Anxiety and weight loss don’t always go hand in hand. But then again, neither do anxiety and weight gain. It’s not always the same for us ladies how our bodies handle stress. You might be a stress eater and notice you gain weight, or you might completely lose your appetite, and end up losing muscle. Either scenario isn’t good.
I get it though. It’s honestly taken me my whole life to learn how to chill out, and it’s still a work in progress. I’m sure we struggle with the same kind of things. Life is always go-go-go and you hardly have time to stop for a minute and just breathe.
But you can actually learn to reduce stress, and it will help you get more things done so you feel less overwhelmed. It will also help you mend the connection between your anxiety and weight loss or weight gain . You’ll be able to push past your weight loss goals, or build your muscle back up.
I don’t have it all figured out, and I don’t think any of us can be completely zen all the time. But here are some tips that I’ve picked up along that way that might help you too.
How to combat anxiety and weight loss or weight gain
1. Nourish your body
Too much stress can make you tired, moody and kill your productivity. But eating the right foods to nourish your body can help you cope. When you’re under stress, your body needs more B vitamins, vitamin C and protein to support the adrenals glands (responsible for your stress hormones). Nourishing balanced meals, from whole food ingredients can help your body handle stress better. Start your day with a good breakfast including a source of protein, and eat regular meals throughout the day.
2. Cut back on caffeine and sugar
Caffeine and sugar can both stimulate you and make you feel a little wired. If you’re already under stress, you’ll end up just feeling like a hamster on a wheel. Cut back on the caffeine and sugar when you’re stressed out and swap them for healthier alternatives.
If you’re a coffee addict, try to limit yourself to a cup a day. If your cravings are too strong, try a cup of matcha tea. Matcha is still quite high in caffeine, but it also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that helps to relax you. If you need a sugar fix, try fruit, a chocolate peanut butter smoothie, or protein balls.
3. Move your body
The “no time” excuse is a super common one, especially when you’re stressed out and busy. But making your workout a non-negotiable is actually really beneficial to both your anxiety and weight loss goals. Of course exercise helps you burn fat and build muscle, but did you know it also reduces stress? And research confirms it. Aerobic exercise specifically, or workouts that get your heart rate up are the best for reducing stress. If you stay constant it will even help your body manage stress better, so you won’t feel so exhausted.
HIIT workouts are a really great option for this because they include cardio and get your heart rate up. They’re also short and sweet. You can be done your workout in a 15-30 minute sweaty session leaving you more time to do other things.
4. Turn your music up
You don’t have to listen to a zen meditation soundtrack to chill out (unless that’s your jam). I’m talking your favourite music whether it’s top 40’s, dance, r&b or some embarrassing hits from the 90’s. Whatever you love, turn it up. If you’re in the car, sing your heart out, and if you’re at home, you obviously should dance that stress away!
5. Take a time out
Don’t push yourself until you absolutely burn out. Take breaks. Find something to do that relaxes you. Maybe it’s doodling, painting your nails or having a little home spa session. No matter how much it seems like you have to do, the quality of your work will suffer if you never take breaks.
6. Be grateful
Even in what can seem like the worst of times, there is always something to be grateful for. Taking some time to write it down, or think to yourself what you’re grateful for can help you feel a little less bummed about what’s stressing you out. Maybe you’re grateful that your dog is always around to hang out with you, or for your friends that make you laugh. It can be big or small. Just remember there’s always something to be grateful for.
7. Make a plan of action
If you have a lot on the go, planning your day or week the night before, or the week ahead can help it feel more manageable. Prioritize the most important stuff first, then get to the rest throughout the week. You’ll feel more accomplished early on, and be able to relax a little more once the urgent tasks are completed.
8. Declutter your space
I don’t know about you, but if my space looks like total chaos, my mind feels like that too. Take some time to tidy up your space so your surroundings are more organized. The more airy your space feels the more room you’ll have to let the creativity flow freely.
9. Go outside
Nature is crazy therapeutic when you feel stressed, depressed, overwhelmed – you name it. It’s even been scientifically researched. Go for a hike or just lay in the grass and read. Your body can recalibrate and you can go back home or to the office feeling completely refreshed.
10. Laugh it out
It’s impossible to be grumpy when you’re laughing. Seriously try it! You can’t do it. So no matter how stressed out you are and whether you’re feeling the blues or total frustration, laughter is the answer. Watch a funny movie, head to a comedy skit, or go out with your friends for some fun.
11. Treat yourself to a vacation
If you can jet off on vacation at the drop of a hat, do it! But if that’s more like wishful thinking to you, find another way to vacation within your means. Maybe that means a weekend away at the spa or tucked away in a cabin in the woods. You don’t need to get on a plane to go on a little getaway. You can think small, or think big, either way, vacations help you to disconnect and recharge so you come back less stressed out.
Love your #innerbabe
So often we go from task to task in a completely mindless state. Remember to connect with yourself, and check in with yourself. Take breaks when you need to, and always remember to breathe. Our community of inner babes is always here to support you.
What do you do to chill out and reduce stress? Tell us in the comments below.