When most people set out to lose weight, they start by thinking about what they eat, and then about how much they move. Holly Mosier provides a different approach: deal with your stress levels, and the rest will come more easily. Mosier says that stress creates real cravings by releasing hormones that trigger us to reach for fatty, salty and sugary things.
In her book Stress Less, Weigh Less, Mosier lays out a plan that will not only help you eat and workout out better, but also to calm the chaos of everyday life. Mosier’s book is rooted in her own experience of overcoming mid-life weight gain and chronic fatigue. Today, she exudes positive energy and is in incredible shape, not just for a woman who recently turned 50, but for anyone.
In the process of finding solutions that worked for her, Mosier researched diverse stress-relief techniques from different fields and cultures, to find the most useful tools that could be easily incorporated into our busy lifestyles. “I boiled it all down to the most essential nuggets,” Mosier says. Her program for stress reduction includes meditation, yoga, deep breathing and tools for adopting a positive outlook.
What’s great about Mosier’s approach is that it’s practical and unintimidating–you’re not going to find any new-age or pseudo-spiritual language. At first Mosier wasn’t even sure if she wanted to use the word ‘meditation’, but many recent studies have given scientific credibility to the health benefits of meditation. Mosier also recommends yoga for calming the mind, and feels that no matter your religious or spiritual beliefs that everyone can benefit. Mosier does full 90-minutes yoga sessions each week, and her book includes 10-minute yoga sequences for days when you have less time.
Of course, any successful weight loss program will include nutrition and exercise guidelines. Mosier recommends following a calorie-controlled diet that’s high in protein, but is also quite flexible. She also recommends eating one “pig-out” meal per week, that includes any foods you want. As long as you don’t super-size the portions, this will keep you from feeling deprived without hindering your weight loss efforts. “There’s a reason we have taste buds,” says Mosier, who writes that she loves carbs and encourages her readers to find healthy foods they enjoy eating.
The third main element of the Stress Less, Weigh Less program is to re-vamp the way you exercise. Mosier says she gained weight in her 40s despite doing regular cardio workouts. “I used to exercise 90-minute every day. Now it takes me half that time.” Today, she alternates between strength training, yoga and even kickboxing. She explains that doing different types of physical activities not only keeps things interesting, but also prevents injury.
Stress is not only a trigger that causes us to eat unhealthy foods, but it’s also bad for our health. The diet and excise advice in Stress Less, Weigh Less is well grounded, but the real innovation offered in this book is the inclusion of stress-reducing techniques.