Maintaining Weight When Stressed

Man stressing out

Maintaining weight when stressed is a huge problem that everyone who has been over weight has had to deal with. Yours truly is no exception. To give you a snapshot of the stresses I live with, my dearest wife has breast cancer. I have been off from my job for three weeks now as a result of hurting my neck in a fall. And, my elderly father is in the hospital right now with a broken hip and other significant health problems. My life is no more charmed than that of anyone else, so how do I deal with stress and my appetite?

I live a life that is centered around healthy nutritional practices.

Healthy nutritional practices

I do not consume foods that I know are devoid of healthy nutrients that provide optimum fuel for my body. Additionally, I never eat anything with added sugars, and I keep processed foods to an absolute minimum.

Like an alcoholic, I know that one of the first things I will do when I am stressed out is, I will reach for sugary foods if I still ate them. Therefore, foods with added sugars are no longer in my diet, and I no longer miss them one bit. One of the areas where dieters fail, is they will not cut out sugary foods.  Subsequently, they do the same as I used to when stressed. They reach out for a treat that will bring them some comfort when the sugar causes the release of endorphins. This habit can be tough to break, but it is not an impossible habit to break. You just have to do it.

You might think it is unreasonable to expect someone to quit eating foods with added sugars. But, the reality is, sweet treats are usually the downfall of every dieter. They will often rationalize they do not need to give up sugar because their diet program allows it. But the problem is, as soon as they begin stress eating these treats, the weight simply piles back on with a swiftness. Every dieter knows this, whether they want to admit it or not. This is why we promote creating a lifestyle that is focused on healthy nutritional practices over dieting. Diets fail 95% of people who go on them.

Weigh and measure your food with each meal or snack!

Weighing oatmeal on a kitchen scale/

Maintaining your weight when under stress is much simpler when you are already in the habit of weighing and measuring everything you eat. Let’s be real, if you are serious about weight loss or weight management, you should know that it is a matter of calories consumed versus calories burned. You should get yourself into the habit of weighing and measuring everything. If you were to tell me that is too much of a hassle to do, I’ll ask you “why do you even bother with trying to lose then”?

Measuring cups and spoons with healthy foods

People who are serious about their weight management know that accountability is the key to success. Weighing and measuring is a form of accountability to self. If you think this is too much of a bother to do, I would have to wonder just how lazy are you.

Seriously, how long can it possibly take to place a food item on a scale and note the number?

How much of a hassle could it possibly be to use measuring cups or spoons?

How these tips actually help when maintaining weight when stressed.

I will give you a personal scenario where all of this came into play for me.

Wednesday, my elderly father was about to undergo a surgical repair to a broken hip. Although these repairs are usually routine, this one wasn’t. It wasn’t a routine procedure because he has other significant health issues. Truth be told, there was a good chance he would not even survive the surgery, yet there was no other alternative. His hip had to be repaired. Once I had left Dad in the surgical pre-op area, I went to get lunch with the stress of wondering if he would even make it through the procedure.

I took an elevator to the ground floor and found the hospital cafeteria with the hope they would have healthy choices for me to choose from since I do not eat sugar under any circumstances any more. I have lost my taste for sugar, and no longer miss my sweet treats. As luck turned out, they had taco salads which looked like a good choice to me.

When it was my turn to order my food, I asked if I could have my taco salad without the corn chips. I simply do not have a top end when it comes to corn chips, once I start on them, it is hard for me to quit. I simply love them, but hate the empty calories they provide. The nice lady behind the counter made my taco salad without chips, but she did give me a little extra lettuce upon my request. I had a choice between ground beef and shredded chicken breast in a red sauce to choose from. I went with the chicken, then had that topped with refried beans, Spanish rice and picante sauce. All of which I washed down with unsweetened tea. My lunch at the hospital kept me satiated for the afternoon with only 381 calories.

What does weighing and measuring foods have to do with this?

Because I always weigh and measure my foods, I can tell with pretty good accuracy how large of portions I am being served under these circumstance. I knew that I had about 1 1/2 cups of lettuce, the chicken was a 3 ounce serving. And the beans and rice were both 1/2 cup portions on top of it all. The ladle from which I poured the picante sauce was a 2 ounce ladle.  I was able to easily track these portions and can say that my lunch did not exceed the amount of calories I would normally eat for my lunch each day.

While many if not most people would have no clue as to how many calories they had consumed under these circumstances, I did. Although I do not recommend we eyeball, or guess our portion sizes normally. When we weigh and measure all the time, it makes it easy when we do have to guess portion sizes if they are not listed.

I get that you might find this ridiculous under the circumstances.

I do get how you might think that I was being ridiculous. But the point is, even though I was highly stressed, I did not deviate from my nutritional habits. I have incorporated these habits as a part of my lifestyle. Maybe you think this is crazy, but you should know that I am certain, that the stress I am under is NOT going to cause me to gain a single pound. If you believe this is ridiculous, I am going to make an educated guess, that stress always causes you to struggle with weight gain.  Stress is one of the most common, if not the most, common cause that derails dieters from their diets.

Weight Loss and Portion Control

Maintaining weight when under stress is entirely possible. The key is to develop a healthy lifestyle where you only consume foods that are low in calories and high in nutrition. This lifestyle is one that cuts out high calorie foods that do not nourish our bodies with the macro and micro-nutrients we require for good health. As you get into the habit of eating wholesome foods without added sugars, your taste will change. You will find that sweet treats often no longer taste as good as they did before. And you might also find yourself feeling ill if you do eat them on occasion.

Developing healthy habits is how we succeed at managing our weight whether times are just fabulous, or simply terrible. You too can learn to manage your weight when stressing out. All it requires is a commitment to yourself to go all in with your weight loss endeavor instead of thinking you can still hold onto some of your old unhealthy habits. I promise, if you do hold onto old habits regarding nutrition, you are only setting yourself up for failure the first time you feel a little stressed.

Maintaining your weight when stressed is possible for all who commit themselves!

Food Tracking for Weight Management

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