Mental health and weight loss would have to be the most under researched area of the multibillion dollar weightless industry. The thoughts we encounter and the way we respond to them have major physiologically implications on the body. Feeling stressed, depressed, anxious, nervous, etc. can all have serious effects on the body, Anxiety and depression can have a major effect on people's lives and overall wellbeing from feeling lethargic, stupid, worthless through too suicidal. Obviously all very serious negative side effects on your body. Every time these thoughts enter your mind they provoke a hormonal release from your body, that generally exacerbate the feelings.
Personally I find stress the most major concern for my weight loss clients.
Stress induces the release of a hormone called Cortisol. This hormone simply put makes you feel hungry and comes from the days of the Neanderthals in the pre-historic era. For example, you get chased by a tiger, your stress levels rise this hormone is released afterwards, stimulates a couple other hunger receptors to remind your body to refuel so it can survive the next time you get chased by a tiger. So the chemical reaction makes sense. Unfortunately, now we get the same hormonal release from modern day stress triggers, money, work, relationships and family are all stressors that, if you allow them to, will cause your Cortisol levels to rise and cause those nasty hormones to crave tasty high carb treats to satisfy those urges. The main problem with stress in weight loss is that it will more than likely cause emotional eating.
Fixation on the scales will also cause stress, anxiety and in severe cases depression.
An unhealthy fixation on the scales can cause many negative side effects that will affect our weight loss.
There are many ways to help our mindset when it comes to losing weight. The best way is to try as many different types of relaxation and meditation and find what works best for you. Do it daily, make it a habit and live a mindful life.
Meditation is the best way clear your mind, though it can be very hard to practice in todays busy world. Personally I use an app called "Headspace", you can find it on your app store for more information.
If meditation isn't your scene Yoga can be a great way to embrace mindfulness and slip into a state of relaxation. Do it at your own pace, don't compete against others or compare yourself to others in the class. Relax, enjoy a slow guided class and take the time to clear your mind.
Mindfulness is the practice of being in the here and now. Stopping and smelling the roses on life's journey. It might mean enjoying a coffee in the sunshine, a walk without your phone or music, enjoying a glass of wine with your friends at your local establishment, really it's about letting go of the ability we have to connect to the world virtually and connect to the world in reality and enjoying the moment that you're in at that precise moment in time.
Obviously a fantastic way to reduce stress is too exercise. A good hit out in the gym or on the foot path can boost your endorphins and naturally bring yourself out of a bad mood. I personally find that being in a bad mood can push me harder while I work out and I feel a lot better once I've finished.
5. DO SOMETHING YOU LOVE TO DO
When you're in a bad place you can sometimes forget what you used to love to do. Sitting on the couch and feeling bad can lead to feeling worse. Get up and go do something you like to do, whether it be running, surfing, reading a book, going to the coffee shop, just get up and go do it. The exercise will make you feel great and hopefully help get you out of that slump!
6. YOU DONT HAVE TO BE PERFECT
Working towards a goal is always hard. The thought of failing and not achieving the standard you and your trainer set can sometimes become overwhelming, especially after a perhaps not so great week of nutrition, or missing that couple of walks you were meant to do. Just remember that nobody expects perfection. If you fall off that horse for a meal or two don't let this ruin your week, or even the rest of your day. Be mindful of that meal, enjoy the naughtiness of it, then put a plan together on how to get back on track, stick to that plan and you will feel better for it!
I can guarantee that reducing your stress and anxiety towards weight loss will help you on your way towards your goal of trimming down and will also help you enjoy the life you live.
If you are going through a tough time and need some professional help check out the team at beyond blue, beyondblue.org.au or you can call lifeline on 13 11 14.
Vision Personal Training Balgowlah
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.