How stress can cause weight gain (and what you can do to lose it)

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Is stress eating you up lately? Or are you eating up your stress?

Weight gain is daunting, and it adds to your pile of worry.

Being stressed while trying to lose weight can lead to all sorts of problems, like intense cravings for calorie-packed comfort foods or the infamous binge eating.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Just take a look at our simple tips to manage stress and avoid weight gain, and make your weight loss journey that much easier. 

When you’re stressed, your brain sends danger signals to your body telling it to use energy to escape the dangerous situation. 

The only downfall is that after this happens, our brain sends signals for our body to replenish all the energy it just used in keeping us alive.

And that’s where the sugary snacks come in.

All this naturally leads to weight gain, which combined with people’s busy lives makes a recipe for disaster.

The good news is that there’s a solution for this.

You don’t need to spend an hour at the gym every day to release stress and burn calories.

You don’t need to punish yourself with a boring restrictive diet either.

You don’t even need to spend loads of money on fancy apps to tell you what workouts to do, or what food groups to cut off (you shouldn’t cut off any, by the way).

All you need is to create a set of habits that work around your lifestyle.

That’s exactly what we’re bringing you in this blog post.

Some activities that will help you lose weight and release stress when you include them in your daily routine.

And if you like to track your progress or you need extra guidance, Miboko is the next stop for you.

Miboko offers you access to an all-around health program developed by behavioral psychologists and world-leading experts.

Our non-invasive sensors read your body’s response to the food you eat, giving you personalized suggestions based on the way your metabolism reacts.

You can access our online community for support and encouragement, and our monthly calls with the experts are a great chance to ask any questions you have.

Miboko helps you develop and stick to healthy habits, turning you into the best version of yourself.

Not skipping breakfast can help you lose weight

Some people believe skipping breakfast in the morning helps you lose or control your weight.

This is far from true.

Some studies show that having a good quality breakfast contributes towards:

  • Lower BMI.
  • Making good decisions when it comes to food.
  • Better focus.
  • Improved levels of well-being.

Creating habits and sticking to them helps you be in control and not at the mercy of your everyday life.

Starting your day with a nice, healthy breakfast is a great way of developing and sticking to a new healthy routine.

If you start your day with a healthy breakfast, you will be less hungry during the day, but you will also feel more in control of your decisions throughout the day.

Predictability also helps you keep stress at bay, so starting your days following the same routine helps you start your day in a familiar, stress-free, and pleasant way.

Sleeping better can help you lose weight

Getting your hours in not only helps you feel well-rested and less stressed but also contributes to your weight loss journey.

Sleeping for at least 7.5 hours at night might help you snack less, drink less alcohol, and stick to your meal plan.

It also helps you feel well-rested, calm, and focused.

Creating an effective sleeping routine is fundamental for your overall health, but it’ll also help you with your weight loss process.

Some things you can try to make sure you have a good sleep routine are:

  • Aim to go to bed around the same time every night.
  • Always do something relaxing before bed -reading, taking a bath…-
  • Turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Use your bedroom for sleep only – no laptops, TV, or any other electronics –

Take a look at this to see how blue light affects you:

Creating an effective bedtime routine doesn’t mean you have to take all the suggestions above and implement them at once.

Choose a few you think you’ll be comfortable with, and try them.

It can be reading before bed.

It can be going to bed at the same time.

Whatever you choose, try it for a few days, and see how it feels.

If it doesn’t work for you after some time, try something else.

If it does, add more activities to that routine until it becomes second nature.

The more you try it, the more it’ll work.

Planning your meals saves you time and energy while keeping you on track

Meal planning frees up time in your daily life. It helps you control what and how much you eat, and getting started it’s easier than you think.

Meal prep is a fantastic way of saving time and sticking to a routine on your way to becoming the healthiest version of yourself.

Meal prep also means you’re in control.

You choose what you want to cook and how you want to cook it, and you choose what to have for lunch and what to have for supper.

This means that any unhealthy temptations brought to you by stress and long hours at work will no longer be an issue.

