The Ties Between Mental Health and Weight Loss

You’ve been working so hard to lose weight, – dieting, exercising, drinking water – but nothing seems to be working.  Weight loss is definitely an uphill battle; however, understanding that there is a mental component, in addition to the physical, will help you achieve success.

The Stress Impediment

Stress is a weight loss stumbling block. Not only can it trigger a response to eat more and make poor nutrition decisions, but it can also release hormones, such as betatrophin and cortisol, that slow your metabolism and increase your abdominal fat. Stress can also create a fat-to-brain signal that can actually increase your stress level, creating a vicious cycle. The good news is that one of the ways to combat stress is by exercising. By exercising, you will burn calories and lower your stress hormone. Combine exercise with mindful meditation, and you’ve created a one-two punch that will help you conquer stress and remove that weight loss impediment.

It’s All or Nothing

Some who are trying to lose weight and get in shape tend to have an all-or-nothing mindset. Either you are successfully adhering to your daily caloric intake and exercising five days a week, or you are an abject failure because you ate a cookie or missed the gym one day. Believing you have failed makes you give up and throw away all of your progress. One way to shake this mindset is to set yourself short-term goals. Give yourself the credit you deserve for taking small steps to achieve those goals. Taking small steps in your weight loss journey is better than taking no steps at all.

Fighting a Negative Body Image

Being dissatisfied with the size and shape of your body is one of the main reasons to lose weight and get in shape. However, having an unhealthy, overly negative body image can actually hinder your progress. Instead of saying, “I am too fat” or “I look awful” find other phrases to remind you how far you have come. Having a mantra like, “Look how far I’ve come” or “My body is strong” will go a long way to changing your inner dialogue and replacing your negative body image with a positive one.

Other Tools

For other useful tools that will help you develop a healthy mindset during your weight loss journey, check out our Healthy Coping Mechanisms.

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