Losing Weight Through Mindful Living
If you have ever tried to lose a few pounds, you know how difficult it can be. However, nothing is more satisfying than making progress (no matter how slow it is). Whether you are including more vegetables in your diet, trying a new fitness class, or putting an end to late night snacking, these little tweaks can lead to big weight loss and health strides in the long run.
If you are just getting started or are in the midst of your weight loss journey and looking to maintain momentum, keep the following tips in mind.
The Body Follows What the Mind Thinks
Mindfulness is a core concept of weight loss. When we believe we are capable of attaining our aspirations, we tend to make choices that support our success. For instance, if you are proud of your recent dietary choices and feeling good about yourself, you are more likely to choose a meal that is in line with your healthier identity.
Confirm Your Identity and Affirm Your Goals to Yourself
Perhaps one of the most underrated mindfulness techniques is affirmations, statements you read to yourself (or listen to) every morning and night. Research suggests that positive affirmations and mantras can actually help rewire the brain.
If you are looking for inspiration, consider some of the following statements:
- I enjoy exercising daily. I love and appreciate my body and my health. I am capable of anything I set my mind to.
- I feel wonderful, motivated, and energetic. I am proud of my body, my accomplishments, my progress, and my mind.
- I have a powerful mind, powerful soul, and a powerful body. I feel smart and deserving of success. I am destined to achieve great things.
- I feel intoxicated with living and am a happy person. I enjoy living life. It is good to be me. I appreciate everything I have.
Affirmations can help you quickly snap out of any morning fatigue and get you excited for the day. They can help you maintain a positive attitude and recognize your blessings. Affirmations can also keep you on track to reaching your health and fitness goals.
Focus on Greens in Your Diet
Not only do greens make you “feel” healthy when you consume them, they can actually support fat loss as well. Almost all greens are packed with fiber, a key mechanism for breaking down fat molecules. Greens are also loaded with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and potent antioxidants.
To get the most benefits from your greens, the best way to consume them is raw (why not try a delicious green smoothie?). This ensures that none of the nutrients get lost during cooking. You might actually develop an appetite for them after eating them a few times. You may even learn to look forward to the fresh, crunchy flavor of fresh greens and veggies. If consuming raw vegetables is too hard on your digestive system (some people have issues digesting raw veggies), consider roasting or steaming your vegetables. Both of these methods help preserve the most nutrients.
Some tasty, nutritious raw greens to consider include spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce. Excellent raw veggies to consider adding to your diet include broccoli, tomatoes, asparagus, bell peppers, carrots, and green beans.
Consider Doing Fasted Fitness
When planning your gym schedule, eating is a significant part of the equation. You may wonder what foods will best fuel your workouts. However, some bodies operate better without any food.
Through a process known as ketosis, hunger can actually be energizing. Ketosis takes place when the body’s primary source of fuel, glucose (carbs) is low. This forces the body to use other sources as fuel.
The body creates ketones from fat and then uses them as fuel for the body. Since ketones are almost twice as easy to burn, they result in increased energy. In simple terms, you burn fat more efficiently when you are in a carb-depleted state.
Another benefit of exercising on an empty stomach is feeling more comfortable. There is nothing worse than showing up to yoga class with a full, bloated belly.
Watch Out for Snack Attacks
Everyone knows how strong the urge to snack can be. But the next time you are tempted to open a bag of chips, pretzels, or munch on some cookies, ask yourself if you are truly hungry. Chances are, you are actually bored, tired, or stressed. Consider taking a 15-minute walk if possible. This can help distract your mind from snacking, refresh and energize you, and help you determine the true cause of your urge to eat.
Also, as mentioned before, avoiding snacks before your workout may lead to a stronger, more effective workout. When you are prepping for your next walk or yoga session, consider avoiding food for a few hours beforehand and see if you notice an increase in your energy levels.
In addition to increased energy, you may notice you feel lighter. You may even notice that exercise helps clear your mind and reduce stress.
If you are still struggling to get motivated to exercise regularly, consider adding a little technology to the mix. Using an app such as Vea Fitness (an app that offers a monetary incentive for walking, biking, going to the gym, running, and going to the yoga studio) can help encourage you to get out and get active.
A Happy Mind Equals a Happy Body
As you enter the week, remember that mindfulness techniques can help support healthy decision making. Practicing meditation, taking walks, eating greens, and maintaining a positive attitude can help support your weight loss and health goals.
By maintaining your foundational practices, the rest of your life will naturally stay in better order. When you treat your body right, your mind follows and vice versa.