Building resilience for weight loss and wellbeing

By author photo Kate Merryweather


Are you the kind of person who bounces back from difficulty? Resilient people cope better with stress and feel more confident facing difficult situations.

But what if you’re not resilient?

If you find things get to you too often, and you allow outside factors to determine your mood, then perhaps it’s time to work on your resilience.

Just like you strengthen your muscles through exercise, by working on your resilience you can get better at responding positively when life throws you curveballs.

Plus, when it comes to losing weight, if you’re more resilient you’ll be better equipped to handle plateaus, waning motivation and falling off the wagon.

Choose your reaction

If you’re feeling guilty because you ate too many snacks from the pantry, or frustrated because the scale isn’t moving in the right direction, you can spiral into feelings of guilt, annoyance or regret. Instead, you can take a moment to reframe your thinking. What’s a better reaction? Perhaps next time you avoid buying treats so you’re less vulnerable to temptation. Or you might acknowledge that this plateau isn’t going to stop your progress. Everyone suffers setbacks. The difference is how you respond.

Boost your resilience with gratitude

Instead of focusing on the problems in your life, adopt an ‘attitude of gratitude.’ Write three things you’re grateful for in a diary each night. You’ll soon start looking for things to include on your grateful list and your mindset shifts towards seeing things positively.

Strengthen your ‘no’ muscle

Weight loss success means resilience in the face of temptation – saying no to dessert, drinking mineral water instead of wine or avoiding the confectionary aisle in the supermarket. The key is to accept the short-term (minor) discomfort of missing out on your favourite food treats. Every day is a chance to practice. As your resilience improves you’ll find yourself saying no to chips or chocolate easily without agonising over it – well, most of the time!

Daily mindfulness

By taking time to meditate or be mindful each day, you can enjoy plenty of health benefits. The American Psychological Association reports that mindfulness reduces stress, improves your memory and focus and improves your relationship satisfaction. Because mindfulness makes you pay attention to your emotions in a detached way, you are more likely to notice when you feel full and stop eating, or realise that you’re reaching for the ice cream out of frustration rather than hunger.

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