If you think self-care and weight loss exist in different vacuums, then you need to think about it again. It turns out that self-care is one of the most important strategies for weight loss. When you focus on your personal, physical, spiritual, and mental needs it goes a long way in helping you and the other 49% of Americans looking to shed some pounds.
Embarking on a weight loss journey is no easy walk in the park. It’s not all about diet and exercise or developing healthy behaviors that become healthy habits over time. So you might have a good diet and exercise routine. But if your mind is filled with negative thoughts about yourself then losing weight will be more difficult.
Making your mental, physical, and emotional needs a priority is a surefire way to improve your overall well-being. Here are useful strategies to tune out that little overly critical voice in your head and practice self-care.
Self-Care Strategies for Weight Loss
1. Get plenty of sleep
How is your sleeping habit? Do you get the required hours of adequate sleep? It might seem impossible to get those precious 7 to 9 hours of blissful rest each day. But it plays a crucial role in your weight and well-being. Poor sleeping habits affect your weight in several ways:
- Makes you eat much larger meal portions contributing to weight gain.
- Causes an overproduction of hormones that increase appetite and cravings for high-calorie foods.
- Causes an overproduction of the stress hormone cortisone, making it difficult to lose weight even if you are eating right and exercising.
You will see a significant change in your health and well-being once you prioritize your sleeping hours. Getting sufficient hours of sleep gives your body the chance to refresh and renew. It boosts mood and decreases irritability, making you more able to commit to daily tasks. Do you feel that your sleeping habit are a block on your weight loss journey? Then turn off technology and use wind-down time in the evening. Create a bedtime routine of low-stress level activities such as reading or meditating. And aim to go to bed a few minutes earlier.
2. Eat well
It comes as no surprise that eating a healthy balanced diet is ideal for self-care. How you decide to feed yourself reflects how you feel about yourself. So eat nutrient-dense foods to nourish your body and improve well-being. Choose foods that makes you feel good afterwards and not guilty. Keep in mind: With a positive mindset you will be able to feed yourself wholesome and nutritious foods.
Here’s how to get the most out of eating well:
Don’t skip breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You might be tempted to skip one or two of these meals to lose weight but that has proven futile. Doing so only increases your appetite and causes you to eat more. If there is going to be a long break between meals then ensure that you are equipped with healthy snacks to keep you going. Another excellent way to eating well is to eat from the rainbow of colors of vegetables. Your food will look appetizing and be packed with mood-enhancing nutrient-dense vegetables.
3. Drink water
The average human body is 60% water, which helps the body, cells, and organs function optimally. If you are getting tired earlier than usual then it could be a sign of dehydration. And self-care also means keeping your body hydrated at all times. Plus drinking water regularly helps your body burn calories more efficiently. And it is an excellent appetite suppressant!
Tip: Drinking water before a meal helps you eat smaller portions.
Water also combats fatigue, which is one of the leading culprits of weight gain. Plus, you are more likely to feel less sore after exercising when drinking water frequently. Always have a bottle or glass of water with you and sip, sip, sip. It’s a great way to develop a water drinking habit and an excellent way to care for your body.
4. Give yourself positive pep talks
Think about how you speak to yourself. Are you overly critical or are you supportive? Speaking to yourself positively is a good form of self-care. Be more observant during challenging or tough situations if you truly want to know how you talk to yourself. That’s a good indicator of whether you have a positive mindset or unconsciously talk down to yourself. Positive self-talk will boost your happiness and well-being.
On the other hand, when you are too harsh and negative about yourself then you develop a defeatist, self-loathing character. This can stop you from losing weight and enjoying other amazing things that life offers. Giving yourself a positive pep talk can improve your self-compassion. And this will help you accept and love your body. Try this daily exercise: Talk to your reflection and state at least three positive affirmations. And strive to be more compassionate with yourself when you make a mistake.
5. Have fun
It’s easy for busy adults to forget to take a break and have some good, quality fun. So bring good times back into your life. Carving out time to have fun makes you happier. This in turn makes your weight loss journey more bearable and less stressful. Plus, it boosts your productivity levels helping you perform important tasks like creating a meal plan or trying new activities.
There are lots of things you can do to unwind and have fun. It all depends on your personality. Try this: Select a day each week to enjoy fun hobbies or activities. And commit to try a new club or class each Spring.
6. Embrace beauty and fashion
You may not think of beauty or fashion when it comes to self-care. But there’s more to self-care than just meditating and soaking in a bathtub! Your fashion and sense of style can go a long way in improving your well-being. If you’re guilty of throwing on the first thing you see in your closet, likely, you don’t find joy in styling yourself. However, being more deliberate about what you are wearing can make you feel more confident and put you in a much better mood. Whatever your fashion sense or style, ensure that you wear clothes you are comfortable in.
What are your thoughts about makeup? Do you find it superficial and a waste of time or do you love it but not have the time? Makeup is a powerful self-care tip that can enhance your well-being when done according to your preferences. If you’re not a makeup person or are new to wearing makeup, you can start with the basics, such as foundation, powder, mascara, and some primer makeup. The cool thing about makeup is that you can experiment until you find your signature confident look. If you’re not interested in makeup, you can invest in some quality facial washes and lotions to give your skin a fresh and healthy natural glow. When you look your best, you will feel your best.
7. Take a break from the world
The average person spends ~3-hours on their smartphones every day. Do you know that taking a break from your phone can improve self-care? Social media has a huge impact on your mental health, so keep this in mind. Negative news blurbs can make you depressed or unhappy. So, too, can comparing yourself and your life with the “perfect” images you see.
Unplugging from the virtual world can do wonders for your weight loss journey. You can use those 3 hours to relax, exercise, or healthy meal prep. You can focus solely on your weight loss journey and not on others. Try this: To help you unplug, choose a specific time where you focus on yourself and stay off your phone and other devices each day.
Bottom Line: Strategies for Weight Loss
Self-care plays a super important role in your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It is also a new tip to make your weight loss more successful. You will start to see amazing benefits when you take time to focus and love yourself. Plus, you will feel more confident throughout your weight loss journey even when the going gets tough. I hope you’ll leverage these strategies for weight loss for optimal results.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life