Is giving thanks good for your weight loss journey? Research strongly indicates that practicing gratitude can have a significant impact on how much weight a person loses. Not only that, it’s good for your overall health and well-being. Psychologists define gratitude as a general state of thankfulness or appreciation. It is an appreciation for what a person receives, what is valuable, and what is meaningful to oneself. Gratitude encourages us to recognize that the source of that goodness lies outside ourselves. It also helps us feel more connected with ourselves and our environment.
Neuroscience shows gratitude actually rewires your brain. Expressing gratitude alters the molecular structure of your brain, making you both happier and healthier. Gratitude has other positive effects on the body. Let’s look at all the ways practicing gratitude can help you reach your goals.
𝙂𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙪𝙙𝙚 𝙧𝙚𝙜𝙪𝙡𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙨 𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨.
Recent research is showing that participants who practiced gratitude had reduced levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. High levels of cortisol lead the body to hold on to excess weight. So lowering those hormone levels is crucial.
𝙂𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙪𝙙𝙚 𝙧𝙚𝙙𝙪𝙘𝙚𝙨 𝙚𝙢𝙤𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜
This practice can have profound effects on your emotional well-being. When you are happier, you have less desire to eat out of fear, anger, or sadness. These “feel-good vibes” also help us release anxiety and depression as well as negative emotions like guilt and shame. This leads us to the next point.
𝙂𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙪𝙙𝙚 𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙨 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙞𝙣𝙣𝙚𝙧 𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙛 𝙩𝙖𝙡𝙠.
This is so important guys. This inner voice combines conscious thoughts with deep-seated beliefs and biases to create an internal monologue throughout the day. Self-talk is important because it has a strong influence on how you feel and what you do. It can be supportive and beneficial, motivating you, or it can be negative, undermining your confidence. Which can really help prevent that negative cycle of overeating–>beating ourselves up–>eating to mask the pain… you get the picture.
𝙂𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙪𝙙𝙚 𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙨 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙨𝙡𝙚𝙚𝙥.
Getting enough sleep is crucial to weight loss. We do not make good choices when we are tired. When we don’t get enough sleep, our cortisol levels rise, raising our stress levels which affects metabolism. People who practice gratitude are more likely to sleep better and feel refreshed when they wake up. Which sets the stage for the rest of the day. Ok, now that you’re convinced that gratitude is a key player in your success, how can you practice gratitude to reap all these wonderful rewards? Oh, I’m so glad you asked.
𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗗𝗮𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝗚𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘁𝘂𝗱𝗲 𝗣𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗲
There are many ways you can practice gratitude and how you do it is really up to you, the key here is consistency.
1. 𝗞𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝗮 𝗴𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘁𝘂𝗱𝗲 𝗷𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗮𝗹.
Whether you write a full-blown journal post or just jot down 3 things you’re grateful for, keeping tabs on your gratitude allows you to look back and reflect.
2. 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗸 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗳𝗼𝗼𝗱.
There’s something to be said about saying grace before dinner. Whether you are using prayer, or just reflecting on how the food got to the table. Think about the process it took. Thank the farmers who grow the food, the truck drivers who deliver it, and the grocers who sell it. Appreciate your food. Take time to smell, savor, and thoughtfully chew your food. Appreciate the nutrients you are putting in your body, think about how the food will help you, what health benefits it gives you, etc.
3. 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗸 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆.
Take a moment to reflect on all the things your body does for you. Think about your heart, your lungs, and your brain. Also, think about when you move or work out. How does your body help you there?
4. 𝗡𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀.
Take a moment to appreciate all the little things in your life. Maybe it’s the barista at the local coffee shop who knows you by name or the way the sun feels on your face while you drinking that coffee. Becoming aware, and appreciative, of what is around you strengthens your gratitude for life, regardless of what circumstances may come your way. Gratitude changes your emotions, changes how you act, it changes who you are. When gratitude becomes an essential foundation in our lives, miracles start to appear everywhere….. even on the scale.
Author: Mindy Paige