Another Way to Reduce Stress: Stop Dieting

We are always looking to reduce stress. It puts a significant toll on your body and can do damage to your health. The pandemic has caused an awful lot of stress, and it’s caused weight gain. That has led to dieting. But dieting itself can lead to more stress. We’re on record as saying we’re not huge fans of diets. We think the best diet is eating healthy balanced meals and avoiding snacks. If you believe that dieting stresses you out, you may be right. Low-calorie dieting can increase stress hormones in your body.

If you are cutting back on calories too much in attempts to lose your ‘pandemic weight,’ you may actually be doing your body harm,” said registered dietician Martha McKittrick.

A short-term solution might cause long-term stress. Instead, if you are looking to lose pandemic weight, turn to exercise and healthier foods. Low-calorie dieting can also increase your irritability and upset your blood sugar, impacting your mood and health.

Right now is a vital time to be kind to yourself. With everything else going on in the world, right now might not be the best time to start a significant diet. You should always speak to your doctor before making lifestyle changes that will impact your health. At the moment, so many things are up in the air that smaller changes and being forgiving of yourself are essential. Thinking negatively and shaming yourself have been shown to sabotage health goals in the long run and increase your stress. Aiming to eat more vegetables might be a better choice than a calorie count or specific sets of rules you must follow. Dieting can also lead you to obsess over food and have a less healthy relationship with your meals. That can also be stressful. When you are always focused on when you “get to eat” you forget to enjoy the rest of your time.

Dieting can also impact your sleep. Being hungry at bedtime can cause your body to release more stress hormones, which can cause poor sleep quality. That can make you hungrier, more stressed out and more irritable. None of it is good for your health.

If you have spoken to your doctor and are on a diet for your health, you should stick to it. But, if you are thinking of starting a diet. This might not be the best time. You might feel that you have more time to focus on it with less of a social life. But, you might find yourself dwelling on what you are or are not eating. Your body is already under stress just from the news cycle and the ever-changing safety guidelines. Give yourself a break. Eat a healthy diet and consider holding off on dieting until things have calmed down.

Image: Thought Catalog via Unsplash
February 18, 2021
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