Study Reveals Self-Compassion As Key To Weight Loss Success: Check Now

Striving towards weight loss goals can be a daunting journey. It is often riddled with setbacks and challenges. In the current world, high-calorie temptations and overeating are common. Individuals frequently find themselves grappling with feelings of frustration and demoralization.

However, a recent study was conducted by the Center for Weight, Eating, and Lifestyle Sciences (WELL Center) at Drexel University. It reveals a powerful ally in this endeavour: self-compassion.

Improved Mode and Greater Self-Control

Published in the journal Appetite, the study examined the effects of self-compassion on individuals’ responses to dietary lapses. Participants who demonstrated higher levels of self-compassion reported improved mood. They showed greater self-control over their eating and exercise behaviours following lapses.

Lead author Charlotte Hagerman, PhD, emphasized the importance of self-compassion in fostering resilience amidst the challenges of weight loss.

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She explained, “The road to achieving difficult goals—especially weight loss—is paved with setbacks. Practicing self-compassion helps people cope with self-defeating thoughts and feelings in response to setbacks, enabling them to more quickly resume pursuing their goals.”

The study involved 140 participants enrolled in a group-based lifestyle modification programme. It utilized smartphone surveys to gather real-time data on participants’ experiences with dietary lapses and their subsequent responses.

Self-blame and Struggle with Weight-Loss

Hagerman highlighted the pervasive self-blame often associated with struggles with weight loss

She noted, “In reality, we live in a food environment that has set everyone up to fail. Practicing self-compassion rather than self-criticism is a key strategy for fostering resilience during the difficult process of weight loss.”

Instead of giving in to self-criticism, individuals are encouraged to practice self-compassion. For example, they can consider how they would support a friend going through similar challenges. By changing negative self-talk to a more kind and understanding approach, individuals can handle obstacles with grace and determination.

The balance between Self-compassion and accountability

Moving forward, the research team aims to develop interventions that teach individuals how to practice self-compassion effectively, particularly in moments of adversity such as overeating or weight gain. They emphasize the importance of striking a balance between self-compassion and accountability, guiding individuals to uphold personal standards while offering themselves grace and encouragement.

The journey towards weight loss is not solely about willpower but also about cultivating self-compassion and resilience in the face of obstacles. By extending kindness and understanding to oneself, individuals can empower themselves to overcome challenges and pursue their goals with renewed vigour.