There are various ways to deal with stress and we all do this differently and have various coping methods. While others bottle it up some will talk about what is worrying them and others scream and rant.
Unfortunately, not one solution fits all but what is interesting to know is that ongoing stress plays havoc when we are trying to lose or maintain weight. One very important step is to identify the triggers and then to be able to stop and break this vicious cycle through being able to find new ways to manage emotional pressure.
Have to have a drink to unwind:
If heading for the fridge to get a beer or a wine at the end of the day is becoming a daily event to unwind you may need to look at other ways to de-stress as recently interviewed Nicole Senior, dietician and co-author of Belly Busting for Blokes, says “Booze is a common trap, especially for the boys.
But it’s just a temporary fix for stress. As well as increasing the risk of diseases such as cancer in the long term, overdoing alcohol can cause weight gain and lower your mood, and is linked with lack of coping and depression.”
This information has always been advised by government guidelines who say that both men and women should limit themselves to 2 standard sized drinks per day. It is obvious that alcohol will hinder your efforts to lose weight and stay healthy.
Look at changing this habit to:
- Plan drinking behaviour in advance and stick to it.
- Have at least 2 alcohol free days per week
- Look at substituting soda water into your wine or better still place soda water into a wine glass, at social events people will not know it is soda water as long as you have a glass in hand everyone is happy.
- Change behaviours if you have a glass of wine while you are cooking change this habit to switch on your music that you like to hear
- Go and have a relaxing tub do the whole bit candles, music etc quiet time for you and you alone
Reaching for comfort foods when upset?
A number of dieters reach for food that they think comforts them when they are upset, usually these foods are either high in sugar and fat and comprise of chocolate, ice-cream or other type of munchies like chips, peanuts etc.
As hypos can at times make you feel anxious you can mistakenly associate these feelings with I need a sugar hit now even if your BGL is fine.
Swap this habit for a hit of carbs that will calm you down and fill you at the same time. Studies show that the dieter after a binge will be remorseful after eating the junk food and then as a consequence gain weight which results in a poor body image and the cycle continues.
How to de-stress other that eating wrong foods:
- Keep a diary close by, in the diary everything gets written down. When you eat, time you eat, stress levels and your mood at the time. Be honest with yourself and write down everything
- Get your support team onside, ring them up if you have had a lousy day. Visit a friend, go for a walk when tempted
- Buy a weight watchers magazine to read the success stories so that you don’t feel that you are doing this alone. Others have been down the same road and have succeeded.
Not going to gym not walking not doing any exercise?
At some point everyone can lose motivation for the one thing that will burn calories and that is exercise. You may feel stuffed at the end of the day or it is too hot, too cold, too far in fact it is too hard so you slump on the lounge and do nothing.
A fitness trainer, Tess van Pamelen of Step into Life says “We know exercise is a great stress buster, but often see people fall into the trap of feeling tired and stressed, losing motivation and skipping sessions.
The vicious cycle is that guilt sets in and fuels your stress. My most successful members recognise that the hardest part is getting out of the door. But they make a pact with themselves to push through this hurdle, as they always feel calmer and happier after exercising.”
How to use exercise to de-stress:
- Join a team sport that way even when you don’t want to go you will go as you are letting down a team
- In your diary tick off the days that you do some sort of exercise
- Wear a pedometer as encouragement to know that the 10,000 steps are working. If you are not quiet doing 10,000 make them up with walking the dog when you get home.
- Pick a time that is “me” which usually means getting up earlier in the morning pop your pedometer on get your favourite music pumping and take your pooch for a walk.
These are just a few tips that will help you stay on the straight and narrow but as Tess says you need a pact with yourself to get out the door each day. If things happens and you don’t and miss one day don’t let this new habit slip into several days get back on to your eating and exercise plan the very next day.
To keep up to date with diabetes news please feel free to visit this site regularly.