If your diet is causing you stress, it might be time to make some changes. Stress can lead to weight gain. When you’re trying to lose weight, you don’t want to do anything that will increase your stress. Plus, it’s possible to lose weight without increasing your frustration and aggravation.
One source of stress related to dieting is going on a weight loss plan that is extremely low on calories. Extreme diets do exist and proponents of these diet plans generally argue that extensive fasts and low-calorie diets are actually good for your body. Fasting and juice diets are sometimes encouraged as good ways to cleanse your body and take off the fat.
The problem with these types of diets is that you’re not eating enough food. Your body needs enough calories to perform its basic metabolic functions. When you eliminate solid foods or fast for long periods of time, you increase your chances of feeling fatigued and suffering from headaches. High stress from these types of dieting tactics often lead dieters to resume prior unhealthy patterns of eating as soon as the fast or juice cleanse is over.
Highly Restrictive Diets
Some diets allow you to eat regularly but with very strict guidelines. Anytime you are instructed to eliminate entire food groups, such as all carbs, all proteins or all fats, it should set off an alarm. To be healthy, feel energetic and think clearly, your body needs nutrients found in all essential food groups
In addition, if your diet eliminates your favorite foods altogether, this can lead to feelings of sadness and deprivation. Highly restrictive diets can take the joy out of life. If adhered to on a long-term basis, not enjoying your meals can increase your stress.
Diets Lacking in Variety
Some diet plans require you to eat the same foods over and over. Variety in food choices is important for your physical health and your state of mind. Eating the same foods repeatedly can cause boredom and lead to malnutrition in some cases.
Diets with Set Meal Times
If your weight loss plan requires that you eat at specific times of day that feel contrary to your own physiology, this can also cause stress. For example, some weight loss programs encourage eating most of your calories before noon. While eating breakfast daily is good advice, eating large amounts of food that early in the day might be causing you stress. It also means that you spend the rest of the day not eating, which can leave you feeling hungry for large chunks of time.
Reducing Diet Stress
If your diet is causing you stress, try to identify the specific reasons. In general, it is healthy for both your body and your mind to eat well-balanced meals from all major food groups. Allow yourself some healthy low-calorie snacks from time to time to increase your enjoyment. Lower your caloric intake, but avoid extremely restrictive diets. Incorporate exercise to accelerate weight loss and decrease your stress. Establish sustainable eating patterns that will help you to take off the weight and keep it off.