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9 Body Positive Weight Loss Strategies

An image of a woman hugging herself and smilingThe term "body positive" means loving your body the way it is. There's a tendency to try to mimic models in magazines or our favorite movie stars. Whether plank thin, muscular, large-breasted, or sporting a large derriere, we want to emulate the people our society holds up as desirable. But it is not always possible to do so!

Each of us has a certain body type. And the best we can do is try and be the healthiest we can according to this body type. Marilyn Monroe, for example, was not particularly tall and had an hourglass figure. But she was what many women aspired to be. It was simply not possible for everyone!

A body positive image just means that you need to love what you have at the time you have it while trying to follow a healthy lifestyle and keeping a positive mental state.

However, that doesn't mean you can't want to lose weight too. Taking a body positive view on weight loss just means focusing on being healthy and how you feel in your body, rather than on looking like a super model or hitting a number on the scale.

Where The Body Positive Idea Comes From

The body positive idea started as far back as the 1960s, with people wanting a better life without having to conform to current beauty standards. As time went by the idea gained traction with different movements calling out the health industry as well as those promoting unrealistic weight trends.

The diet industry, for example, invests millions of dollars each year promoting various diets or dietary supplements, promising people unrealistic weight loss results. Often, those following these diets pick up all the weight they lost and more. This could lead to feelings of discouragement and promote mental health issues. Many people also develop serious eating disorders or feel marginalized.

The point is, most of us, no matter what we look like, tend to have body issues of some sort. A body positive attitude accepts what you look like, keeping in mind that not one person has the same attributes as another. These differences make each of us unique and beautiful in our own way.

How to Develop A Body Positive Self-Image?

How you as an individual feel about yourself tends to show.

These feelings may result from how you see others. Do you see the person next to you as having a nicer body? Or a better personality? Do you judge them on their morals, sexual orientation, or the way they dress? Do you body shame them because they weigh twenty pounds more or less than you? Or because of how they live their lives?

Shaming people may make you feel better in the short term, but it is often a perception based on how you feel about yourself. What does it matter what they look like, believe, or live their lives? It has nothing to do with you. Rather, focus on yourself. What do you want to achieve? What do you dream about? How would you like to feel?

How you want to feel does not really have anything to do with your weight. Rather, it is how you think about yourself in your life. And if you want to lose weight, you can if you want to. But it should not change the way you see yourself. Accepting yourself, no matter what the scale says, is the first step towards a positive body positive self-image.

Body Positive Weight Loss

An image of a man exercising at the gymHaving a body positive self-image is about your health and how you feel about yourself.

Losing weight and staying body positive is not about the scale. It is not about a strict diet or spending hours at a gym to lose pounds. It's not about using numbers and metrics as a focus. These relate to the prevalent diet culture that we see. The truth is that your size does not determine your health.

Instead of focusing on what you cannot do, how you don't look, what you can't eat, look at your body positive weight loss journey as something to celebrate. In fact, having a positive outlook on weight loss and your body can also help lower stress, which may help weight loss overall.

You see, many people see weight gain as the result of eating too much. But while consuming too much food is a contributing factor, for many people it is a Bioenergetics Circuit issue.

The Bioenergetics Circuit

Your Bioenergetics Circuit controls the flow and use of energy throughout your body. Your body gets this energy from food. To a large degree, this circuit is also responsible for the link between your different body processes and your mind. Yet we may find blockages within the Bioenergetics Circuit that can impact its function. These blockages often relate to stress.

When you experience stress, it activates your NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response. This NEM stress response makes use of all body circuits in an orchestrated effort to deal with stress. This stress can come from mental or emotional sources, or from issues like pollutants, chemicals, and even injuries. But this system is only designed to deal with stress over a brief period.

Long-term stress results in a constantly activated NEM stress response. This means a constant demand for higher cortisol production. Constantly high cortisol production affects our bodies in many ways. It may cause heart issues, hormone issues that may result in constant hunger, and even demand your body store fat in case of a shortage of food. This system works to ensure your survival, and it sees stress as a threat to survival.

A Constant NEM Stress Response Leads to Weight Gain

A constant NEM stress response may affect your pancreas, liver, and thyroid health. These three organs form the basis of your Bioenergetics Circuit. Together, this state of affairs could further your body’s need to store fat as future fuel in case of a food shortage – one that may never happen. A Bioenergetics Circuit breakdown of this extent may contribute to adrenal fatigue, a condition where your adrenals can no longer keep up with the demand your body puts on them for increased cortisol production. Besides gaining weight, you may develop heart issues, blood sugar issues, and a variety of other health conditions that seem unrelated.

Thus, lowing stress with a body positive outlook may help promote proper Bioenergetics Circuit function and help you lose weight, along with avoiding several other health issues.

