Say Ahh….

Why relaxation can help your weight loss success
and how to make it happen!

Say ahh… and shed stress so you can feel better!  Feeling better physically, mentally and emotionally – who doesn’t want that!  unchecked stress can take a toll on your health.  research has linked high levels of stress to everything from the severity of a cold to an increased risk of heart disease.  It’s also not good for your weight loss journey.  As you probably can guess one reason is that we often eat in response to stress.

According to Weight Watchers Weekly having a go-to technique to ease tension when you feel it building can keep you from turning to self-defeating solutions like comfort eating.  Its a double win, you’ll feel better when you’re equipped to handle stressors in your life and you’ll feel goof about the choices you make.  The first step to handling stress is simply to expect it – it happens to all of us – though we may have different stress triggers.  Then when the stress does hit, you can pivot right to a helpful nonfood solution.

Some suggestions provided in the WW Weekly are breathing techniques- What to do…breathe deep!  Instead of turning to food when stress hits, try any of the following easy exercises to quiet your mind and relax your body.  They suggest trying each exercise up to three times per week.

1. Whooshing breath – smile slightly, breathing in through your nose, then breathe out your mouth, making a quiet whooshing sound.  Take long, slow deep breaths in, letting your belly expand.  Feel the air moving in and listen to the sound hen you breathe out.  Try for one minute.

2. Counting breath – breathe deeply into your belly, letting it expand.  Pause, as you breathe out count “one” to yourself.  inhale again counting “two ” as you breathe out.  Continue for four breaths, starting over again to one.  Try for one minute.

3.  Relaxing sigh –  sigh deeply, let out the sound of deep relief as the air rushes out.  Then let the air come in naturally.  Try 10 times.

4. Breathe in relaxation, breathe out tension –  as you breathe into your belly, letting it fill with air, say to yourself “breathe in relaxation”. Imagine the relaxation entering your body – filing all those tense areas. Pause.  Then let the breath out saying “breathe out tension”.  Let go of the tension.  Try for one minute.

Give it a try, figure out ways for you to relieve stress rather than eating.  Listen when I say that I am no saint here.  I am just as guilty as the next person for filling my belly to try and drown the stress.  It backfires every time.  I also don’t know if this is the same for you as it is me but I have two levels of stress.  My normal one is the fill your face and regret it type, the other is honestly just as bad – its the severe stress where I don’t eat at all.  When my son had his accident there was no amount of breathing that could relieve that stress.  There was also no amount of food.  That first 5 days I ate little to nothing daily and survived on coffee.  However as soon as I knew he was making marked improvements I moved to my next level of stress management – eating all the food.  I gained a bunch of weight and now here I am fighting those same demons (PTSD is a bitch) and trying to lose weight.  I am going to try some of these and maybe set that breathe goal on my Apple Watch to remind me to do it!

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