It is a well known psychological phenomenon that the way we feel about ourselves affects our actions. The better we feel, the more likely we are to make decisions that are in the interest of our own health and wellbeing, and conversely the worse we feel, the more likely we are to dismiss unhealthy choices as inconsequential. Many of us struggle with negative self image, and feel badly about our physical appearance – thanks to advertising! How then, does one go about changing these behaviours, and begin a more positive mental dialogue and mindset around our bodies, and weight loss? Well, since you asked, here are five expert tips from Luzie Lonsdale, Clinical and Wellness Therapist, as to how you can hack your attitude for the better and, in doing so, lose weight!
Mindfulness has become the darling of the wellness world as of late. It is essentially the practice of being present in your daily activities, slowing down and focusing on what you are doing, while acknowledging, and calmly observing any emotions or feelings that may arise. Studies have shown that mindfulness can reduce inflammation, regulate your appetite, increase happiness, and you guessed it- help you lose inches. A great idea is to practice mindfulness before, and while eating. Try to remember your focus, and set your intentions before you eat, or make a decision as to what to eat. Try to make a point of not eating in situations where you don’t have complete focus, such as while watching television.
Did you know that stress can affect not only your propensity to put on weight, but also influences where we store it? The stress hormone cortisol is released by our adrenal glands in response to stress, and triggers the conversion of stored protein into glucose, increasing our blood sugar levels. Cortisol also triggers the release of stored fat from our fat stores, all to serve as fuel to see us through the period of stress. The trouble is, these surging blood sugar levels promote the storage of fat in our mid-section, around our organs. This so called visceral fat is linked to cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. Keeping stress levels low by incorporating some meditation, yoga and mindfulness is a great idea. Engaging in regular physical activity will also serve to keep cortisol levels under control, so don’t forget your ten thousand steps!
Did you know that the simple act of perceiving that our needs are being met can reduce hunger, and stress levels? Practicing gratitude can be a powerful way to create a sense of wellbeing through the power of the mind alone. Studies show that our hormones follow suit, and Ghrelin, your hunger hormone, and cortisol levels can be reduced through practicing gratitude. Great ways to do this include mentally listing five things you are grateful for at the end of your day, or even keeping a gratitude journal where you write 5-10 things you are grateful for each day.
Several studies, both cross sectional, and interventional have shown that vegetarians have lower rates of stress, depression, anxiety and mood disturbance than omnivores. This could be due to the anti-inflammatory effects of eating a plant-based diet, and the wide variety of micronutrients available in such foods. Eating a plant based diet is an easy way to lose weight, and studies show that vegans, and vegetarians have a significantly lower BMI and waist circumference on average. You can also feel great about the positive impact you are having on the environment, and the animals!
Community is incredibly important for all round health and wellbeing. Social isolation and loneliness greatly increase your chance of disease, and early death; the longest living populations on the planet all maintain a high level of social interaction until late in life. Studies show that those who diet and work out together have better results, which could be due to the accountability factor. Working with Body Catalyst is a great way to do this. Our caring, highly knowledgable nutritionists work with you throughout your body transformation, and are always just a phone call or email away with healthy tips, support, and positive advice. Rewarding yourself with one of our amazing treatments is a great way to retain motivation, and give yourself a little something back.
For more information on fat loss or overall wellness please contact one of our qualified Body Catalyst therapists to book your free consultation.