4 Ways to Nurture Your Mental Wellbeing During Weight Loss

Decided to embark on a weight loss journey? Here are four practices you can adopt that nurture your mental wellbeing and promote healthy weight loss that benefits you inside and out.

1. Practice Self-Compassion

In our image-focused society, people often equate their self-worth with how much they weigh, causing them to be hostile toward themselves when they gain weight. This, however, tends to backfire, as feeling distressed can promote overeating habits and further weight gain.

Doing the opposite and being kinder to yourself can help you both improve your mental wellbeing and lose weight. Self-compassion serves as great motivation for weight loss because it allows you to be more accepting and resilient. You’ll be facing challenges throughout your weight loss journey, so having an encouraging headspace will help you get back on track no matter what.

A good way to start practicing self-compassion is to treat yourself like you’d talk to a struggling friend. Extend the same sympathy and uplifting words you’d say to them to yourself, and see how it elevates your mental wellbeing.

2. Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating involves paying attention to what goes into your body, being intentional with how you choose to nourish yourself. This way, you can enjoy sustaining yourself while being thoughtful about how much you eat.

An important part of mindful eating is to eat slowly. You can do this by taking smaller bites and chewing thoroughly. Not only are you being mindful, but this also makes you feel full faster, which can help you lose weight. By savoring a nutritious meal, you’re promoting weight loss as well as positive emotions. 

3. Prioritize Goal-Setting

Studies have shown that writing down and focusing on what you wish to accomplish can significantly increase your chance of success.

Goal-setting can be especially helpful with weight loss since four out of five people who attempt to lose weight only manage to produce short-term results.

It’s important to get rid of false expectations and set realistic goals. Instant solutions and an unhealthy diet mindset will likely set you up for failure. Adopting a more grounded approach is more sustainable and will provide you the fortitude to continue working towards your weight loss goals.

Working towards and achieving goals can provide a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. This sense of progress and achievement can boost self-confidence, self-worth, and overall mental wellbeing. Celebrating milestones along the way can also generate positive emotions and reinforce a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

To help you with this, try a journal self-help tool. Journaling is an effective way to maintain your mental wellbeing as well as helping you keep track and focus on your goals.

4. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is often overlooked in terms of weight and mental wellbeing, but it can significantly impact various aspects of your health.

Sleep deprivation makes you vulnerable to many health risks, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and a weakened immune system.

On the other hand, the benefits of sleeping well are extremely wide-ranging:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Help control your weight
  • Increase energy
  • Improve your memory
  • Increase focus
  • Enhance your creativity

How Does Sleeping Well Help You Control Your Weight?

Sleep deprivation can contribute to weight gain and obesity through various mechanisms. One of the key factors is its impact on hormonal regulation of appetite.

Ghrelin, often referred to as the "hunger hormone," is responsible for stimulating appetite. Sleep deprivation has been found to increase ghrelin levels, leading to an increase in feelings of hunger. When you don't get enough sleep, your body may produce more ghrelin, making you feel hungrier than usual.

On the other hand, leptin, known as the "satiety hormone," helps regulate energy balance by signaling fullness and suppressing appetite. Sleep deprivation has been associated with reduced leptin levels, which can disrupt the normal signaling of satiety. As a result, people who are sleep-deprived may not feel so full after eating.

This combination of elevated ghrelin and reduced leptin creates a hormonal imbalance that can promote overeating and cravings for high-calorie foods. Sleep-deprived individuals may have a stronger desire for foods that are rich in fats, sugars, and carbohydrates, which are typically less nutritious and more calorie-dense. This can lead to excessive calorie intake and contribute to weight gain over time.

To improve your sleep, a key tip from experts is to stick to a sleep schedule as much as possible. Sleeping at the same time every night helps your body go to sleep faster and longer. By prioritizing sleep, you can stay on track with achieving your weight loss goals and ensure that you’re also attending to your overall wellbeing.


Four practices you can adopt that nurture your mental wellbeing on a weight loss journey include:

  • Practice self-compassion. Try to treat yourself more like you would a friend to help build your resilience.
  • Practice mindful eating. Rather than rushing through meals or mindlessly consuming food, slow down, savor each bite, and be fully present.
  • Prioritize goal-setting. Studies show that writing down and focusing on what you wish to accomplish helps boost your chance of success. Celebrating milestones along the way can also help nurture your mental wellbeing.
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep plays a vital role in mental and physical wellbeing. Sleeping well helps ensure your hormones are well balanced, which plays a key role in appetite control and weight management

Practical Tools to Change Your Eating Habits

Our self-directed program includes expert nutrition advice, a practical roadmap for sustainable behaviour change, meal planning tools, food tracking, and a wide range of additional tools to support your journey towards lasting change. Check out The Mental Wellbeing Toolkit today – it's "like 10 therapy sessions in one."

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About Rebecca

Rebecca is the founder of The Wellness Society and author of two fluff-free books, The Framework and Understanding and Healing Trauma.

She's passionate about creating concise and compassionate mental health and wellbeing tools that address the root causes of distress.

Read more about her views on our About page.