Whether you’re working towards specific nutrition goals or simply trying to eat healthier, it can be easy to get frustrated. But, when it comes to dietary habits, self-compassion is paramount. Here, two ways to employ it:
1. Don’t get too wrapped up in the “rules.”
Some people become so concerned that deviation from rules will keep them from losing weight, that they shy away from indulgence completely, believing that they don’t deserve it. Of course, some prefer only to eat healthy, but the issue arises when people are constantly denying themselves things that they want to eat. If it causes you stress, the rigidity of your diet can minimize the effects of your hard work. “If there is stress in the body, the body is going to hold onto weight,” explains Krista Schaus, a master coach with Precision Nutrition in Ontario, Canada. “It’s a physiological response.”
2. Plan meals in advance.
Creating a weekly meal plan by prepping, scheduling, or ordering ahead of time is a great form of nutritional structure and self-care. “This doesn't have to be elaborate; just knowing things like, ‘I'm eating here for breakfast, bringing this for lunch, and cooking that for dinner’ can make a huge difference in the overall allostatic load [the physical effects of stress] a person is dealing with,” says Dominic Matteo, level 2 masterclass instructor at Precision Nutrition in Cleveland.
In the same way you train yourself physically, you can train your mind to be more compassionate, according to a study published in the journal PLoS ONE. Researchers used MRIs to discover how loving-kindness-compassion-based meditation (similar to Seek Compassion on Equinox+) can help you empathize with other people by affecting certain regions of the brain, like the insula and cingulate cortices. And just like fitness, it helps to make a regular habit of compassion practice: “A daily compassion meditation is a wonderful way to develop self-acceptance and understanding for others— the two go hand-in-hand,” says HeadStrong creator Michael Gervais.
Restlessness by Michael Gervais
“If you’re feeling uneasy or out of sorts, this is a beautiful journey towards finding a little more ease and balance through anchoring into your body and your breath,” says Lewis.
Good Vibrations by Yemie Sonuga
“This is a great, quick little meditation to lift your spirits and get back on track,” says Lewis.
Finding Calm in Discomfort by Katey Lewis
“This meditation provides an opportunity to learn how to coexist with discomfort through acceptance,” says Lewis.
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