7 Quick and Easy Ways to Shed Weight–Instantly

Early in my tippy toe process, I realized that I was carrying a whole lot of weight that couldn’t be measured in pounds. Simply put, it was the weight of the world–heavy on my shoulders, wearing on my soul–and was a direct result of stress. Or rather, my inability to manage my way through some stressful situations. It just kept piling up as the pounds piled on. (I only noticed the pounds.)

When I read that stress has a negative effect on weight, I resolved to incorporate stress management into my overall life changes. The results were amazing! As I began to learn new ways of handling stressful situations, I could almost feel the world-weary weight dropping from my shoulders to the ground around me. I hadn’t even known it was there, but I could definitely feel its absence. My posture improved and I practically bounced when I walked. I had life energy I hadn’t realized I was missing.

Should you find yourself in need of shedding some stress pounds, here are a few of my strategies for dealing with life’s stressful situations:

1. Take a time-out, even if it’s only a few minutes. Find a quiet place and focus on breathing.

2. Take a walk. Or a jog or a bike ride. Work through some yoga postures or basic stretches. Exercise releases a hefty dose of feel-good endorphins. (In the interest of balanced reporting, I’ll mention that you could eat a package of Oreos for an endorphin rush, but that’s going to have some aftereffects that will likely create more stress. Just sayin’.)

3. Laugh. A lot. When the temporary boost to your heart rate and blood pressure subsides, you’ll be all loosey-goosey.

4. Listen to soothing music. I like The Black-eyed Peas as much as anybody, but they have their place. In stressful times, I know that slower-paced music will help lower my heart rate and blood pressure and allow me to breathe more easily. (Personal fav: Pachelbel’s Canon in D. It calms me…and then fills me with quiet energy.)

5. Light a candle. Scents such as lavender and vanilla are quite soothing. My current “trick” is to heat my oven to 250° and place a foil muffin cup with a half teaspoon or so of vanilla extract on the rack, turn the oven OFF, and then let the residual heat spread the calming joy.

6. Talk it out…or write it out. Sometimes the simple act of saying or writing the reason(s) for your stress is all that’s needed to release some pressure. Other times, a new perspective emerges that helps shift you from the negative path.

7. Help someone else. Whether it’s giving a neighbor a hand with gardening chores (bonus stress buster: exercise!) or simply listening to an elderly person talk about the good ol’ days, it’s hard to feel stressed-out when you’re helping someone else.

I wish I could tell you I now walk around in a state of blissful contentment every waking hour, but I don’t. I am, as it turns out, human, and I do still have my moments. (Had one yesterday, in fact, and it wasn’t pretty.) The awesome thing is that managing stress becomes a habit, just like eating vegetables and exercising, and now I notice when it’s moved from being an isolated omission to something heavy and needy of correction. That’s when I do one or more of the actions I listed above and before you know it, I’m back in my happy place and the weight is gone.

Questions o’the day: Are you a stress-eater or does it turn your appetite completely off? (I’ve experienced both, but usually the former. :)) Or have you already developed your own methods for working through life’s stresses? Share? Please?

19 thoughts on “7 Quick and Easy Ways to Shed Weight–Instantly

  1. Work for me at the moment is just over-the-top stressful. I’ve employed most of your tips on a regular basis recently. Definitely the best stress buster for me is a run or a ride, but I also enjoy listening to some music too. The only one I haven’t tried is “light a candle”, so will have to give that a go.

    As far as eating goes, I am lucky that I’m not a stress eater, if anything I tend to under-eat when stressed. I do seem to increase my wine intake though.

  2. Great ways to de-stress.

    One other idea? Get a pet! I’m pretty sure I would be taking daily BP medication were it not for the morning walks with my dog, or breakfast love fests with the kitties.

  3. great ideas! myself, i’m usually a stress eater. the only time stress made me stop eating was during my divorce. but i soon started eating again and gained back all the weight i had lost and kept off for 7 years! sigh.

    have a fab day!

  4. Yep – stress eater. But I have gotten much better:) There was only one time that I remember when stress had the opposite affect on me – after my dad unexpectedly died over 20 years ago.

