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Managing Unexpected Weight Gain: 5 solutions without drastic dieting or exercise

If you’re doing everything right, weight gain could be coming from stress.

Weight fluctuations are a normal part of life, but they can still be frustrating, especially when the scale registers an unexpected increase.

Fitness Trainer Lindsey Mathews how to navigate these situations with balance before you jump into drastic measures like dieting or intense workouts.

Find more advice from Lindsey on Instagram, @trainerlindsey.


Understanding Unexpected Weight Gain

Lindsey addresses the concern of sudden weight gain that occurs when you’re seemingly doing everything right. She points out that while certain times of the year or situations might lead to anticipated weight fluctuations, unexpected gains are often linked to stress. Stress triggers the body to retain water and become inflamed, causing a temporary increase in weight.

Avoiding Overreactions

It’s common for people to react impulsively to unanticipated weight gain by resorting to extreme measures. Lindsey advises against this approach, as it’s not only unsustainable, but may not yield the desired results. Instead, she recommends a more balanced and thoughtful strategy to counteract stress-related weight gain.

How to Manage Stress-Related Weight Gain

  1. Prioritize Sleep: Ensuring you get seven to nine hours of sleep is crucial, especially during periods of heightened stress. Adequate sleep aids in reducing stress levels and supports overall well-being.
  2. Choose Low-Stress Exercise: Engage in activities like walking instead of high-intensity workouts during stressful times. Walking outdoors, preferably in the sunlight, can help alleviate stress and contribute to a better mood.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Drinking more water serves as a natural diuretic, helping the body flush out excess water caused by stress. Aim to increase your water intake by a few cups each day.
  4. Nourish Your Body: Avoid chronic undereating, as it places stress on the body. Eat balanced meals rich in protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats throughout the day. Regular eating prevents prolonged periods of food deprivation.
  5. Practice Deep Breathing: Incorporate daily moments of calm by dedicating at least 10 minutes to deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness. These practices can effectively reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.

Remember that unexpected weight gain due to stress is a temporary situation, and it’s important to focus on overall well-being rather than rushing into drastic measures. By following Lindsey’s advice and practicing self-care, you can effectively navigate through such periods and maintain a positive relationship with your body.

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