Publishing this post on a Monday could not be any more appropriate (and don’t worry, I’ll keep it short)! Today we are going to chat about stress and how it plays a role in our overall ability to lose weight. I have this conversation with my clients at least once each week and I have SO many examples of how reducing stress will actually assist with weight loss. The big issue is that many of us think we are only “stressed” if we are on the brink of a nervous breakdown, when really, the little day-to-day stressors play a HUGE role (think: driving to work in traffic, a stressful job, not enough close relationships, etc).
We put SO much thought and effort into making healthy food choices – taking time to read labels, plan ahead and fill our freezer with delicious foods so that we can have readily available, healthy meals for our families. But what if we are doing all of these things but we aren’t moving towards our health or weight loss goals? That can be FRUSTRATING and often we don’t think that it could possibly be related to anything else – so instead of looking at lifestyle factors, we restrict our intake even further. What does this added restriction do? Puts our body under MORE stress, making it even MORE difficult to lose weight.
One of the biggest issues is that when I ask my clients “what do you like to do for stress reduction” … 9 times out of 10 I get a joking (but not really) response of “eating”.
So what should we do? What we need to do is come up with a list of things that we can do at the drop of a hat that help us decompress and feel awesome!
Having trouble coming up with ideas? Here are some that I hear on a regular basis:
Put your feet up, close your eyes and relax
Take a bath
Read a good book or magazine
Give your pet a hug
Phone a good friend
Play games online
Walk in a park
Colour or sketch
Book a massage
Catch up on your favorite blogs
Watch a movie
Watch any show that makes you laugh
Now, the whole purpose of writing this post today was to share something that I think to be vary valuable with you all. My eyes were really opened regarding the power of breathing exercises when I began working with retired military men/women this past spring. Before hearing about this technique from my clients, I never imagined the value this practice could have in our day-to-day lives. This breathing exercise is SO easy and can be done absolutely anywhere at anytime. Next time you’re feeling stressed, click this link and try this deep breathing exercise, I will be interested to hear what you think!
Until next time,
Yours in Health,