The challenges to losing weight are numerous. People struggle with their body image every day. They deal with stress and anxiety associated with not making the “right” decisions when it comes to food.
Change is never easy, especially when it comes to the way your body looks. Even more importantly, effective weight loss also means dealing with your mental health and the way you feel about yourself every day.
Read on to learn about the mental blocks to losing weight and our tips on staying body positive during the process!
One of the primary mistakes that people make when striving to lose weight is that they focus on punitive diets. These diets oftentimes restrict the number of calories you eat per day or even the food you can eat.
While this may seem to make sense for rapid weight loss, in theory, diets that are overly restrictive are almost impossible for people to maintain for the longterm. In fact, almost 80% of people who lose weight through a diet end up regaining the weight they lost over time or even surpass it.
Instead, focus on lifestyle changes that can promote a healthy way of being for the longterm. Here are a few ideas:
You can see how once you’re able to incorporate just a few lifestyle changes, weight loss will become easier over time.
Another detriment to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle is negative self-talk. You may be having a great day until you find yourself overthinking about the way your body looks compared to other people, your shame from eating certain foods, or your guilt for not being the size you want to be.
It’s important to listen to this inner dialogue instead of pushing it away. Then, you’ll want to address the self-talk by saying instead, “My thoughts don’t dictate reality.” Once this feels natural, you can begin replacing your negative self-talk with positive affirmations instead.
You may also find that your negative self-talk may be triggered by certain sources. For instance, if you spend a lot of time on Instagram and follow accounts filled with slender men or women with fat bellies, you may find that you’re in a worse mood when you put the phone down.
It’s not selfish to put yourself first. Unfollow any accounts that are causing negative self-talk. Make sure to surround yourself with people who are supportive and kind.
It’s not easy to lose weight on your own, especially when you’re already dealing with a negative image of yourself. It’s important to seek help whenever you’re serious about making any kind of large change in your life because everyone needs support.
Your healthcare provider may be able to give you a good reference if you’re looking for a therapist that can help you with positive self-talk and improving your body image. If you’re not ready to find help from a professional, remember that you can also seek the help of your friends and family.
Many people find a friend during their weight loss journey in order to stay accountable to one another. There are also weight loss clinics that specialize in helping clients find sustainable results.
Sleep is another important aspect of weight loss that can make or break success. This is because sleep deprivation can lead to increased anxiety, stress, and depression.
You’re more likely to make unhealthy food choices when you’re lacking sleep in order to comfort yourself or to keep yourself awake. Lack of sleep is also connected with neuroendocrine functions that can increase the likelihood of obesity if they’re disrupted.
If sleep is an issue with you, we recommend focusing on this first. You can start by removing electronics from your bedroom and making it a haven for sleep and nothing else. You can also create a bedtime routine that may consist of turning off phones and computers at least 30 minutes before bed.
Even positive lifestyle changes come with stress. Our bodies and brains naturally fight against anything that doesn’t feel normal or comfortable for us, and this is especially true for weight loss.
When we’re stressed, we naturally fall back into old habits that may consist of binging or over-eating. Stress can become its own vicious cycle.
It’s first recommended to avoid people and situations that have a pattern of causing you stress and distress. If you can’t avoid them, try to learn some relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing techniques, and guided imagery.
You’ll soon find that anxiety and stress don’t have to ruin your day or control your life. Feelings come and go, but with a focus on stress management techniques, you’ll find that negative feelings don’t have to dictate your actions.
Mental health and weight loss are inextricably linked. You’ll find that even if you lose a significant amount of weight, your mental health may still take a hit if you continue to listen to your negative self-talk and retain body image issues.
Your mental health should never take a back seat to weight loss. Even if you’re not at your ideal size, you need to realize that you deserve to take up space and live your life like any other person.
Are you ready to regain control of your mental health as well as your body image? Contact us today for a free consultation!