The Secret To Losing Weight: Keep Stress In Check

Realising you’ve missed the last posting date for Australia, sewing sequins on costumes for the school play, worrying about the state of the house when the in-laws are coming to stay… When you feel under pressure, it’s easy to find yourself turning to high-Syn food for comfort. What can help at moments like these is reminding yourself of the bigger picture – how significant will your current stresses seem in a year’s time?

The Secret To Losing Weight: Keep Stress In Check Photo Gallery

What about in two or five years’ time? Patricia Fox-Hutchison, who lost 7st 1lb at Paula Morris’s group in Abbey Hulton, Staffordshire, keeps photos of herself at her biggest to put everyday worries into perspective. ‘It works for me in an instant,’ she says. ‘I remember how far I’ve come and think that if I could do that, then I can tackle anything I set my mind to.’

Stress can also make us more vulnerable to eating absent-mindedly, says Alexandra. ‘Sitting down and really taking the time to focus on and savour the tastes and textures of what you’re eating is a form of mindfulness, which can be very calming. Plus you’re also much more likely to feel satisfied.’ Try-it tip: De-stress by getting active. While Body Magic can be the last thing you want to do on cold, gloomy days when you feel like hibernating, exercising can help you fight any frazzled feelings.

‘It will boost your mood and help you cope with stress,’ says Alexandra. ‘Make it as simple as possible, such as increasing your daily step count and fitting in as much brisk walking as you can.’ Sneaking in activity whenever possible – like parking in the space furthest from the supermarket, always taking the stairs instead of the lift and getting off the bus one stop earlier – can make a big difference to your confidence and mood, says Kerrie Bailey. ‘Short bursts of exercise really do add up. When I’m having a busy week and I can’t get to the gym, they’re a lifesaver.’ Or check out our sofa workout on page 106 for ways to give your mind and body a lift without even leaving the house!

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