I am a divorced girl and I’m overweight by 20 kg because of stress. Tell me how I can reduce my weight. Please give me some advice.
Expert advice –
You are right; stress is a major cause of gaining weight via multiple mechanisms:
It plays havoc with our hormones, which contribute by dipping our metabolism and making us store more fat. Stress leads to mindless munching and unnecessary calorie hoarding.
So it helps that you have already identified stress as a major factor. Now figure out ways to help tackle it. Here are some suggestions:
1. Zero in on a 15 minute window when you can sit down alone, undisturbed to just be alone with your thoughts. Slowly begin to use this time to try and blank out and meditate. This will take practice but persistence pays. And pays big in this case. Some people find it easy to chant a mantra (any) to help clean out negative thoughts during the time of meditation; maybe you can try to do that too.
2. Yoga really helps, as it is a complete mind-body-soul workout, so figure out if you can learn/practice it somewhere.
3. Identify two sports (outdoor) that you used to like when you were younger, and one that you always wanted to play but never got a chance to (swimming maybe). Make arrangements to get back to the ones you already know and begin practicing them at least one day (each) a week. And during the weekend try to teach yourself the one you always wanted to learn. What are you waiting for!
4. Next time a stress attack takes you towards food, just retrace your steps and walk away. Quickly change the scene: go for a walk or talk to a friend on the phone maybe. Do anything but eat. Sometimes just gulping a glass of water also really helps.
5. Understand the difference between hunger and urge to eat due to stress/boredom. Maintain a food diary where you jot down what you eat and why you do; this will help you identify the triggers and the dicey timings and you can be better prepared for them.
6. Twice a week just shut the door of your room, put on some peppy music you like and dance alone, just for the sake of dancing for 20 minutes at least. It is both a good exercise as well as an endorphin (happy hormone) releaser. This will help to lighten you up.
7. Finally break down the target of 20 kg weight loss into small achievable targets. Begin with a target of 5 kg loss, reach there, treat yourself with something nice, maintain it for a while and then tackle the next 5 kgs. And don't forget to enjoy the process. Don't consider it as a chore; in fact think of it as a new journey that you are embarking on, which will take you to a happy place.
Keep faith Neetu, you'll be a winner soon enough.
- Kavita Devgan