat than men, it's no wonder that many woman find it hard to lose weight. It is a challenge to manage both weight and stress but with right advice anyone should be able to manage both.
Here are some tips on how not to gain weight when stressed:
1. Remove all temptations from your fridge
Replace ice cream, chips, cookies, and bread with healthy snacks that will make you feel good. This is what I call the 'lead us not into temptation' step. I recommend carrots, cucumber, apples, yogurt and other healthy items of your choice.
2. Do not eat in front of the TV, computer, or in your car
Many of us out of habit eat in these instances. These are danger areas for overeating, especially when you are stressed out. Many, especially 'Lagosians' tend to devour enormous bowls of their indulgences within minutes when sitting in traffic. Sitting in front of a TV screen is an invitation to overeat all the wrong foods.
3. If you are really struggling with needing to munch on something, pop a bowl of something healthy
A fruit like an apple or a banana tends to fill the stomach. You can also try oatmeal or yogurt as alternatives too. In short, skip all the high-calories food item and go for lower calories and healthier choice.
4. Recognize your triggers
Keeping a journal may help you to understand the triggers that have you diving into that tray of indulgence. It might be a certain friend or family member, it might be a work situation, or it could just be loneliness. Either way, once you discover the uncomfortable emotions that make you want to eat, you will find a way to deal with them otherwise.
5. You are not alone
Ultimately, do not shame yourself if you are one of those women who dives straight into a pint of ice cream to deal with your stress. You're not alone. Instead of beating yourself up, LOVE yourself. Take a breath, be aware that you are stressed (ironically when we are really stressed we don't think we are), and exercise compassion toward yourself. Maybe get a body massage, hot bath or go swimming. You could also shut down all your electronics and take a long walk. Whatever feels like self care, that's the ticket.
In the end, remember that you can keep or prevent weight gain when you are stressed. As long as you are prepared to manage stress and knows the alternatives to unhealthy foods, you should be able to keep your weight stable.
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