Controlling Emotion and Stress — Tips to Fuel Weight Loss
American waistlines continue to expand at an alarming rate, increasing the incidence of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia and cancer. Successful weight loss consists of three critical components: reduced calories from a well balanced diet, regular physical activity and controlling stress and emotional eating.
Emotional Eating Can Derail Weight Loss Efforts
Despite your best efforts to control eating and exercise daily, stressful situations arise which can throw you off track, making it difficult to lose weight. Sometimes stress comes from an emotional situation, the loss of a job or adverse financial situation.
Other times, hitting a weight plateau can be enough to disrupt your best efforts and cause binge eating or other disruptive negative behavior.
Information provided by the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research explains the connection between mood, food and weight loss, along with proven methods to ensure you don’t develop an emotional eating pattern regardless of stressful situations which may surround you.
While some people eat less under stress, most will opt for high calorie ‘comfort foods’ to get them through a difficult emotional stretch. Try these tips if you find yourself in an emotional eating pattern.
Tip 1: Slow Down and Relax
When stress is the cause of your emotional eating and failed weight loss goal, reduce the negative effects by using popular stress reduction techniques. Yoga and meditation are very effective methods to lower your stress level. Better yet, determine the cause of your stress and resolve the situation to jump start your weight loss efforts.
Tip 2: Listen to Your Hunger
Many times we eat just because we’re bored, and not due to true hunger. It’s important to learn when you really need food, and when you’re eating just to pass time or because you’re feeling stress. If you find yourself in front of the refrigerator, drink an 8 ounce glass of water first, and wait 15 minutes. More often than not you’ll find the sensation to eat will disappear, and you can save yourself that high calorie snack.