“If you haven't got your health, then you haven't got anything.”
- The Princess Bride
You didn’t have to be a fan of the cult classic movie, “The Princess Bride” to understand that good health is incredibly important. Even the common cold will make you realize that taking advantage of a healthy body is incredibly common.
Our health, and just about everything on Earth, exists in a delicate balance. Too much or too little of anything isn’t good and can throw the natural state of homeostasis out of whack in a flash.
What is homeostasis? The “Encyclopedia Britannica” has defined it as “any self-regulating process by which biological systems tend to maintain stability while adjusting to conditions that are optimal for survival.” Basically, the body establishes what the "norm" is and tries to maintain it.
If you’ve hit a plateau in your weight loss routine, or are just beginning your journey, considering a mindful routine that focuses on your body’s “norm” might be just what you need.
In order to apply homeostasis to weight loss, let’s first look at some reasons our balance point, or state of homeostasis, can be thrown off.
- Stress - Not only mentally taxing, stress takes a serious toll on the body by launching it into emergency mode and releasing a massive amount of hormones all at once.
- Nutritional imbalance - The quality of food you consume is just as important as the quantity.
- Hormonal disruption - Chemicals in products, GMOs, and many other environmental toxins disrupt the natural hormonal communication in the body.
Additionally, as outlined in our previous Wellness Guide
, counting calories can actually have the absolute opposite effect on our bodies than what we intend. Little attention is paid to the types of calories counted, with the general idea that less in the body is more off the body. This practice can drive you further away from homeostasis and, in turn, actually losing weight.
When the body does not get enough nutrients in the form of food, it will figure out how to use the available energy to power the most vital functions and slowly dim the other functions to make up for the lack of energy. When this happens, homeostasis has officially been disrupted and your body is fighting for survival.
Resetting the balance point is the first step to getting back on track to achieving homeostasis. But before you reset your balance point, you have to commit to change. Commit to the journey you are on and commit to your goals. Change is not so easy if you are too easy on yourself.
Reset the balance point by:
- Managing stress quickly and effectively so the body doesn’t activate emergency mode
- Eating naturally balanced foods that are rich in healthy fats and the nutrients your body needs to function
- Eating mindfully and to your contentment
- Reflecting on your food before you consume and be thankful for the journey it took to get to you
- Reducing sugary, high glycemic food
Once your balance point is set, it is very resistant to change. This point is deemed ideal by your body, and because your body wants to live in a state of harmony, it will work hard to maintain homeostasis.
Understanding the self-regulating and self-healing processes
of the body can really make an impact on how you approach your life. When you know and feel that the brain and body crave a calm and peaceful environment, it is easier to work with your body to achieve these states rather than against it.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for weight loss, but if you approach your journey mindfully then you have a massive advantage.
Mindful practices like saying a prayer (out loud or in your head) before you eat can help you truly appreciate the food going into your body. Next time you have a delicious meal sitting in front of you, or even before you bite into an apple, try saying this prayer:
“May all people eat healthy delicious food.
May all people get healthier together.
May all people, all life forms and all beings be well.”
To learn and experience more about maintaining homeostasis for weight loss and practicing mindful eating, join a Body & Brain Yoga
class. Locations around the U.S.
are holding FREE Achieve Your Optimal Body Weight workshops
throughout the month of November!
Good luck on achieving your weight loss goals!