Tips On Body Positive Weight Loss

An image of a woman stretching her shoulder outWhen going on a body positive weight loss journey, you need to keep one thing in mind: the journey is not about losing pounds. Instead, it is an act of self-love. And it is about your health. Also, this journey is not about losing X amount of weight in Y amount of time! Nor is it about restricting yourself. If you want a piece of cake, eat it! Just do not eat two pieces. And do not eat cake every day!

So, here are some tips on how to go about losing weight while staying body positive throughout the journey.

Why Do You Want To Lose Weight?

Why do you feel the need to lose weight? Don't do it to look like your favorite movie star or because your friends tell you that you need to.

Do you want to improve your health? Do you want more energy or want to run a marathon? Do you want to touch your toes? There are no right or wrong reasons! There should only be your reasons, and that should be enough. Having your reason(s) may keep you motivated when undertaking this journey.

Throw Out The Scale!

The number on a scale is just that – a number. That number cannot tell you whether your weight is right according to your length or build. It cannot tell you how fit, or unfit you are. It just gives you a number.

Instead of looking at your scale, look at how your clothes fit. Are they baggy all of a sudden? Have you gone down a dress size? Inches lost is a better metric than what a scale tells you. You can also have your blood sugar levels checked out. Improved blood sugar levels indicate your Bioenergetics Circuit function has improved.

Change Your Thinking About Being Body Positive

Staying body positive on your weight loss journey means you should focus on changing your thinking. Instead of thinking about what you cannot have, think about what you can. For example, instead of thinking about that peanut butter and jelly white bread sandwich you cannot have for lunch, think about the juicy piece of organic fruit you can have with your delicious chicken salad and a slice of whole wheat bread topped with slices of avocado.

Another thing to change your thinking about is processed foods and takeout. Laden with hidden fats, sugars, and other compounds, these foods may contribute to further weight gain. Instead, start cooking more of your meals at home. And if you do not know how to cook, learn. Make it a fun experience! Take some classes with a partner or friend, or go look up healthy, quick-to-make recipes on the internet.

Body Positive Fun Exercises

You don't have to become a marathon runner to enjoy some form of exercise. Instead of punishing your body, however, do exercise you may enjoy. This could include walking, dancing, or even yoga! Just keep moving.

Food Kindness

Be kind to yourself when it comes to food. Constantly worrying about the calories you consume is a legacy left over from restrictive diets. Instead of focusing on what is ‘bad’ for you, concentrate on what is ‘good’ for you. Furthermore, we have this idea that eating fat is a bad thing. The truth is a healthy diet does not exclude foods. Rather, it focuses on balance. So, if you want that steak, that is fine. But be sure to not eat too much meat at the expense of fruits and vegetables.

Lack Of Willpower Is A Fallacy

An image of a man talking with his doctorHave you ever had someone tell you that your inability to lose weight results from a lack of willpower or dedication? Even when you tried so hard? This is nonsense. Many factors influence your weight. These include your body composition, your metabolism, and even your genes.

Sometimes eating less does not guarantee a result. If this is you, it may help to talk to your healthcare provider as something else may contribute to your weight gain. Talking to a dietician may also help.

Focus On Long-Term Body Positive Weight Loss

Most of us, when trying to lose, weight, keep our eye on the short-term gains. And then we feel discouraged because things are not happening fast enough. The thing is long-term weight loss is sustainable. Slow and steady is the way to go. Quickly losing weight may result in short-term weight gain, with you gaining even more than what you originally weighed! Do not get discouraged if you see no change within the first few weeks of your journey. Focus on long-term, sustainable weight loss.

Show Some Gratitude

Does your body work properly? Get you from point A to point B? Do everything you need it to do? Instead of thinking about what your body looks like, have gratitude that it does what it is supposed to do. Your heart beats. Your gastrointestinal tract works. And your eyes and ears see and hear! That is something to be grateful for.

Get Support

Sometimes those closest to us break us down the most. They may do so unintentionally. Join a support group, whether online or in your community. Talking to people who understand exactly what you deal with can encourage and motivate you on your journey. They often deal with the same issues and can offer advice on how to overcome challenges.

Body Positive: The Takeaway

A body positive image does not mean you cannot make changes if you want to. Your reasons for doing so should be your own, however. And be kind to yourself while on your journey. Rome was not built in a day, and short-term ‘solutions’ may result in long-term problems. Take things slow and steady to reap the final, sustainable reward.

If you need extra help developing a positive weight loss plan, the team at Dr. Lam Coaching can help. We offer a free** no-obligation phone consultation at +1 (626) 571-1234. We will discuss your concerns privately and offer possible solutions. You can also send us a question through our Ask The Doctor System by clicking here.

© Copyright 2023 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Lam’s Key Question

With body positive weight loss, the focus is not on what you look like now and want to look like at the end of the journey but on how you feel while traveling it. Knowing why you want to lose the weight is the first step. Rather than focusing on numbers and restrictive diets, focus on how your clothes fit, how much energy you have, and healthy foods you love.

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