Feeling your work clothes getting a little snug around your waist?
Dieting doesn’t always work and there are healthier (smarter) ways of losing the extra weight and developing the healthier habits you’ve always wanted.
The most successful people at work always seem the most put together in their personal lives as well. By talking to and observing the routines of these high performers, their biggest strength is that they put themselves first by nourishing themselves physically, mentally and emotionally.
In the process, they avoid many pitfalls that we fall into and instead, adopt healthier habits we might not have developed yet. Here’s how we can emulate top performers as well.
5 Ways to Lose Stress Weight Without Dieting
1. Quit Emotional Eating
One of the biggest reasons of weight gain is that we use food as a way to comfort and reward ourselves to cope with the stress of work and adult life.
When we eat like this, we are not just eating or drinking to satisfy our physical hunger but to instead cope with life emotionally. Inevitably, these are extra calories that our body simply doesn’t need and we gain weight.
Being conscious of eating only to satisfy physical hunger cues like a growling tummy or low energy is a good way to easily avoid the unnecessary calories you don’t need.
At the same time, it’s important to deal with stress in ways that don’t involve food that I’ve shared below.
2. Have Something to Look Forward to When You Come Home
Have you found yourself coming home and heading straight for the snack drawer? Or perhaps you eat a really big dinner because the “stuffed” feeling makes you feel comforted?
Instead of relying on food to make you feel better, have something to look forward to when you get home such as a hobby or a side project. It could as simple as cooking dinner instead of flopping on the couch with a pack of chips. Or it could be a book that you’re just waiting to read.
You then come home happier (and earlier!) and hopeful which makes it much less likely that you’ll finish a pack of cookies before you know it.
3. Stay Warm and Comforted at Night
If you feel cold and drained out (emotionally) at the end of a long day, this might be for you.
Have a long hot shower (or a soak in the tub), turn up the heating and curl up with a blanket or sip on hot tea. Warmth is known to be comforting and soothing which is great for relieving stress.
As a bonus, you’ll probably also sleep better!
4. Just Breathe
Breathing is a great way to have a mental break. It doesn’t have to be meditation or yoga – just keep it simple and take long deep breaths while following your breath in and out.
According to this article, breathing is the body’s natural relaxation response and deep breathing decreases heart rate and blood pressure which helps us destress. Maybe this is why we breathe when we run hard or when our ancestors had to escape from wild animals, eh?
Only in our case, it’s mental relaxation we are after (not physical) so breathing doesn’t seem like an obvious choice. It works amazingly well though – give it a shot.
Pro-tip: you could also use a bathroom break to take a few deep breaths in the middle of your workday to relax. It’ll also help stave off afternoon chocolate cravings.
5. Write a Journal or Talk to Your Bestie
Sometimes it’s just about getting the frustration out of your system.
If you feel like throwing your phone against the wall, just do it (maybe throw a cushion instead!).
If you don’t even know what you’re stressed about, just start writing. The words and feelings will begin to flow even if it all sounds like a ramble.
Or just call your mom or your bestie for some much-needed pampering and comfort.