I shared in a prior post about the milkshake study. Study participants were divided into two groups with each group receiving the exact same 300 calorie milkshake. One group was told they had a 104 calorie, guilt free shake and the other was told it was a decadent 620 calorie shake. Those with the low calorie shake had higher levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and those who thought their shake was indulgent had much lower ghrelin levels, leaving them feeling much more satiated than the other group. Their mindset was so powerful it affected them on the physical level.
Studies also showed that those who practice gratitude are not only more satisfied with life in general, but they produce less ghrelin (that hunger hormone) and cortisol (the stress hormone) and so feel more satisfied with their meal as well. Gratitude also shuts down the stress response, balances hormones, boosts immune system function and the release of DHEA, the anti-aging hormone. Less stress hormones circulating means less dangerous belly fat!
Anger, bitterness and resentment are also powerful emotions that can derail weight loss efforts as well as relationships. Living in a state of constant stress, anxiety and anger will negatively affect your health in many ways, including your ability to maintain long-term weight loss.
Being chronically stressed, for example, holding a grudge, releases the stress hormone cortisol which causes fat to be deposited in deep abdominal tissue. This belly fat is very active and causes more and more fat storage. Unforgiveness triggers a chronic stress response, which promotes fat to be stored in the most dangerous and hardest to lose place in your body.
This is where forgiveness becomes so critical. Holding on to these negative beliefs and emotions harms only you. Regardless of the type of stress (physical, accidents, abuse, emotional or mental) it causes our cells to mutate. Every thought we have has a corresponding emotion and biochemical expression attached to it. So every time we think about it, we experience the emotions again and release those same chemicals into our physical body. Forgiveness breaks that vicious cycle.
This is why I include spirit and soul work in Today is Still the Day. You can’t just address the physical aspects of weight loss and ignore your mindset, attitudes and beliefs.
How could gratitude and forgiveness help you in your weight loss efforts?
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