Dieting is tough enough. Add stress to the mix, and you may go from feeling “on edge” to crossing the line completely, reaching for the nearest bag of chips or chocolate bar to cope. That’s why stress management is a key part of any weight-loss plan. Stress increases appetite—and weight gain. When you utilize healthy coping techniques, it’s much more likely that you’ll stay on track and reach your weight-loss goals.
The next time the going gets tough, give one of these activities a try.
Take a deep breath and count to 10. Something on your nerves? Take a step back, inhale deeply and count to 10. A simple action, yes—but the effects can be powerful. Sometimes even the smallest mental “mini-break” can be calming enough to help you refocus.
Get moving. Exercise is one of the top ways to manage stress. While you can’t always flee a stressful situation for a quick jog, going for a daily run can help you feel less stressed overall, allowing you to better handle everyday tensions. Find an activity you enjoy, and make it a part of your routine. Yoga is a popular option, encouraging both physical activity and teaching relaxation technique.
Create (and stick with!) a to-do list. If you’re overwhelmed, create a to-do list. It will give you a feeling of control even when your surroundings or daily activities are hectic. There are many to-do list apps for smartphones and tablets, which makes it easy to keep tasks organized and under control.
Jam out. Music is well known as a mood lifter and stress reducer. When you’re unable to focus, hum along to your favorite tunes. Stressful thoughts will be sent straight to the back burner.
Don’t forget to have fun. It can be easy to get lost in the shuffle of everyday life, running from here to there non-stop until you drop into bed at the end of the day. But not taking a break to enjoy yourself every now and then causes stress to build over time. When your life is enriched with activities you love, stress becomes easier to manage. Find a hobby, and turn to it when the pressure is on.
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