02 March 2017

Top 5 Emotional Hurdles That Seem to Disturb Your Weight Loss Goal

Happy New Year 2017! Haha, totally too late to wish you readers, but may you have a joyful, bright, healthy, double prosperity and happiness throughout the year.

I have been on a long hiatus, life is really like a roller coaster! Last two years, Mr husband's workplace had a major restructuring that he chooses to left the company and started a job hunt. We ended up moving to three different cities in less than two years. Moving to a new place, new city, new home stress me out. Honestly, it took a real hard time for me to cope with packing, handling the children's new school, adjusting to new environment and stuff like that. When I just about to settle my feeling, get comfortable at the new place, Mr husband 'announce' that we need to get ready to pack our things and move and I was like, AGAIN??? How I wish we can stay a bit longer in one place, maybe at least for 3 years but you know sh*t happened sometimes and life must go on.

Speaking of my weight loss journey, I can't focus at all. This may sound like a lame excuse, but really...this moving in and out process makes it difficult to maintain healthy eating habit or in another word my eat right, eat clean goals. I am mentally exhausted. I have no idea how much I weigh now but I know I've gained a lot of weight. As long as I remember, I weighed 82kg last Christmas, 35kg heavier than my goal weight. Some more, when you get too occupied with life, or feel messed up, grabbing something fast like instant noodle really give you comfort. I do still prepare healthy foods for my family, but I don't enjoy my own meals. I always lose my appetite in a hot kitchen. Anybody can relate?

Life is like that. Sometimes up and sometimes you're down, sometimes you just go round and round. But that's what life is. Like an EKG machine, if there are no ups and downs in your life it means you are dead. But the very roller coaster of life can somehow affect your weight loss goal. Let's take a look at these 5 emotional hurdles that may keep you from losing weight.

1. Stress

Stress can cause loss of appetite and trouble sleeping. But stress can also cause weight gain, depending on the person. The body uses energy at a faster rate when stressed. During a stress day, your body releases heavy amounts of cortisol. Cortisol according to MedicineNet, is a critical hormone in our body, which stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy, and stimulates insulin release and maintenance of blood sugar level. When you get a surge of cortisol, your body told to replenish the energy used, even though you haven't used very many calories. It may result in increased appetite...you'll be very hungry.

What you can do to address stress? Try to look for the positives in life. Appreciate what you have instead of focusing so much on what we don't have. Chill out and try these 4 simple ways to relieve stress at home.

2. Anger

How can get angry prevent weight loss? You could be angry at your boss or at your frustratingly dumb slow colleague, or it might be the traffic jam or cancelled events. At some point, we also feel parental anger towards our children's constant fighting. Anger is a normal human emotion. This emotion can be a good thing, designed to protect you and help you read and respond to upsetting social situation. But when anger turns destructive and out of control, it can make you look crazy. Anger and stress seem related. The anger itself may be a cause of stress on its own. When we get angry, the body pumps a large quantity of cortisol, commonly known as fight or flight hormone. Anger and stress obesity can't simply be treated by diet alone because there's a combination of several hormones resisting weight loss.

How do you control anger? The goal is not to not angry at all. The goal is to calm yourself down. Count to 10 isn't just for kids. Take deep breaths, and count to 10, or to 100...whatever it takes! Identify what made you mad and work on possible solutions. If your anger issues seem out of control, consider seeking help from a counsellor or psychotherapist.

3. Lonely

Loneliness is a bad mood feeling and any bad mood can lead to emotional eating. Why loneliness causes us to eat the most? Because we feel that eating soothe negative emotion. But that's not all. A study shows that loneliness messes up your hunger hormones. Loneliness and lack of connections enhance ghrelin, the hunger hormone which increases food intake. This could be the body's way of telling them to seek out company as humans have evolved to look at eating as a social activity.

If you're feeling lonely, keep yourself busy. Join a group with similar interest. Don't sit around and be isolated. Turn to friends and family to talk about your situation. If you really don't have someone to talk to, you can shoot me an email anytime. I'd like you to know that someone is listening. :)

4. Boredom

When asked about their wrong food choices and their emotions before they eat, "I'm bored" is one of the top excuses people made. There's two type of boredom. First, lazy boredom, when you lose the sharpness of mind and it makes you restless or lazy and you just want to sleep. Secondly, active boredom is when you wants to be connected with something or engaged elsewhere but you feel bored because the environment you're in is kind of unmotivating. Scientist concludes that people eat when bored simply to break the monotony, not because they are hungry.

How not to be so boring? Set goals and continuously keep refreshing your motivation. More often than not, boredom is the result of lacking the right inspiration.

5. Happy

The first 4 emotional hurdle above are negative kind of emotions. You can't lose weight because negative emotional can triggers poor eating habits. But wait, even happy moments can influence weight gain? Yes, falling in love makes you gain weight. Most brides-to-be lost weight prior to getting married so that they look stunning in their wedding gown but they often tend to put on weight post marriage. Love weight doesn't just happen in a new relationship; married women are likely to fall prey to such a phenomenon. When two people are in a happy relationship, their lifestyle patterns, eating and exercise habits change, and not always for the better. After years in a relationship, many couples do settle into a comfort zone and that impressing their partner isn't always the first priority anymore.

How to prevent relationship weight gain? Don't get comfortable. Rather than snuggling on the couch which basically lead to mindless snacking, fill the rest of the time with hobbies instead. Communicate with your partner about your weight loss goals, your healthy goals. It's so much easier to achieve goals when you feel supported.

Your turn now:

  • Have you ever caught in a cycle of emotional eating?
  • What do you think about emotional eating? Is it because of lack of self-control? Or is it because of your hectic lifestyle that causes you to go through your days on "autopilot"?

Tell me what you think, leave your comment below.

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