Many people have made resolutions for the new year, and I'm loving this! As I've mentioned before in this blog, I think the momentum of the new year and the fresh start it provides is a wonderful motivational tool and boost for positive change. But I'm here to help you stay in it for the long haul. Because so many of the resolutions people set are in tune with healthy stress management (and because helping people create healthier lives is my business), I'm dedicated to helping you set goals that will work for you, and stride toward achieving the goals you set.
One of the most popular goals that people set during January and year-round, is the goal of maintaining a healthy weight. People may vow to exercise more or maintain a healthier diet (which doesn't always mean 'less'), and these things can lead to stress relief as well. However, stress itself can be a roadblock to these plans. This is because, as many of you know from experience, stress can leave you feeling drained (read: unmotivated to exercise) and can lead to emotional eating (read: scarfing down junk food and dessert). When we're feeling motivated and empowered, it's much easier to stick with our plans for a healthy lifestyle; when stress gets to be too much, it becomes more challenging.
Do you find yourself skipping workouts when stressed? (If so, don't beat yourself up over it or decide to stop trying to work out in the first place, but see if you can fit more activity into your day on days when you miss them, and remind yourself that you're looking for progress--not perfection--and stay with your plan.) Do you find yourself craving and eating the foods that are worst for you when you're particularly under pressure? (If so, again, don't beat yourself up, and remember that tomorrow is another day to start fresh--and see the resources below!) Pay attention to your patterns, and make contingency plans, and look at these little hurdles of challenge as part of the process rather than saboteurs of it, and don't let stress throw you off of your path. Below are some tools that can help with the process.
Tools and Guidelines for Combatting Emotional Eating:
- Take The Stress and Weight Gain Test
Stress can contribute to weight gain in several ways. If you're having trouble with your weight and wonder what role stress may be playing, or if you just want information and resources for healthy change, this is the quiz for you! The following 10 questions are each designed to help you assess a different aspect of your lifestyle to determine if you may benefit from some simple changes that can help you keep your weight under control when you're stressed. At the end of the quiz, you'll find resources that pertain to your specific situation.
- What Causes Emotional Eating?
Even if we know what we're supposed to be eating, there are additional factors that influence how much and what type of food we consume. One of these factors is stress, which is linked to increased emotional eating. Emotional eating has many causes. Learn about the main reasons--besides hunger--that stressed people eat, and find resources to stop emotional eating.
- How To Stop Emotional Eating
As anyone who's watching their weight will tell you, hunger is just one of many reasons that people eat. If you're an emotional eater, you may find yourself eating to deal with uncomfortable emotions, using food as a reward when you're happy, and craving sweets or unhealthy snacks when stressed. This article can help you to cut down emotional eating and develop healthier eating habits--even when stressed!
- Diet Tips For The Stressed
Despite best intentions, many people find themselves falling short of their diet ideals due to various 'diet traps', or factors that may sneak in and sabotage a healthy diet. The following diet tips can help you to combat some of the main diet traps people encounter, and maintain a healthy diet that keeps you feeling great.
- Free E Course: Make Changes Last!
All the stress management information in the world is useless if it's not properly implemented, that is, stress relief strategies only work if you use them! This free, 5-day e course will help you to make lasting lifestyle changes to promote stress relief and a low-stress lifestyle. Learn how to make changes that will bring lasting benefits and, more importantly, make those changes permanent! If you've tried setting New Year's Resolutions or goals for change before and have failed, this class can supply ongoing support and motivation, as well as valuable information on how lasting change occurs, so you can create the life you really want.
What are your stumbling blocks, when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet and getting enough exercise? Share them in the comments section. If you have tips for getting past those stumbling blocks, share those, too! We can get past these challenges.
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