According to many health professionals, any of us is perfectly capable to lose weight, the real problem resides on keeping it off for good. So, if you’ve been dieting over and over but haven’t been able to lose or to maintain the weight you’ve achieved, it’s very probably that you’re storing body fat as an emotional armor.
Storing emotions = Storing fat
Recent studies have shown that unprocessed emotions can lead to accumulating fat. As a matter of fact, an article published by the International Journal of Obesity claims that negative emotions, such as anxiety and stress make us produce cortisol, a hormone that in high levels lead to weight gain and store abdominal fat.
Meanwhile, the ancient teachings of Ayurveda, a millennial Indian medicine practice, assure that our emotional state has a significant impact on our physical health. Given that we’re emotional creatures, there’s a deep connection between our thoughts – both conscious and unconscious – and the fat we store in our body.
The basics are quite simple: Our bodies have to put the things that we don’t deal with somewhere. Thus, gaining weight is merely a symptom of emotional imbalance, and if we’re not able to rebalance them, we’re likely to keep them as body in the form of an emotional armor.
How negative emotions work in our bodies
Experts claim that our bodies respond to our emotional states while dealing with them or avoiding them. When we choose the second, many of us use food not only to nurture our body, but also to “cover” for our emotional wounds. Hence, keeping out extra pounds works as an armor against everything and everyone that can potentially harm us or oblige us to face our fears and anxieties.
But our body fat not only becomes a way to insulate ourselves, it also means we avoid the risk of trying new things – “When I get thinner, I’ll certainly do that” – so, so we use our body fat as an excuse for not living our life today.
These are some of the negative emotions which commonly makes us store body fat:
- Abandonment and insecurities.
- Need of protection due to danger and aggression.
- Need to be visible and recognized.
- Emotional and/or economic deprivation.
- Separation, deaths, abortions.
- Frustration; need to hide our emotions.
- Maternity and need to protect the child.
Some handful tips to help you lose weight and heal your emotions
- Keep a food diary: You should write down EVERYTHING you eat, and most importantly, how you feel before and after you eat it. This will help you know what you use food for and have some idea of which your issues are.
- Start exercising: Take walks, do yoga, take up a dancing class. When we start moving we replace eating – and feeling miserable – for a more pleasurable activity, something that makes us feel good.
- Eat mindfully: Be consciously aware of everything you put into your mouth, and every time you decide to eat something ask yourself why you are eating it and which benefits (real benefits) is that bringing you.
- Make smart food choices: If you know which food is best for you when you’re trying to keep pounds off, stick to eating only that food. Go to the supermarket with a list and try to avoid any situations where you know you can overeat or be tempted to eat unhealthy food.
- Accept, love and forgive yourself: This may not be as easy as it sounds, but the good news is that you can train yourself to do it. You can start by writing down every day at least one of your virtues, something you or others love about yourself. You can also put a note somewhere always visible, so you remember as many times you can, how wonderful you are.
As you have seen, gaining weight and storing fat is not only related to poor eating habits, but also a consequence of our poor emotional health.
If you’re one of those who think you’ll never lose weight, ask yourself which conflicts you’re trying to avoid or hide and try to solve them now. This can always be the first day of the rest of your life, so #DecideItNow.