Stress is a major factor in weight gain, whether it is physical stress or mental/emotional stress.
Generally if stress is acute we loose weight as the release of adrenaline burns up calories and nutrients at a faster rate. Once the stress becomes more chronic this is when the weight starts piling on. There are several reasons:
Chronic release of steroids and sugars into the body from the fight or flight process
Nutrients burn off quicker as the body tries to cope with the stress, this means that the body will start to store what is left to make sure it can survive.
Stress releases toxicity into the body and this is stored in the fat stores
You may be drinking way too many calories in your fluids:
This can put you at risk of Type II Diabetes which can cause a false hunger
Lack of fluid (i.e. Water) can also be to blame. If you are dehydrated you will not only retain fluids but you will also confuse thirst for hunger, causing you to eat more.
3) NOT KNOWING WHAT YOU ARE EATING
Most people when they start a diet will fill out a food diary. You will often be shocked at how much you are eating that you hadn't realised.
It is not vital to keep a food diary but it is important to be mindful of your food
4) DISTRACTED WHILE EATING
Many of us will eat whilst we are reading, at a laptop, watching TV. This means we are not focussed on our food, not only that but we are not concentrating on chewing properly or how quickly we are eating, or taking notice of when we are full. This all contributes to weight gain through poor digestion of food, increased consumption and bad eating habits.
5) EXPECTING OVERNIGHT MIRACLES
Many dieters give up way too soon, this is normally because they expect to see huge results the second they start to eat better. The body does not work that way. It takes time to re balance.
I have yet to see a person who has healthy habits longterm being unhealthy or hugely overweight. It just doesn't happen, but the baits have to be longterm.
One of the worst things you can do while trying to lose weight is to compare yourself with every Tom, Dick and Harry that you have heard lost huge amounts of weight in a short period o time. We are all different and our bodies work at different speeds. As long as you are loosing weight or as I like to say,"the weight is loosing!" then that is all that matters in the long run.
7) BEING A DOG
Yea re not dogs so why do we rewards ourself with treats? It is a very unhealthy habit and really self destructive. How many times have you seen someone pig out after a really hard workout, or after their weigh in because they think they deserve it for working so hard, but when you stop and think about it they are making the journey far harder by doing it. I'm all for rewarding yourself when you reach certain goals but with other things, not junk food. It could be a:
nice meal out
night out at the theatre
8) BEING TOO STRICT
If you make your diet too restrictive you will eventually crack and have a complete pig out.
Your eating habits should be in moderation. Remember it is what you do on a regular basis that will give you the results. That means if you eat well regularly(daily) then you will gain health and balance, but if you eat Junk, high sugar processed foods daily then you will eventually become unhealthy. The choice is yours
9) WORKING OUT TOO HARD
I bet you didn't expect that one. It comes down to pushing your body too hard and putting under stress. A good workout is great but if you are pushing yourself too hard this is when it becomes detrimental. Find balance in everything
10) NO REST FOR THE WICKED
We think rest or relaxations a dirty word these days. Part of any good weight management program should include periods of rest (or call it recharging) The body needs rest to repair otherwise it will again see itself under stress.
Be good to yourself
Be kind to yourself
Be patient with yourself
Carina Kennedy was formerly a Nurse, now a Nutritional Therapist and Herbalist living in the west of Ireland. Her passion is food, health and teaching clients to gain control of their life with simple techniques.