  5. 8. Get laid off from your stressful job and take advantage of the time you have by spending it at the gym and taking care of yourself.

    That was the single most important thing that helped me on my journey. I’m not sure I would have been able to get here if that hadn’t happened. I’m so grateful and so scared to go back to work knowing how I tend to binge to manage stress. I hope I’ve learned enough since then to prevent that from happening when I go back to the working world. Thanks for the great tips. I may need them soon.

  6. Great tips Cammy. I have used some but not all. I do love that Pachelbels Cannon. Thx for the link…. beautiful!

    I was always an everything eater – stress, sad, depressed, celebrate… whatever it was. Now, thru my years of this, I have learned coping mechanisms that work for me & practice makes ALMOST perfect! 😉

  7. Hi Cammy. Just read about you in Rita’s blog and really enjoyed what you had to say. #6 is the one that works best for me…if I journal about it, I can inevitably deal with stress so much better than pretending it’s not around or turning to the contents of my fridge.

  8. Most definitely an everyday-stress eater. And feeling hungry most of the time is stressful!

    Walking it out on my treadmill can help. Hugs from human family members and beagles climbing into my lap can help. Talking to a friend can help. Mainly, distractions to create some breathing distance.

  9. Chaos tends to stress me out. If I can keep things at an even keel, I do a lot better. A messy house will set me off quicker than anything and then I eat to procrastinate the cleanup process. It helps me to set a timer and spend 15 minutes cleaning and then 15 minutes of something I enjoy. A day of that usually gets me back on the right track.


  10. Yep, I’m a stress eater (and a happy eater, and an angry eater, and a sad eater, and . . .). Your de-stress list is great. I’d add reading. It can take me far away and restore my perspective. Oh, and not just listening to music, but making music. Playing the piano is a great way to express my emotions and regain my equilibrium.

  11. I eat after the stress is over. During the worst parts I have to make myself eat. This is during REAL stress. Everyday stressors are different. I can snack thru those easily if I don’t watch out. My stress busters…journaling. Either public or private. Puzzles help unwind me. Definately reading, walking, tossing a ball for my dog. What else helps is making a list. If I can make a list of possible solutions to my problem I am able to turn my head off for awhile. Even if I can’t do anything any of my “solutions” that minute, having a plan of action helps wonderfully! Music, candles and AFV help too!

  12. “managing stress becomes a habit” — which tells me consciousness and practice need to be engaged — it’s the consciousness part I struggle with (LOL). I am a stress eater; it numbs me. I don’t know why I think that works.

    Cammy – this is another keeper.
    (I like the oven idea — maybe I’ll throw in a little cinnamon, too.)

  13. I try very hard not to stress eat. I have a tendency to want to dive into the chocolate when I am stressed, even though I know it doesn’t really do a lot other than that nanosecond while I inhale it.

    I step outside and mess in my garden to destress, or I try to take an example from my kitty and just chill out. She is a very good role model.

  14. Those are all such great tips! Some I use regularly and some I’ve forgotten about. I adore vanilla candles, and the vanilla in the oven trick sounds amazing!

    I don’t know if I eat more or less when stressed. Probably more, but I guess it depends on the stress.

    If I’m stressed out, it’s usually from work and my quickest solution is to get out of the office. I’ll walk 10 minutes to the post box to check the mail. Or just go for a walk for the sake of walking. Getting out of the office and getting some fresh air/exercise/time out makes a world of difference. If it’s really bad, I’ll call my bf on the walk and explain what’s going on. He’s usually quite good and putting things in perspective and making me feel better. Plus, just saying the problem out loud and actually explaining it helps make it seem less important, too.

    PS: You’ve got an award! :)

  15. Great tips, Cammy for lowering stress. In addition eating more when stressed, we pump out loads of cortisol which is linked to weight gain and I have reports of some studies showing it messes with our insulin levels too!

    Yoga, breathing, walking, hot baths, doing something productive and reading cookbooks are some of my favorite ways to relax and relieve stress.

    I love the idea about helping out someone else. There is nothing like getting your attention off yourself to feel better.

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