Healthy Living Today

Discussion of healthy habits, alternative therapies, foods, herbs and lifestyle that will help us live a happy, healthy life!

Is Stress Sabotaging Your Diet?

Posted by healthylivingtoday on February 20, 2008

Stress can be making you fat. Yes that is right – you may be eating really healthy, and watching your caloric intake, but still be gaining weight – depressing isn’t it? And the worst part is that when we gain weight, we add even more stress! So how do we break this vicious stress cycle?
We need to relax! Stop beating ourselves up because we only did 20 mins of cardio today instead of our usual 30 or because we had a piece of chocolate after that stressful meeting this morning. Love yourself! You still did some cardio and you ate a really healthy lunch. Focus on the positive! Be kind to yourself and give yourself an opportunity to relax and ease the stress.
How to relax when we have so much to do? Force yourself to carve out 20 – 30 mins and it will do you so much more good that spending that time mopping the floors!
During that 1/2 hour, do one of these things:

1. Take a hot bath. Hot baths are a wonderful way to release stress as you feel the warmth seep into your bones, and if you add some epsom salts or aromatherapy oil to the bath, you can detoxify and relax at the same time. (Note* Stress actually has been shown to create a toxic environment in our bodies, so anything we can do to ease this is beneficial!)

2. Meditate. If you have trouble focusing, try using a guided meditation CD (available at most book stores). Meditation slows down your breathing and your thinking – crucial to easing stress.

3. Take deep breaths. When we are stressed, we usually begin to rush and our heart rate goes up. By breathing deeply, drawing oxygen in through your nose and focusing on filling up your belly with it, then releasing it through your mouth – you are oxygenating your organs and expelling toxins and stress.

4. Exercise. When we are really stressed, sometimes it helps to go for a walk and appreciate nature, other times we may feel the need to punch something. Grab a pillow and beat it against your couch. Or put in a yoga or Pilates tape, letting the slow movements calm you.

5. Rest. Getting enough sleep is crucial to lowering our stress levels. If stress is keeping you up, drink some warm chamomile tea, take some melatonin, dab some lavender oil on your temples, put on a calming meditation CD (this works best for me).

Remember – the time you take for yourself now to lessen your stress level can save you lots of time later trying to undo the damage.
Love yourself!

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