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By now we are all aware of the physical benefits of losing weight and eating healthy but did you know that there are several mental benefits that result from improving your body and overall health?
No, I’m not kidding. A healthy body is a healthy mind, my friends. A boost of confidence is good for the soul (way better than chicken soup, IMHO), and weight loss boosts self-esteem. Getting in shape and lowering your BMI means you’ve accomplished a pretty impressive challenge. And, if you struggle with an unhealthy relationship with food, ending it will free up your mind to focus on more important things.
There are a ton of reasons to improve your body — why not add improving your mental health to an already lengthy list? Let’s explore the reasons why improving your physical health also improves your mental health.
1. Losing weight means gaining self-confidence. No more standing in front of a mirror and pinching at problem areas while wrinkling your nose. No more refusing to take your cover-up off at the beach. You can feel confident in any setting and amongst any group — and that is a fantastic mindset to have! This doesn’t mean having a “perfect” body – just one you feel comfortable in!
2. In 1984, Sports Illustrated was the first official publication to suggest that just the act of working out could make you happy. Endorphins, people! They’re the happy little guys bouncing around your brain during exercise that put you in a fantastic mood. Between your new body and your exercise “high,” you’ll experience new heights of happiness.
3. There are poisonous relationships with people and then there are poisonous relationships with food. If you had a bad day at work, your reaction should not be to go to the grocery store, take advantage of a 2-for-$5 pint of ice cream deal and polish off both before the night is over. For many people who struggle with their weight, food can be used as a crutch, a coping mechanism to get through times of stress. But using food as a crutch creates a cycle of unhealthiness — you’re unhappy because you don’t like the way you look, so you gorge on unhealthy “comfort food” which is only going to make you look more unhealthy. Breaking up with bad food will only make you feel better
4. Speaking of relationships, being healthy and losing weight can bolster your interpersonal relationships. According to Livestrong, overweight people often “opt out of personal relationships because they have low self-worth.” They also might feel uncomfortable in large groups and therefore avoid going out. No, you don’t need to run to counseling. You can evade this simply by adopting a healthier lifestyle.
5. The most obvious mood-booster associated with losing weight and eating healthy is the unparalleled sense of accomplishment — you look good because you made yourself look good, you exercised discipline and you achieved a goal that you set. Achievement is an emotional superfood.
Improving your body means improving your mind, your social life, your confidence and yourself. Don’t you agree?
For more Head & Heart features, check out our articles here.
What are some more of the weight loss benefits you can think of?