You can take control of your habits, your meals, and what you put into your body.

When you plan and cook your meals ahead, you’re less likely to stray off your plan and turn to unhealthier options.

Meal prep doesn’t mean you’ll spend all of your free time in the kitchen either.

You can batch cook for the whole week over the weekend and freeze some of your meals.

It also makes your grocery shopping easier and quicker, as you’ll know what and how much to buy of each thing, avoiding temptations or spending too long trying to decide what to take home for supper.

There are many free resources out there to help you create a meal plan that works for you.

There are also apps that can help you follow and stick to a meal plan.

All meal prep takes is commitment.

Choose some recipes you like, and mix them throughout the week.

Batch cook whenever you’re free and sort your meals for the week.

If you’re too busy to sort your meals for the whole week, start by sorting your meals for a couple of days and sticking to them.

As with any other habit, the important thing is to get started.

Don’t obsess too much if you stray off your meal plan during the first weeks, or if you just have time to batch cook for 2 days.

Something is better than nothing, and what matters here is to develop healthy habits to help you drop stress weight and make your life easier.

Exercising (even lightly) helps you shed those unwanted pounds

Going for a short walk or carrying some groceries up and down the stairs help you release endorphins and burn more calories than you think.

How much and how hard you exercise is up to you and your busy schedule.

However, every little bit of activity counts.

Apart from helping you keep unwanted weight at bay and shed pounds quicker, exercise releases endorphins and improves your mood, helping you unwind in a very healthy way.

If you’re up for it, you can visit your local gym 2-3 times per week, or you might prefer to go for walks/jogs during the week and explore the great outdoors once a month.

If you don’t have the time, you can complete some quick workouts at home or go for a walk around the block, or even try some energetic cleaning.

What matters is that you create a routine and stick to it.

Is your routine hitting the gym M-W-F? Fantastic.

Is it completing a 10-minute online workout at home before/after work? Brilliant.

What matters is consistency, and keeping that routine alive.

Any type of physical activity is a great tool to manage stress and the weight gain associated with it, as it helps you look after your body and mind.

Mindfulness helps you be calm and focused WHILE also controlling your weight

Mindfulness has a lot of benefits and no cons. It helps you connect body and mind, becoming healthier both physically and mentally. It has also been proven to help with weight management.

Mindfulness is a great tool to lower your stress levels and keep your weight in check.

Apart from helping you feel more relaxed and in control, studies have shown a connection between mindfulness meditation and weight loss.

These studies show that meditation can be more effective than dieting and exercising alone in the long term. 

Meditation helps you connect body and mind, improving your own self-awareness, resilience, and emotion regulation.

Mindfulness meditation for weight loss improves your self-regulation and self-awareness, helping you identify and break unhealthy habits, and make healthier choices when it comes to food.

It won’t happen overnight, developing meditation into your routine takes consistency, so it’s important that you set a realistic goal for yourself.

Do you have 5 available minutes every day when you can commit to mindful meditation?

If you aren’t able to meditate every day, can you start doing it 3 times a week?

Progress is all about building habits and sticking to them.

But the best thing about mindfulness? 

It’s free.

Anyone can do it.

It doesn’t eat it up a lot of time, 5 minutes a day is fine.

There are different types of mindfulness meditations aimed at weight loss that you can include in your daily routine.

All it takes is for you to start.

If you can commit to 5 minutes a day, fantastic.

If you can commit to 20, even better.

With mindfulness meditation, every little helps, and the more you get used to practicing it, the better you’ll get at it, and the better you’ll feel after it.

Using apps helps you keep track of your progress and stay consistent

You check your phone throughout the day, so apps are the perfect tool to help you stay on track and encourage you to keep going.

We live in a technological world and we use apps for nearly everything, from listening to music to dating, and checking what our bank statement looks like.

It only makes sense to use an app to help us relax, improve our eating habits, or track our exercise.

It doesn’t matter how busy you are: apps will more likely send you reminders to complete or log tasks throughout the day, so you’re likely to keep on track.

