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To Lose Weight: Relax!

Por Annie López, Nutrition Counselor, MyDiet™ -

Too much stress is a common problem for many people. Feeling stressed can seriously affect your health and, if you don’t manage it properly, can also have a negative impact on your diet. This is why it is important to know a little more about stress and how to manage it, so that it doesn’t affect your health.

Stress is a normal response of the body to certain types of situations such as danger, a threat, or an uncomfortable situation. Our initial reaction to stress is usually to act in a fast, efficient way. However, when we experience stress for a prolonged period of time, it can lead to undesirable symptoms, and become harmful to your health. Stress can also increase our appetite, and provoke us to eat unhealthy snacks.

We’ve got good news.  You can learn to control your stress! Here are some tips to help you do it:

  1. Identify the causes of your stress. Make a list and write down all the situations that stress you out. Then, organize them by writing at the top the ones that affect you most, and at the end the ones you consider less important.
  2. Think of new strategies to handle stressful situations in your life.Next to each stress factor, write down if it’s something you can change or not, along with a possible solution. If, for example, you become stressed by arriving late somewhere, a solution to write down could be to leave your house 10 minutes earlier than usual. If some of the stress-producers are things you cannot control, think of ways to reduce your exposure to them, or change your attitude towards them.
  3. Have a positive attitude!Try not to focus on the negative. Look at the bright side of things and try to find solutions instead of obstacles. When an obstacle leaves you feeling trapped, look for a solution that will allow you to move forward and accomplish what you are setting out to do.

Leading a healthy lifestyle is key to eliminating or reducing stress.

  • A balanced diet will make you look and feel better, as well as improve your health. 
  • Exercising most days of the week will help you let go of stress, and at the same time, strengthen your heart and burn calories. While you exercise, your body produces endorphins. Endorphins are substances that make you feel satisfied and relaxed after your exercise sessions.
  • Rest. Try to get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night. To sleep better, it is recommended that you avoid or reduce the consumption of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
  • Maintain balance in your life. Remember there is a time for everything, and recreation is also important. Get together with a friend that makes you laugh, listen to your favorite music, rent a movie, or practice your favorite hobby.

If you feel like you can’t manage your stress levels, remember the best choice is to seek professional guidance.

You will see how life becomes healthier and happier when you are living stress free.  This will also help you to follow your diet plan and reach your goals.


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