Having a body you love is intrinsically linked with loving yourself. When you don’t love yourself you treat your body less well. By increasing your confidence, reducing your stress and enabling you to give your body the love and care it needs, you will start the virtuous circle of loving your body and having a body you love.
looking after yourself in terms of diet and exercise are of course very important, but there are other factors in play that, if ignored, will impede your chances of success.
The key factors involved in maintaining an ideal weight are:
- emotional factors
- AND the body’s own balancing system
What we eat has a major impact on our weight and our health generally. With so many diet options around we can often feel bombarded with information about diets, most of which seem unworkable for us. Forget the strange faddy diets, the best way to eat is to focus on natural, fresh, unprocessed foods. This is because it is important to gain the nutrients we need to stay healthy as well as satisfy appetite. There are some great slimming groups available offering sensible eating advice and group support. However, if you are looking for one-to-one help or have cravings you would like to ‘turn off’ then I can help. We are all unique and sometimes even the best ‘healthy diet’ needs a tweak to suit our individual needs.
Exercise is great for a whole host of reasons, most importantly it keeps us healthy and mobile. In terms of weight loss, we need to move a lot more than we realise if we are to burn up the calories. The good news is that exercise strengthens our muscles and having a little more muscle increases metabolism. All great news for weight managment. However, certain forms of exercise will, for some people, make them feel hungrier and need to eat more. There are lots of options when it comes to exercise but some people find it hard to stay motivated. The key is to find things you enjoy and do them often enough to make a difference.
Cortisol is an hormone that regulates a wide range of processes in the body, including metabolism, our immune response and helping the body respond to stress. It is naturally high in the morning when we wake and low at night before we sleep. When we are stressed our body releases cortisol. When the stress passes the relaxation response takes over. However, if we remain stressed and our body is full of cortisol in the evening it can prevent us from sleeping and also interfere with metabolism. In addition, it’s believed that sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full) and increased levels of ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone). This means that not only do we feel exhausted, but it is also very difficult to lose weight. There are lots of ways to improve your sleep, from simple adjustments to your environment, to relaxation routines. Sometimes the simplest steps are the most help.
Relaxation and Play
Taking time out each day is important. We all need to turn off our stress response and relaxation can be a great way to do that. Whether you choose to laugh, dance, meditate, garden, walk in nature or play is up to you but there are serious health benefits to be gained from doing so. It doesn’t have to be for long, a short meditation can be enough to relax your body and mind.
Many of us have an emotional relationship with certain foods (or drinks). Perhaps we crave them in certain conditions? Perhaps we overeat them when upset? Understanding your triggers is very helpful but there are ways to turn off those cravings and diffuse those emotions that trigger overeating. Just imagine how good it would feel to walk past those crisps or biscuits with a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude rather than feeling deprived (or a failure because you ate some).
Feeling good about yourself is important. If you love yourself you are much more likely to look after yourself in healthy ways. Many of us feel that we are not good enough in some way or not deserving, or some other negative feeling. I can help you turn these negative thoughts and beliefs around, growing your confidence and helping you stay motivated and achieve your goals.
Sometimes our extra weight is linked to past experiences that are still affecting us on a suconscious level. I’ve had many clients who have experienced difficult or traumatic events and subsequently gained weight which they could not lose, even years later. Gentle effective methods that resolve trauma without having to re-live it can be used to truly let go of the past and give you the freedom to lose that weight and keep it off.
The body has its own balance – everything in the body is homeostatic, with hormones giving chemical signals that keep everything finely balanced. The hormones leptin and ghrelin are designed to keep our fat stores in balance and do it by influencing appetite. Just like a cooker thermostat keeps the oven at the temperature we’ve chosen, these hormones maintain our fat stores and therefore our weight. When we restrict calories, the hormone ghrelin can make us feel hungry – which is why low calorie diets can be so hard to maintain for any length of time and why we can lose a certain amount of weight and then get stuck, unable to shift those last few pounds. Ghrelin is the appetite stimulating hormone and unfortunately, many factors can increase ghrelin – such as the wrong kind of exercise, insufficient sleep and even stress. The good news is that there are ways to reduce ghrelin naturally, using appropriate diet, the right kind of exercise, good sleep and stress reduction. So if you want to lose weight, don’t just focus on diet alone, try improving some of these other areas too.
Successful Weight Management
I believe it is important to consider each of these factors and how they relate to you individually. I can tailor a programme to cover the areas of most importance to you, whether that is to look at each of these areas or just focus on one or two. We can work together weekly or fortnightly to suit your individual requirements and give you time to incorporate what you’ve learned. For more details or to discuss your personal requirements please contact me. There is no charge for an initial conversation to assess your requirements and see whether this approach would be suitable for you.