Is body acceptance the secret to healthier eating? Some studies suggest that it might be. It can be tough to hear the message over and over about what you should be doing or what you should be eating, especially when they’re advertised as being “easy to follow” tips. You might be feeling defeated because you’re struggling to follow that advice. In that defeated mindset, you actually end up becoming unmotivated rather than motivated. On the flip side, you might be motivated to try unhealthy yo-yo diets that do more harm than good—to your body and your mindset.
Lack of body acceptance and positivity seem to be at the heart of the problem for many individuals who are overweight or obese and struggling to lose excess weight. Hating your body and feeling uncomfortable in it can lead you down a dark, dark path. On one side of the spectrum, you may not feel worthy of losing weight and living in a smaller body, so you will self-sabotage. On the other hand, there is the tendency to start an unhealthy diet, restricting favorite foods and necessary calories. Very quickly, people give up on this type of restrictive diet and find themselves back at square one.
There is the common misconception that body acceptance promotes weight gain and unhealthy eating patterns. That is simply not true. Learning how to appreciate your body and the amazing things it can do at each size has been shown to reduce the dangerous practice of yo-yo dieting and unhealthy weight fluctuation. A healthy view of the body should be adopted in adolescence.
When your desire to lose weight is accompanied by thoughts such as, “I want to feel better,” I want to have more energy,” and “I want that pair of jeans to fit better,” individuals are able to more effectively adjust their food and exercise habits. Losing weight can be a slow-moving process at times, but noticing how much better your body feels as you go throughout the process will keep you motivated and consistent. Making how your body feels a priority can lead to healthier eating and weight loss.
Notice how you talk to yourself on a daily basis. Are you positively encouraging yourself to stay on track, or are you cutting yourself down?