How Your Emotions Could Be Blocking Your Weight Loss

Weight loss barriers go beyond what and when you eat, or how often you exercise. A 2015 study reveals that diets fail because people don’t address the emotional aspects of food. Dr. Diane Robinson, neuropsychologist in charge of the study reports that, “the most crucial factor is your psychological relationship with food and exercise, yet the majority (60 percent) listed diet and exercise to be the biggest barriers of weight loss, and only 10 percent of people thought psychological well being was the biggest barrier to weight loss.”

We use food to soothe and nourish, which isn’t a bad thing as long as we are aware of it. If we continue to self-soothe with food, we either gain weight or regain it if we have once lost it. If you have ever been on a diet, lost weight and then gained it back once you started eating “normally” (for you) again, then you can relate. The reason? Emotions like to ride shotgun, especially when we are under stress, celebrating, tired, and hungry.

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Elevated stress causes elevated cortisol, our flight or fight hormone that gets us through the situation and keeps us alive. We need cortisol! It is what wakes us up in the morning at first light. But, when cortisol is running through our veins, other hormones and body systems are suppressed. This can really mess with our digestion, sleep, energy, thought process, and mood.

When I work with clients who are wanting to lose weight for good, we work on much more than the food and exercise itself. We work on daily habits, we work on discovering triggers, recognizing patterns, self care, sleep, and planning. What do some of these tools look like? Here are some ways to support your weight loss by harmonizing your emotional health:

Start a journalling practice: A “brain dump” before bed helps you clear your mind to prepare for sleep. I remind clients all the time that you can be doing all the exercise classes and eating “on plan” but, if you don’t get quality sleep, it all goes out the window. It’s really difficult to make healthy choices, have energy, focus, and drive to do what you had planned for yourself if you are tired.

Know your triggers: Emotions get the best of us when we are under stress or tired. For many, turning to food that you know won’t make you feel good, physically and emotionally, is the go-to. I like to keep a diet diary, where I plan in all my meals for the week. As I move through the days, I keep notes about where I went off plan and why. Was I tired? Failed to meal prep or buy groceries? Worked late and forgot to pack dinner? Had a fight with my partner or boss? Whatever the reason, you will start to see a pattern and be able to recognize what is happening with you, emotionally, when you eat off plan. For future, you can be better prepared to handle such events.

Get clear on your WHY: At one time or another, many of us want to lose weight. Perhaps it’s during menopause when we suddenly see a mid-life middle, perhaps it’s after a vacation where we overindulged, or maybe it’s your Doctor’s instructions. No matter what the reason is, you must have a good why in place, or several of them. All those triggers we just discussed above tend to resurface over and over again. When you have a clear why in place, you can better overcome the trigger and make the better choice that aligns with your goal. Sometimes one why doesn’t have enough power to pull you out of the moment, so you need to turn to the next one. Write a few out on sticky notes and put them in places that you’ll see like inside cupboards, on mirrors, in the freezer, and beside your bed.

Clear the air and unblock stuck energy: Being blocked by past emotions and blocked energy can have us stuck, no matter how much exercise you do or how many salads you eat. If you have unresolved issues, you will have trouble releasing weight. A few ways to dig into stuck energy are acupuncture, therapy or counselling, and IMF (Individualized Microcurrent Frequency). A quick scan with Healy uses quantum frequencies to determine where you need harmonizing to find balance and energy flow on a cellular level. Work on areas like meridians, specific organs, hormones, your bioenergetic field, arthritis, sleep, energy, and chakras.

Raise your vibration

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