Break the Binge Cycle
While strict discipline and self-denial are two of the most common strategies used by people on a weight loss program, they are not always the most effective. Experts say that successful weight management requires a more nourishing approach that includes self-care.
If you are proactive about fulfilling your physical and emotional needs, you will be less likely to turn to food to manage stress. In the same way, as you learn to listen to your internal signals, you build trust in your ability to meet your own needs without having to resort to food.
If you’ve tried diet after diet, your view of your weight and shape may be negative and hypercritical. Practicing healthy self-care gets you in the habit of being kind to your body and helps you reframe your body image to be more positive.
Go on an Air Diet
Imagine yourself on a new diet, called the Air Diet. To do that, take one finger and close one nostril. Now, close your mouth, and try to breathe only out of the open nostril. Keep breathing like this for several moments. How does it feel? Can you survive breathing like this? Yes...but you’ll develop a strong and growing urge to let go of your nose and take a breath in.
This experience is not unlike what happens when you follow a highly restrictive diet. Over time, your urge to eat “forbidden” foods becomes overwhelming, and often, a lapse results. A better way is to take a more moderate approach to your weight, being sure to make healthy self-care a part of your weight loss program. To help you see its connection with your own efforts, ask yourself:
How often have you...
● Skipped a meal, gotten overly hungry and over-eaten as a result?
● Worked long hours, stayed up late and ate extra to restore your energy?
● Forgotten to drink anything all day, thought you were hungry and mistakenly ate extra calories?
● Skipped your workout to watch TV and ate out of boredom?
● Been to busy to connect with family/friends and ended up overeating alone?
Practice these 5 self-care strategies to nurture yourself and to proactively prevent a lapse.
1. Enjoy three healthy meals and three healthy snacks for all-day energy.
2. Make sure you receive a spectrum of vitamins and minerals by complementing your nutrition with a supplement.
3. Stay hydrated with a liberal intake of water/other calorie-free beverages.
4. Be invigorated by daily, mindful physical activity.
5. Get adequate rest, engage in relaxing activities and connect with others.
Take a Break with Healthy Indulgences
Need to take a day off but can’t? You can still fend off stress and stay in balance at work and at home with a “mini-relaxation”. Have a quick lunch away from the office, take a few minutes to look outside the window at work, or listen to the birds singing in the backyard. The short break can give you an entirely new perspective on your day, reducing your risk for stress-related eating.
Mastering self-care can help prevent food binges, and putting your health first can help stay on track with your weight loss plan. Practicing self-care gets you in the habit of being kind to your body and helps you reframe your body image to be more positive.