I am more convinced than ever that stress is the root cause of our struggle with obesity and weight management in this country. I am also certain that diets are not the answer to our weight loss woes. I have been saying this for awhile now, but when you take diets out of the equation, what is the solution?
If you are tempted in this new year to diet, I implore you to choose a diet that will drop some serious weight seriously fast. If stress is the cause, then stress relief is the solution. Here are ten ways to rapidly reduce your stress (and whittle your waistline in the process)…
1) Exercise – Every. Single. Day. Remind yourself each day that you are not exercising to lose weight. You are exercising simply for the stress-busting benefits. The weight will take care of itself.
2) Have a FREE day – vow to not spend ANY money for a day. When you want something and are used to just getting it, or charging it, this can be an adjustment, but it is amazing when you go without how your life can feel simpler and you can breathe a sigh of relief that you have not added to your debt.
3) Block an hour – Block off an hour in your day to do whatever makes you feel peaceful. It’s you-time. Whether it is taking a nap, reading a book, or any form of self-care that suits you, it is intentional and that can be very powerful.
4) Let it go – Whatever is weighing on you that you have been carrying around, whether it is an item on your to-do list, your overwhelming desire to lose weight, your feeling not good enough, or any negative self-talk, just let it go. Give up. Give in. Move on. Breathe it out and send it to the other side of the world. Imagine it leaving the earth’s atmosphere. Feel the relief in your shoulders. Life will go on without it. Granted, if it is something pervasive in your life, like feeling not good enough, I understand that it will come back. That is unavoidable. Be patient. When it comes back, shoo it away again.
5) Eat real food – Do not eat fast food at all today. Do not eat any processed food. Do not say you will NEVER eat these things again. Just focus on today. Just this one day. Today, make the choice to only eat real, unprocessed foods, including as many fruits and vegetables as possible. Do not worry about which ones or overeating, just stay real, and then at the end of the day, write down how you feel. Do you feel healthier, stronger, a sense of wellness? Compare this mentally to how you recall feeling the last time you ate fast food.
6) Take a day off – When you have or can take a day off work, do so, and commit to not doing any other work that day either, meaning no laundry, no paying bills, no responsibilities of any kind. Just rest. Just do what you feel like with no to-do list holding you hostage. Just be free. At the end of the day, take a minute to write down how you feel after a day like this. Rate the stress level you went to sleep with the night before and your stress level after this day. Is there a significant difference? How much would you pay to have a day like this twice a month?!
7) Write – Do a brain dump. Whatever is in your mind, get it out of your head and your body and on paper or on your computer. Do not keep it inside. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, just write to get it off your shoulders. Then enjoy the light feeling of not having to carry it around with you all day.
8) Protect your vital energy – Energy (physical and mental) and time are exhaustible resources. Money is a renewable resource. Do not forsake the exhaustible for the renewable. Protect your energy by choosing not to expend it on things that are frivolous or offer little payout. Treat your energy like gold and use it on that which gives you the best return on your investment. Stop consuming excess caffeine and energy supplements in an attempt to push your production to the next level. This actually has the opposite effect and usually leads to wasted energy. Let your body and mind naturally dictate your boundaries.
9) Meditate for 5 minutes like it is your job – Take three times today, morning, afternoon and evening, and meditate for five minutes. Close your eyes, clear your mind, and just focus on your breath. Set a timer.
10) Have a screen-free day – No phone, no worries, no cares. Put the phone away and do NOT check it all day. This one is self-evident. Most of us know by now the negative impact our digital lives have on our well-being. It is choosing to do something different that makes all the difference.
Try the above “weight loss” methods, perhaps one each day, more if you’re feeling ambitious, and tell me how you feel after 30 days! Do you want to know if this will actually help you shed pounds? Try it. Weigh yourself at the start, then after 30 days, and not at all in-between. Share your results! I would love to hear about it!
Wishing us all lighter selves…mind, body and spirit,
DISCLAIMER: The nutrition and fitness recommendations on this website do not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided is often opinion-based and factual in regard to consumer information where applicable. Nikola Rosa is not a doctor, nutritionist, dietician and holds no clinical certifications related to the advice presented here. The opinions, information and advice is grown solely from personal life experience. As a result, it is evolving and subject to change. If you have any medical concerns, dietary restrictions, allergies, or physical limitations, consult a medical professional before making any changes that could affect your health.