Trying to maintain your health and weight when life is throwing some major life stresses at you (such as the death of a loved one, work redundancy, relationship breakdown etc) is challenging to say the least! While some people lose weight in times of major life stress, many others tend to put on weight as comfort eating increases and physical activity decreases. Adding to this, the hormone cortisol is released in higher amounts at times of stress and this tends to slow down metabolism leading to weight gain.
2009-2010 was a period in my life where I seem to experience many major life stresses that really took a toll on my health. It would be nice to think that no further major stresses will occur in my life and I’ll go on to live happily ever after, free from stress; however, reality seeps in and tells me that major life stresses are inevitable and will occur at some point in the future – here’s hoping it’s just not all at once!
So how do you maintain your sanity and health and when going through major life stress?
Self Care, Self Care, Self Care! A common theme I have noticed in many people when they are going through major life stress, is they tend to reduce or completely stop engaging in activities they need to do to allow themselves to sooth their distress. For example, many people stop going out with friends, or they stop eating well, or they stop exercising or stop doing things that they normally give them pleasure. Looking after yourself is important at any time and in times of major life stress it is even more essential to engage in self care. Continue reading How to Maintain Your Health and Eating Habits In Times Of Major Life Stress
Holiday periods are a fantastic time to relax, socialize with friends and family and indulge in your favourite pleasures. One of those pleasure, of course, being food. While many people throw caution to the wind and overindulge in their favourite foods on holiday, the post holiday period is characterized by feeling blue (as the holidays have come to an end!!!) and a struggle to get on top of sugar cravings that inevitably occur as a result of days of decadence.
So how do you get on top of sugar cravings? The following tips are just some ideas on how to get back in track.
Tip 1: Don’t beat yourself up over your indulgence!
It’s normal to overindulge while on holiday, particularly as you are not in your normal daily routine and there are generally more social events occurring at that time. Beating yourself up generally leads to feelings of frustration, disappointment and guilt and if you tend to be an emotional eater, this will make it even harder to get on top of cravings. As the saying goes, ‘there’s no point crying over spilt milk’. Focusing on getting back on track will be a more useful exercise than focusing on what you’ve eaten while on holiday.
I love using motivational or pertinent quotes to inspire me to continue to improve my health. One of my favourites is the Nike slogan “Just do it”. It’s a handy one to tell myself when I start having unhelpful thoughts such as “I’m too tired to exercise”, “I don’t have time to look after my health”, or “It won’t make a difference to my health.”
These unhelpful thoughts are very powerful in creating inertia and keeping me stuck in unhealthy eating and exercise (or lack of exercise) habits. That’s where changing mindset or attitude is of fundamental significance in achieving health goals. It amazes me that the role psychology plays in assisting people to change their eating and exercise habits is minimally incorporated into the majority of health and weight management programs. Continue reading How To Stop Unhelpful Thoughts About Health
One of the many reasons why diets may fail people is due to the number of ‘rules’ one must follow for the diet to work. Some of these rules come with high expectations for the ‘dieter’ to change habits of a life time. While understandably if you want to reach a healthy weight, some habits require changing, if those new habits are not consistent with your belief system, personal preferences or require a dramatic change in lifestyle it can be very hard to successfully follow these dietary rules through.
An example of this is that some diets and weight loss advisors focus on the dieter having six small meals per day. Personally, one of my health obstacles has been in making sure I am sufficiently organized and get the time to make three nutritious meals per day. Having always eaten three meals per day I have absolutely no desire in changing this dietary regime. Where would I get the time to make six nutritious meals per day, when three is hard enough???? Furthermore, finding the time and opportunity to eat six times a day would not really be that easy. I have other commitments in my life, such as work, that requires me to focus my concentration on other activities besides consuming food. Continue reading Do I seriously have to eat six small meals per day?
The ‘Food Matters – Depression & Mental Health Video Lessons’ are an extension of the documentary film ‘Food Matters’ featuring never before seen footage focusing specifically on Depression & Mental Health issues. Well worth seeing! Just click on the image below to find out more.
Finally a program that recognizes the challenges that people go through when they are diagnosed with an illness, such as Coeliac Disease, where they have to make radical changes to their diet in order to improve their health. Having to avoid any food group can be hard enough and is often the reason why people fail conventional diets, but when you really have to make the changes to your diet due to the impacts of the diet on a health condition, that can be very challenging indeed! The “Going Gluten Free for Emotional Eaters’ program by Holly Noonan, is an invaluable program for those starting out on a Gluten Free diet. To find out more, just click on the ‘Click Here!’ link below:
The reasons why people overeat are varied and include lifestyle, physiological, social and psychological influences. What we think and the decisions we make about food have a major influence on our eating habits. Some of those thought patterns and decisions about food can assist us in maintaining our natural weight, others can be quite unhelpful and even destructive and can lead to overeating and unhealthy eating habits.
It is not uncommon when someone is depressed to experience changes in their appetite, whether it be an increase or decrease in appetite, as well as general changes in the amount and quality of the food a person eats, such as eating more junk food and/or drinking more alcohol. In fact, appetite and weight change are one of the symptoms that health professionals use to make a diagnosis of depression in an individual.
Unfortunately, changes in a person’s diet are likely to further compound the intensity of the depression experienced and impede the recovery process. For example, eating more junk food is likely to increase a person’s level of fatigue and mood swings and lead to a decrease in concentration, decision making ability, self worth and activity levels. Food is obviously essential to good physical and mental health and wellbeing. So it makes sense that consideration of a person’s diet and eating habits is adopted as part of the treatment regime for depression. Continue reading The Link Between Nutrition and Depression
Most people have a tipping point when they realize a health habit is no longer serving them and a change is needed. Prior to taking the plunge to change the habit, it can be helpful to think of why you are wanting to change. That is, what are you trying to achieve, how will you be different if you make the change and what will be different about your health and overall wellbeing ?
If you know the reasons why you are trying to achieve something, it can help to keep you focused and on track. It’s often too easy when you reach a stumbling block in any change in habit, to lose faith that you can continue. Knowing your why’s can give you that extra bit of motivation and focus to keep going and not let the stumbling blocks (which are bound to happen!) stop you from progressing further. Continue reading Why Change Your Health Habits?