State of Mind

Want to lose weight? Think positively!

Did you know that your mood and the way you feel about your body is a major factor in your ability to lose weight? The reality is that if you have a positive attitude and are upbeat and relaxed, you will have an easier time losing weight.

When you're trying to lose weight it can be hard to stay positive. Generally speaking, we tend to be overly critical about our bodies. Consequently, our self-criticism can really impact our self-esteem. The next thing we know are searching the freezer for some comfort food. When we are depressed or are under stress, we often turn to food to make ourselves feel better. Unfortunately, the comfort food we turn to usually isn't salad. We head straight for the cookies or leftover apple pie, not realizing that we are contributing to the problem rather than solving the problem. Although eating comfort foods provides a temporary level of stress reduction, we actually are manufacturing less dopamine in our brains and our metabolism slows down, making it more difficult to lose weight.

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Feeling happy and stress-free plays a big role in our ability to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. There are several things you can do to boost your self-esteem and take some stress out of your life:

  • Start exercising. Exercise helps to release endorphins and makes you feel happy and relaxed. This doesn't mean you need to spend two hours a day at the gym. Take a brisk walk around the block or do a little yoga in your living room.
  • Call a friend and get some of your feelings off your chest. Keeping stress and negative feelings to yourself will only make you feel worse and could be detrimental to your health.
  • Don't overindulge in comfort foods when you're feeling down or feel the need to reward yourself; however, don't completely deprive yourself either. Instead of sitting down with the tub of ice cream, you could opt for some delicious and healthier frozen yogurt. You'll feel satisfied without the guilt factor.
  • Find ways to relax. Curl up with a book or take a warm bubble bath. Even book a massage. Do whatever it takes to put you at ease, even if it is just momentary.
  • Eat foods that will provide you with energy, including fiber-rich vegetables and whole grains and lean meats.