Women's health and weight loss - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Women's health and weight loss


We all know that weight gain can be brought on by a bad diet, lack of exercise and stress.

While most of us know the importance of diet and physical activity when starting a weight loss program, most of us often forget about stress.

Stress can play a big role in being successful in your weight goal.

When you feel less stressed and more in control of your life, it's usually easier to stick to your good exercise habits and healthy eating.

But when you are stressed out, it's often much harder.

 Dr. Bryan Lowery tells us about the medical reason why.

"When people have a lot of stress you have increased cortisol levels and a prolonged stressful situation will increase the cortisol levels in our brain and in our body and that makes you want to eat more."

Dr. Lowery says what you'll find is that your eating to fulfill emotional needs - sometimes called stress eating or emotional eating.

He says,  "It's easy to go get fast food when your stressed because it doesn't take a lot of time. I think time is a big key in people's lives. Everybody's busy, everybody's stressed out and I think that's one reason why our country is having a problem with obesity."

Here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic to help you get a handle on your stress to prevent weight gain.

First, it's important to first recognize the warning signs of stress, such as anxiety, irritability and muscle tension. 

Before eating, ask yourself why are you eating - are you truly hungry or do you feel stressed or anxious? If you're tempted to eat when you're not hungry, find a distraction.


Also, don't skip meals, especially breakfast.

And identify comfort foods and keep them out of your home or office.

Here's another tip: 

Keep a record of your behavior and eating habits.

It will help you see patterns between eating and stress.

Another tip for stress relief, force yourself to take a break. As the saying goes, take time to stop and smell the roses." It's sounds easy but for many people it's not.

Massage is one way to get the stress out. Also setting aside time to meditate and doing Yoga can help

Angel Durrett, massage therapist, "It gives your body, even if it is an hour, you can rest and it will increase  your melatonin and seratonin levels, get a better night sleep."

Which brings us to our next tip...get adequate sleep.

Dr. Bryan Lowery says,  "I think sleep is a big key in people's weight gain. If you're not sleeping, your body is always tired. You're going to eat more foods with calories, your going to drink caffeine more sodas with caffeine to keep us going." 

And don't forget about excercise....regular physical activity is important to losing weight but it's also very important in reducing stress, and reducing stress in your life can make for a healthier, happier you.  It also helps if you build a support group to get encouragement from friends and family. And if you try stress management techniques on your own, but they don't seem to work, consider seeking professional help through psychotherapy or counseling.

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