Practice Healthy Stress Management

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If you are like most people, when stress and chaos (“a storm”) increases in your daily life, you probably rely on unhealthy coping mechanisms to manage it (i.e., you may go to a store (or online) to buy things to make yourself feel better; you ignore the problem and hope it goes away; you smoke or drink alcohol or caffeine, or you overeat, etc). But the truth is, these strategies are not effective or healthy in the long term, nor are they in line with your weight loss goals. Therefore, you need to practice stress management techniques that support your new healthy lifestyle. So, the next time you are “in a storm”, try these relaxation exercises instead of turning to your old unhealthy coping strategies.

The 5-5-5-5-5 Exercise

(Adapted from 50 more ways to soothe yourself without food, by Susan Albers, PsyD.)

Grab a piece of paper and write down:

  • 5 people: List 5 people you can call when you feel stressed, overwhelmed, upset, or need to vent.
  • 5 ways you like to relax: List 5 ways you can de-stress (i.e., take a hot shower or bath, put your feet up, take a few deep breaths, etc.)
  • 5 places you can go to calm down (i.e., your bedroom, a quiet space where you cannot be bothered, outdoors, etc).
  • 5 things you can say to yourself (i.e., I can do this, this too shall pass, etc).
  • 5 activities to distract yourself (i.e., start a puzzle, color, watch a movie, etc.)

Hang this list in an easy to see location and look at it when you need to self-soothe or relax. Then, do the activity for at least 5 minutes.

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

Dr. Kim: How to lose weight and keep it off during the (stress & chaos) storm

Written by: Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Kim Feinstein, Tucson Medical Weight Loss’ Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist

“Feed your appetite with new experiences (not food).” -Dr. Suzanne Bentz D.O., Owner & Medical Director of Tucson Medical Weight Loss

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Continue to Keep You and Your Weight Loss Goals a Priority

When life becomes increasingly hectic and chaotic, people often stop making themselves and their weight loss goals a priority. Instead, they focus on putting out fires. Of course problematic issues need to be dealt with, but if you completely abandon your weight loss goals, you will likely create more stress, chaos, and weight gain. Remember, when you are in the midst of a storm; continue to review your priorities. Your weight and healthy lifestyle needs to remain on the top of your priority list. You deserve it!

Keep a Daily Food Diary

When you are stressed and overwhelmed, your awareness of what and how much you eat/drink is affected. That is why keeping a daily food diary can help you stay on track during those stressful and chaotic times. Feel free to use this daily food diary to help you monitor what you eat and drink daily, what triggers you to eat, and how stressed out you feel when you eat. Self-monitoring makes you more aware of what you consume daily. It is a research-proven weight loss strategy!

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Change Your Stressful Thinking

Exaggerated and self-defeating thoughts are the foundation of problems with stress and chaos (Abromowitz, 2012). Kathleen Hall, Ph.D., a stress expert and CEO and founder of both The Stress Institute and the Mindful Living Network, told The Huffington Post in an interview, “Research tells us that every thought and emotion creates a chemical reaction because it immediately changes our neurochemicals that affect our mental, physical and spiritual health.” Thus, stressful thinking patterns escalate your stress level, and if you reduce stressful thinking, you will reduce your stress level. So, do your best to practice more accurate and positive thinking in times of stress and you will likely feel better! Here are some examples of stress reducing mantras:

  • I can make the healthy choice
  • This too shall pass
  • I can handle this
  • I will accept the things I cannot change
  • Progress not perfection

Reach out for Support

Sometimes, your family and friends are some of your best resources for managing stress. Give yourself permission to reach out, share what is going on, and maybe even ask for help. You may be surprised how helpful this can be. It will remind you that you are not in the storm all alone. It is ok to need a life preserver!

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

Dr Kim: Are You Stressed & Don’t Even know It?

Written by: Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Kim Feinstein, Tucson Medical Weight Loss’s Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist

“During a storm, why not empower yourself by controlling one of the most important areas of your life, which is your own personal health and nutrition.” -Dr. Suzanne Bentz D.O., Founder & Medical Director of Tucson Medical Weight Loss

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Does this familiar?

  • “Now isn’t a good time for me to lose weight because I am stressed and have too much going on.”
  • “I can’t follow my meal plan because of my hectic schedule.”
  • “I am so busy taking care of my family that have no time to eat healthy and exercise.”
  • “I don’t have time to plan, prepare, and cook.”
  • “I’m going through a divorce, so I can’t stick to my meal plan. I will try again after it’s finalized.”
  • “I suffer from depression/anxiety, so I will never be able to manage my weight.”
  • “I am the primary caretaker of an ill family member, so I am not able to focus on myself and my health right now.”
  • “I’ll start dieting again when I have less stress and chaos.”
  • “I’m injured right now”“It is too expensive to eat healthy.”
  • “I will start again tomorrow.”

Does this sound like you? You are not alone! I often hear many people say they will lose weight and address their eating issues when they have more time, their stressful relationship smoothed out, their divorce is final, their kids are older, the holidays are over, or the deadline at work is past. However, when is that really going to happen?

Unfortunately, real life is full of (stress and chaos) storms. While stress waxes and wanes, it never completely goes away. There is always something else to deal with right around the corner. Therefore, waiting for the perfect time to lose weight is NOT the answer. Now is the time to stop making excuses as to why you can’t stay on track with your meal plan and/or exercise routine. The secret to successful weight loss and weight management is to be able to keep a healthy lifestyle even in the midst of stress and chaos.

If any or all of the before mentioned excuses are preventing you from achieving your weight loss goals and creating the life you desire, I have some good news for you… You can break through these barriers and succeed at your weight loss goals once and for all!

Contact Tucson Medical Weight Loss for more information, and to start a weight loss program today!

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.