A lot of people ask, “How do you lose weight when you are stressed? Is it even possible to lose weight when combatting stress, given how much stress contributes to weight gain?”

We’re going to take some time to answer this question, to help you understand how stress causes weight gain and what you can do to not only avoid stress-related weight gain, but actually LOSE weight while stressed.

The answer to the question, “How do you lose weight when you are stressed?” gets answered now!

How Do You Lose Weight When You Are Stressed?

To answer this question first you need to understand how stress can contribute to weight gain.

There are a few ways that stress causes weight gain:

  • It impacts your hormones. Your hormone levels are thrown off-balance due to high levels of cortisol in your body. The result is a reduction in the hormones that contribute to weight loss (including testosterone) and metabolic function.

  • It encourages “stress eating”. Stress eating is an increase in junk food cravings caused by excessive stress. Sugar and refined carbs create a temporary mood boost that makes us feel better (for a little while) on stressful days. Our bodies crave those foods, leading to weight gain as a result of low-quality, high-calorie food intake.

  • It impairs your metabolic function. Stress increases the production of cortisol, which actually decreases the activity of your digestive system and the various internal functions that a part of your metabolism. You’ll actually end up burning fewer calories as a result of stress, leading to higher weight gain even without changing your diet.

  • It increases belly fat storage. Stress puts your body into a state of “emergency”, and will actually increase the amount of belly fat you store on a daily basis.

As you can see, stress is definitely a problem when it comes to weight loss! You’re going to have to work extra hard to lose weight when you are stressed.

So how can you do it? How do you lose weight when you are stressed?

Here are some keys that can help:

Spend more time outside. Being outdoors and under direct sunlight can naturally relax your mind and body, reducing both your mental and physical stress. Take a walk in the sunshine, lounge on your front deck, or play in your park. Spending at least 30-60 minutes outside every day can do wonders for your stress levels—and your metabolism.

Be more active. Exercise not only helps you to burn more calories and fats, but it also balances out your hormone levels and helps to reduce the presence of cortisol. Exercise is one of the best stress-reducing activities you can do, so it’s absolutely worth including it in your daily life. Even if you can’t hit the gym, go for a walk, run, jog, cycle, swim, or paddle.

Eat smart. Stick to eating well-balanced meals at the right time of day—big meals in the morning, smaller meals at midday, smallest meals at night. Avoid late-night snacking or eating anything high in calories in the evening. Eat a good balance of foods, with the focus on lean proteins and high-fiber carbohydrates.

Identify and address stressors. There are many things that can stress you out every day, but only a few of them will trigger the stress cravings. Pay attention to yourself over the next week, and see which stressors cause you to feel more like eating. When you identify them, you’ll be able to take steps to correct them and reduce the stress-inducing problems in your life.

Relax daily. Make it a point to spend time relaxing every day. Give yourself at least 15-30 minutes with absolutely nothing to do, nowhere important to be, time when you can just sit, breathe, and enjoy yourself. If you want to be quiet and close your eyes, do that. If watching TV, doing a puzzle, or reading a book helps you to relax, do that instead. Find what helps you relax, and use it to help you combat both stress and the stress-induced cravings.

Fight to ignore cravings. Most cravings are all in your head; your body doesn’t actually want food, it’s just your mind telling you that you want something. To fight those cravings, the best solution is to simply ignore them and get busy doing something else you enjoy. If you start feeling the cravings coming on, turn on the TV, go for a walk, pick up a book, or start playing video games. It takes literally 5-15 minutes before you forget all about the craving!

Don’t deprive; reduce. Depriving yourself of your favorite (unhealthy) foods can actually add to your stress and make it harder for you to eat healthy. Instead, reduce the amount of unhealthy food you eat, shrink your portion sizes, and look for healthier alternatives that you can still enjoy. Eating health doesn’t have to mean suffering—it just means making smarter food choices!

How Do You Lose Weight When You Are Stressed? See Results with Yoga Lean

If you’re interested in combatting stress and seeing weight loss results, you need Yoga Lean!

Yoga Lean is a holistic mind-and-body program that helps you to get both your mental and physical wellness back on track. It combines Yoga movements with mindfulness and meditation practices that will help you to relax, regain control of your mind, and see real, tangible weight loss. With just a few hours a week, you’ll be well on your way to getting into the best shape of your life and feeling happier than ever.

The answer to “How do you lose weight when you are stressed?” is simple: with Yoga Lean, you won’t be stressed and will still see real weight loss!