Weight loss is such a controversial topic because it’s a concept that looks simple on hindsight, but in truth is actually profound and complex. It takes a lot more than just cutting back on food or moving around more.
For many, weight loss is a constant battle involving your knowledge about how your body works, your innate self-control and consistent willpower to push through and make progress. It’s almost like a “no pain, no gain” situation where your patience and motivation are put to test.
But what most people fail to see is that the process of losing weight can be a lot more strategic but also forgiving than that.
Weight loss is also about being strategic
Harvard has recently released an article indicating how mindfulness can help when trying to lose weight. In this article, they cited expert opinions and health studies explaining what causes us to eat more. Essentially, we tend eat more because we’re on auto-pilot.
When we feel distasteful emotions such as sadness or anxiety, some of us turn to food to find comfort and push away negative feelings. Repetition of such behavior often becomes a habit, which becomes the program that runs our body when we’re on auto-pilot. When feel stressed or anxious, we eat. And so when we decide to lose weight for health or personal reasons, we struggle.
Mindfulness as part of your game plan
When you’re on auto-pilot, it’s easy to grab a bag of chips when you feel sad. The idea is to keep yourself from going auto-pilot. Therefore, in order to prevent yourself from getting that bag of chips, you’ll have to stay focused and conscious of what you’re doing.
It is not to say that you should only be mindful of what you’re eating when you feel down or frustrated. Mindfulness should be practiced on all occasions, which means checking what you’re eating, how much and at what frequency. If you’re having difficulty with this, you can opt to work with a weight loss expert to guide you through the process.
Strategies are important no matter how big or small
Mindfulness is definitely one of the major strategies you can use when looking to lose a few pounds. But there are little things that you can do that will help you reach your goals. Forming healthy habits, for example, is one of them.
By healthy habits, we mean doing the essential but often overlooked parts of self-care such as getting enough sleep, eating healthier foods and committing to a workout routine. But aside from that, these healthy habits can also be personal.
Develop the habit of positive self-talk
It’s easy to have negative self-image especially if you don’t like the skin you’re in. This often leads to stress and feelings of hopelessness, which are not healthy for anyone who is trying to undergo change through weight loss.
Positive self-talk can help you become more optimistic about the situation and motivated to keep going. It will also help you become more persistent even when the going gets tough along the way.
Invest in things that motivate you
Another good way to stick to a weight loss program is by investing in things that you think will make it a little easier for you. Note that these investments don’t even have to be big and expensive. They can be as simple as a compression sleeve so your arm doesn’t hurt during your boxing training, or a pain relief cream to help soothe muscle pains at the end of the day.
Consider weight loss as a form of personal growth. There’s bound to be some form of growing pains, of course. Investing in things that will help you in your weight loss journey will essentially make it a lot easier.
Keep reminders, or give them away
This one depends largely on whichever method you think will motivate you. Some people keep reminders of their past heavier body, to remind them of how far they’ve gone and to keep going. However, there are others who prefer to throw out or give away the things that reminds them of their past self — sort of like gaining a new persona.
If you find that giving away lose jeans or shirts will help you feel better and motivated to make more progress, then by all means, give them to the person who might want them. Both methods are understandable and acceptable. Feel free to choose whichever makes you feel better.
Being forgiving to yourself is also important
When it comes to weight loss, no matter how motivated or strict you are when it comes to dieting and working out, you’ll probably experience moments that people often term as “relapse”. These are moments in your weight loss journey where you give in to impulse.
You’ve been eating healthy for the past month, and then suddenly you find yourself unable to resist the urge to finish a whole tub of ice cream. It could also be that you’ve been working out for weeks, but suddenly you stop working out for an entire week.
These are small moments that serve as a small hiccup to your weight loss journey. It is after those moments that you should practice being more forgiving to yourself. Finished the tub of ice cream? Great, go back to your healthy diet program the next week. Lost motivation to work out? Find a gym buddy!
Weight loss can be a long tedious process, but it’s one that can be made easier with the right mindset and tools. It is therefore important to utilize what you can to make it less complicated and much more purposeful.
You’re more likely to stay on your weight loss journey when you know how to approach its challenges. This is what mindfulness, developing healthy habits and a little bit of tolerance will help you do. They’re really good ways to feel a little bit better about yourself, while you work on becoming physically better for the people around you, but more importantly, for yourself.