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Holistic Mind and Body Weight Loss

Holistic Approaches to Weight Loss

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The important role of the mind has been largely neglected in popular fitness and weight loss endeavors. This has led to a renewed interest in the integration of the mind into regular physical fitness activities and weight loss programs.

These holistic approaches to weight loss and exercise appeals to diverse people with different fitness levels and is appropriate in various life situations. The main aim is often to promote stress management and aid in the release of tension and discomfort caused by modern lifestyles.

Holistic Approaches to Weight Loss

To achieve the mind-body connection various traditional as well as innovative new exercise and weight loss programs have gained in popularity in recent times. Many of these programs are based on both modern fitness and diet methods and traditional disciplines and draw their inspiration from the following mind-body techniques and methods, scientific approaches and holistic approaches to weight loss.


Physical exercise of any type aids in stress release. Regular participation in exercise activities provides a natural way to release accumulated tension in the body and it also leads to an automatic state of relaxation that naturally follows after a good workout. Stretching, especially, is a natural stress reliever. Properly stretching the muscles has numerous benefits, among them the achievement of a relaxed and peaceful state of mind.


Although it has taken many years for this ancient art form to be recognised world-wide, recently much attention has been given to Yoga due to its various health and fitness benefits. Yoga is believed to be one of the most effective and wholesome forms of exercise, not only for the body but also for the relaxation of mind.

The Pilates Method 

A popular mind-body conditioning method developed by Joseph Pilates. It combines Eastern and Western philosophies of physical and mental development and aims to promote neuro-muscular harmony, balance and co-ordination, while increasing strength and flexibility. The mostly full range of motion exercises can be done with or without special equipment and each movement is executed according to six basic principles: control, concentration, centering, focus, precision and breathing. The participant is encouraged to master the mind in order to gain complete control over the body.


Meditation has been practised by people in religious contexts for thousands of years, but it has also gained much scientific evidence in modern times. Unlike hypnosis, which is more of a passive experience, meditation is considered to be an active process in which the participant is mentally alert, while physically relaxed and the body passive. This mind-focusing technique is particularly useful in managing stress, as well as after physical activity.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy 

This field of practice attempts to change negative thought patterns and dysfunctional attitudes in order to promote healthy and well-adjusted thoughts, emotions, and actions. This form of therapy usually has four basic components: education, learning new skills, rehearsal, and generalisation and maintenance. Relaxation techniques are frequently included as a behavioural skills component.


Getting enough sleep may be one of the most powerful things that you can do for your effort to lose weight.  This is most certainly a connection between mind and body that you should prioritize as you adopt a new healthy lifestyle to get your weight under control.  The reason is that sleep does a lot more for your diet and exercise than just make you feel more rested.  The energy you get from sleep is an important jumping off point, but there are hormonal issues that will also affect your behavior.

Still, let’s start by examining the mind and body connection of the energy you rebuild when you get a good night of sleep (or when you don’t).  When you are better rested, you are more alert and focused and you are more physically energized.  This makes it easier for you to:

  • Be motivated
  • Learn more easily
  • Make smarter choices
  • Be driven to do your workouts
  • Perform better during fat burning exercises

That said, your hormones are also affected by a lack of sleep.  If you’re exhausted, your body produces a different hormone balance with the intention of helping you to conserve the energy you didn’t replace through sleep.  It also produces a hormone combination that will drive you to eat more energizing foods in order to make up for energy you haven’t rebuilt through sleep. 

This helps to explain why the more exhausted you are, the more you crave sugary and fatty foods.  Moreover, when your energy reserves are low, you don’t feel motivated to make the effort to prepare a healthy meal that doesn’t appeal to you when ordering a pizza requires so much less effort and sounds so much tastier to you at the time. 

The mind and body connection from sleep is a powerful one and one you can’t ignore when trying to lose weight.