The Mind-Body Connection and Weight Loss
The driving force behind weight gain is deeper than external stimuli and often reflects our internal beliefs, impulses, and thoughts. So before trying to clean up the diet or signing up for a gym membership, refresh and workout the mind with these mind-body connection tips!
The driving force behind weight gain is deeper than external stimuli and often reflects our internal beliefs, impulses, and thoughts. But by tuning into the subconscious mind, our attentions can transpire into healthier behavior changes, subsequently trickling into the health of the body and facilitating natural weight loss. So before trying to clean up the diet or signing up for a gym membership, refresh and workout the mind with these mind-body connection tips!
Reframing the Mind for Weight Loss
Becoming so fixated with counting calories or losing an X amount of weight can be highly stressful and even redirect your efforts, especially if you go over your calorie limit or experience a weight loss plateau. So rather than becoming so wrapped up with tracking all foods and stepping onto the scale, start building healthy and sustainable goals for yourself, including eating more fruits and vegetable and sleeping the recommended seven to nine hours each night. And rather than viewing exercise as a chore, view it as a privilege and opportunity to keep the body in prime health to live life to the fullest. Reframing your view on health and reevaluating goals can in turn promote natural weight loss.
Generally, there are underlying causes of the negative emotions you may be enduring and facing, which may ultimately be impeding on your health goals. It is important to dig deep to surface these destructive influencers, as such feelings are likely to subside when managing the root of the cause. For instance, being severely dissatisfied at work can tarnish your energy and leave you feeling highly unmotivated and stressed. Simply talking with your boss or making a career change can ease negativity of the mind and start to develop a healthier lifestyle.
Surround Yourself with Optimistic People
Swarming in a sea of pessimism can be mentally draining and physically harming. Start pulling the plug on and detaching from such negativity and surround yourself with more optimistic people. A strong, supportive environment of family and friends can help boost your mood and offer guidance or listening ear. Nonetheless, the positive energy can synergize your efforts to a stronger mind-body connection.
Despite the good intentions you identified and created for yourself, fear and anxiety may be paralyzing and holding you back from carrying out any sort of goals. In fact, constant worry may be confiding you in your comfort zone, including prohibiting you from heading to the gym. While it does require mental strength, unleashing such anxiety can release feelings of freedom and confidence in all facets of life.
Self-care is vital to our overall well-being and neglecting it can severely take a toll to mental and physical health. Granting yourself self-care nurtures healthy relationships, boosts positive feelings, relieves stress, and improves self-confidence. Allow yourself to focus on what your mind and body needs consistently, including a day off from work, a massage, a light jog to clear the mind, or simply a journal to write down thoughts.
Understand Hunger versus Cravings
Cravings are mostly built on both emotional and psychological motivations, whereas true hunger occurs when you have not eaten for more than a few hours and is followed by physical effects, including a growling stomach and feelings of weakness. Hunger persists until any sort of balanced meal or snack is consumed, while a craving can pass and may even occur after you have recently eaten. Although feeding into cravings is certainly okay and often advised to limit the risk of food binges, regularly succumbing to them may come full circle and cause physical and mental consequences.
Be More Mindful
Being mindful is essentially a nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment and encouragers individuals to make the most out of the situation at hand. Being more mindful has shown to lessen negative feelings and enhance quality of life, along with cultivating a more positive relationship with food by promoting the notion of "all foods fit," stripping down the stigma of "unhealthy" or "bad" foods and incorporating all foods within the diet. The concept of mindful eating supports individuals to intently focus on internal cues of hunger and satiety, as well as external motivators that drive behaviors to foods. Recognizing the smells, flavors, and textures of foods is also a strong foundation of mindful eating, along with enhancing food appreciation. Nonetheless, mindful eating has helped individuals overcome food fears, disordered patterns, and weight-related barriers.
Combat Sleep Deprivation and Stress
In such a fast-paced society, sleep is often low and stress runs high. Unfortunately, the repercussions of sleep deprivation and chronic stress distresses our overall wellbeing. The problem lies within our neuroendocrine system, which activates a series of hormones whenever we feel threatened. While such pressure can be beneficial amidst a flight-or-fight scenario, the ongoing release of stress-induced cortisol can be physically destructive. When cortisol remains elevated, it may increase our appetite and ultimately push us to eat more. And not to mention, food is often turned to as a coping mechanism, only driving and accelerating caloric intake. Stress can also start impacting sleep sufficiency, which only makes matters worse. Inadequate sleep compromises the ability to think and ration properly, plummets energy levels, and drives cravings towards sugar and fat-laden food sources. Combat such negative consequences by practicing healthy stress-relieving techniques, including yoga and meditation, along with creating a healthy bedtime routine to facilitate a better night's rest on a consistent basis.