Weight Loss Strategies That Address Your Mind, Body, and Spirit
Weight loss isn’t easy for anyone because there are so many different factors at play. Some people focus on fitness. Others overhaul their diet. Many people do both. But, each of these approaches has a thousand different methods and outcomes. This is why holistic strategies are being advocated more frequently. These tactics address weight loss from a position that is healthy spiritually, physically, and mentally.
Maintaining a weight that is in an ideal range relates to improved overall health. Losing weight should be about health and not about the reflection you see in the mirror. Holistic weight loss keeps overall health in the forefront of weight loss. It asks you to consider the psychological and social components that lead you to overeat or to avoid exercise. It helps you to feel connected to yourself and invested in the success of your weight loss plan. It enables you to observe problem behaviors and to change them. The following are a few popular strategies being used in holistic weight loss programs.
People look at meditation as an aspect of alternative medicine or new age practices, despite its rising popularity in the medical world. It needs to be seen as a greater treatment component than just a way to relieve tension. For people who are prone to binging, meditation can be invaluable. By slowing down and focusing on the present, participants can raise their awareness of the ways that they use food. If for instance, you are consuming calories for an emotional satisfaction, meditation can allow you to observe this and tackle it.
Meditation is all about mindfulness: paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without attaching judgment to them. People who practice mindful meditation can become more aware eaters. Research consistently demonstrates people with eating issues rarely pay attention to the amount they are eating or their state of hunger. Many people eat when they are not at all hungry. By practicing meditation, people heighten their awareness of their body’s cues and keep their attention focused on the overall experience of eating.
Most successful weight loss lifestyle changes hinge on keeping track of what your body is doing. That includes things like fitness trackers and food diaries. People looking to manage their weight or to lessen it benefit greatly from tracking. This is another activity that benefits from awareness because you need to objectively observe what you are doing and record that.
People are encouraged to write down everything they eat, especially if they use a program that charts nutritional concerns like calories, fat, carbohydrates, sugar, fiber, and protein. Using a pedometer or fitness tracker to log 10,000 steps daily is another great activity that contributes to weight loss. Scientific studies link steady self-monitoring to 25 percent of weight loss success.
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Meditation is spiritual. Tracking is physical. And, cognitive-behavioral therapy is mental. People who practice this form of therapy believe that people’s attitudes affect their behavior. So, therapists work with patients to identify unhealthy thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes that are influencing behavior. By challenging these negative processes, positive behavior can be achieved.
In addition to the therapy itself, some psychologists recommend participants partake in a protein-laden type of modified fasting, antidepressants, appetite-suppressing medication, or even surgery. There is a body of research that consistently indicates combining one or more of these accentuating practices leads to higher rates of weight loss because they address multiple facets of the problem.
Positive Eating Messages
Many people who have trouble with their weight as adults can trace their behaviors back to food restriction and dieting as children. These can promote weight gain and negatively impact later eating behaviors. People who grow up in families with parents who used food to control how they behaved were more likely to experience cycling weight and binge eating as adults.
Of course, weight doesn’t magically fall off if you picture yourself putting fewer pounds on the scale. But, the act of visualizing yourself at a lower weight can help motivate you. People who spend a little time each day imagining what they will feel like when they weigh less are reminded why they are trying to lose the weight. Visualization also includes lifestyle changes and behavior choices that lead to successful weight loss. You are more likely to do things that you spend time thinking about.
You can begin introducing some of these strategies into your weight loss plan. The important thing is to use the ones that feel natural. What will be most effective for you will be the methods that you continue using. But, before you throw out a strategy, be sure to make a strong effort. Keep a food diary for an extended period, rather than a few days. Attend meditation sessions with expert practitioners instead of sitting in your room with a YouTube video. Put in the time to learn how to use each strategy and then put it to work.
About Jermain Masters:
Jermain Masters is a yoga instructor, diet coach, and writer living in Chicago. He runs his own studio and writes for a variety of publication related to holistic health. He is also an expert blogger and he writes a lot of things about addictive behavior, recovery and treatment like treating opiate addiction.