If you’re dead serious about your weight loss and you really want to see real change, Miboko is the app to turn to.

Miboko uses non-invasive technology to monitor the way your body reacts to food, and it gives you tailored advice to optimize your weight loss journey.

It doesn’t tell you to cut off any food either, so it doesn’t restrict your diet.

You can log on your progress and keep on track while hitting your goals, and there are different wellness sections created by our behavioral psychologists that help you relax, sleep better, and create a healthy new routine that works for you.

All of this in the palm of your hand, and without breaking the bank.

Calming and breathing techniques are your best friend

Sometimes, taking a deep breath really helps. But there’s more to deep breathing than just calming down for a few minutes. Find out how to use this technique to release stress and control your weight.

You can’t control stress, but you can control how you react to it.

If you’re into yoga or meditation, that’s a fantastic tool to unwind in a calm and peaceful way.

If you’re not taken by this, you can try a wide variety of activities that will help you feel less stressed and more relaxed, allowing you to take back control of your day-to-day life:

  • Go for a short walk.
  • Focus on your breathing.
  • Do some light stretching.
  • Take a nice bath/shower.
  • Take a nap.
  • Play some music.
  • Get support from friends/family.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to unwinding and destressing, you have to find out what works for you, and the best way to find out is by trying different things.

When you are calm and relaxed, your cortisol levels go down and you make healthier choices when it comes to nurturing both body and mind.

Try these stress-relief meditation techniques

Meditation is a fantastic way of grounding yourself in the present moment and focusing on your long-term targets. 

Much like calming and breathing techniques, meditation is an amazing and inexpensive tool that helps you manage the stress of your everyday life, clearing your mind and making you feel good and relaxed.

If you’re short on time, meditation can still work for you, as you can meditate for as little to 5 minutes a day.

You don’t need a specific space to meditate in, but if you make a habit of meditating in the same space at the same time every day – or several times a week – you may find it easier to turn this routine into a long-lasting habit.

You can improve your mental, emotional, and physical well-being by meditating a bit every day.

You can meditate on your own, or with someone. 

You can follow some guided meditation, or just create your own.

The important thing here is to get started.

Everything else will flow.

And if you’re not quite sure where to start, we’d like to suggest this 10-minute video on meditation for stress.

Try it and let us know how you find it.

Your support network plays a key part in your stress-free weight loss journey

A supportive environment is key to your mental, emotional, and physical health. Sharing your feelings and goals with a good support network can help you achieve your goals consistently and effectively.

Having a strong support network is key to keeping stress away and reinforcing healthy habits and routines.

Your support network is there when you need them, ready to lend an ear when you need to vent and to remind you how to keep calm and relaxed.

Above all, a support network -no matter how many people make it- has to be:

  • Reliable.
  • Nurturing.
  • Based on trust.
  • Empowering.
  • Uplifting.
  • Supportive.

You can include them in your calm and relaxing routines, whether it is to go for a walk together, do some stretches, cook some healthy meals, or have a chat.

With your support network at the ready, you can make sure you’ll be more likely to avoid stress and the weight gain that normally accompanies it, as your goals will be shared by your network and they’ll support you every step of the way.

Can you control stress-related weight gain?

Of course you can!

The key to avoiding this situation is to create routines that help you unwind and take control of your everyday life, including what food you eat and what activities you do to relax.

A great way of controlling stress-related problems in this day and age is by using apps.

We’ve mentioned before that many apps in the market can help you keep track of your exercise, sleep, meditation routine, or food intake.

Apps are convenient, easy to use, and already set to send you reminders, so all the work is done for you.

Miboko helps you control your weight without putting you on a restrictive diet.

With Miboko, no food is forbidden.

Our team of behavioral experts has put together a program that will help you achieve your goals and teach you to eat better, sleep better, and unwind better.

All this helps you control your weight, and brings you closer to the best version of yourself you can possibly be.

Miboko aims to connect body and mind to make sure you’re feeling as good as ever, without breaking the bank, and without making sacrifices.

Unlock your potential.

We’re just a click away.

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