You wake up in the morning motivated and with good intentions. Today is the day! You know exactly what you should be doing, what you should be eating, you get your gym clothes out, and off you go.
And then it doesn’t quite go to plan. Getting the kids off to school. Lost homework. Phones ringing. Where are the keys?? No time to pack a lunch. Traffic. Flat tyres. Chocolates on the desk at work. Ok maybe just one. They are kind of small, maybe a few more won’t hurt while you go through those emails. Oh, finished the box. Next thing you know it’s lunchtime and since there wasn’t time to pack a lunch and things are so busy, just get some chips. Might as well since the chocolates sort of ruined the diet today. By the end of the day the idea of going to the gym is simply too much to think about, but you know what might be nice and easy? A take away in front of the telly.
To start, we all have conscious and unconscious beliefs and behaviour patterns surrounding food, eating, and activity and these are significant factors when it comes to weight management and a healthy lifestyle.
You have undoubtedly heard the traditional “calories in, calories out” and “move more, eat less” advice. But as you know, weight and health management can be much more complicated than that. We might not think of it at first, but stress management plays a significant role into our ability to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
To achieve your goals, I would suggest that you ignore the goal of weight loss entirely and shift your focus to stress relief.
Once you shift your focus, weight loss can become a whole lot easier.
Remember, weight is just a number and giving it too much power just in itself can be stressful.
Once you start reducing your stress levels other healthy habits can come more easily —like sleeping through the night, finding the energy to exercise, and cooking a healthy meal after a long day of work.
Stress makes everything feel harder. We have only a finite amount of energy and hours in the day.
When we are dealing with stressful situations and struggling to cope, we simply have less time for healthy habits such as working out or planning healthy meals. And even if you are managing to do these things, it can still be hard to lose weight.
And stress doesn’t just make things seem harder. Multiple studies have shown how stress and lack of sleep can lead to an increase in cortisol levels. Increased cortisol has been linked to increased appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods.
Stress also increases insulin levels, which impacts your ability to burn off those comfort foods.
It doesn’t stop there. Stress also makes it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, and can have an effect on the quality of the sleep you do get, leading you to feel sluggish and fatigued, further disrupting cortisol production, effecting your metabolism and impacting eating habits.
Having higher levels of cortisol in your body can cause:
- an increase in appetite
- cravings for foods that have a lot of sugar, calories, and fat.
- more fat to accumulate around your tummy.
- increase in blood sugar
All these things can make it harder for you to lose weight.
And what if you’ve reached a plateau despite eating healthy and regular exercise?
Sometimes even then, the scale gets stuck because your body thinks that you need to hold onto those extra calories to deal with the stress.
The idea is to work with your body by changing subconscious behaviour patterns, managing stress, and focusing on the positive, rather than fighting yourself every step of the way.
When you’re stressed, everything seems harder. But when you prioritise your emotional health and find ways to cope that don’t involve diving face-first into a bag of beef flavoured Monster Munch, you can free up space and energy that can help you to feel truly healthy and lose weight.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can enable you to reduce stress, take the weight off, keep it off, and stay healthy. In addition to working together for just an hour once a week, I will provide you with a guided relaxation track.
This is will be your “me time” that will help you to keep your stress levels down. Winding down at the end of the day can help you sleep, which in turn will help tomorrow feel a little less stressful.
I’ve been there too. I struggled with weight my entire life and was 5 stone overweight at my heaviest. Let me help you so that healthy habits can seem more manageable.
You can’t pour from an empty cup, and chronic stress drains your cup—once you start to manage it, all your health goals may feel much easier.
I know you can do it.