Give yourself time to develop the confidence that your body really knows better what is good for you than your mind.
The danger of dieting
As an HSP, if you want to feel comfortable in your own skin, that requires you to tune in to what your body needs – and not to follow something that someone else has come up with for you.
If you are highly sensitive, you feel a lot. Food – especially sweet food – can help you to dampen emotions. Substances are then produced in your brain that temporarily give you a good feeling. But especially if you are highly sensitive, it is important to allow your feelings and to be open to the signals your body is giving you. In addition, overeating can throw you off balance and cause you to develop excess weight.
Losing weight is challenging for everyone, but even more so for a highly sensitive person (HSP). Following a strict diet can mean imposing constraints and restrictions on yourself and copying other people’s truths about what is good or bad for your body. There is a danger that you will suppress the signals your sensitive body gives you and that you will lose contact with your body. If you don’t stick to the diet, you can also feel failed and confused. In this article, you can read what you can do to gain the weight that naturally suits you in a quiet way.
Tune in to your body
Most diets are aimed at a large group of people. They are therefore composed in such a way that ‘the average person can achieve good results with them. As an HSP, if you want to feel comfortable in your own skin, that requires you to tune in to what your body needs – and not to follow something that someone else has come up with for you. It’s about you, about what you feel is good for yourself.
What calms you down, what makes you feel comfortable? What works for an average person may not work for you. Stop comparing yourself to others, but learn to focus on yourself. Precisely because you are sensitive, you naturally know exactly what is good for you. You may have been suppressing this inner knowing for years or perhaps you have not learned to listen to it. Then this is a great time to do things differently and give yourself what you need.
What signals do you get?
Precisely because you are sensitive, you naturally know exactly what is good for you.
The only thing that works for weight loss when you are overweight: getting back in touch with your body and giving your emotions space. This means paying attention to yourself, slowing down, focusing on your body, and making soft choices. It’s about making your body more important than your head. So you no longer eat because it is time or because other people are eating. No, as a highly sensitive person you can tune in to your body and the signals it gives. Your body is constantly communicating with you, so it is very important to collaborate. Allow yourself to listen. Your body lets you know which foods work for you and which don’t. You can rely on that.
From thinking to feeling
Try to develop more gentleness towards yourself. Especially if you have been on a diet before, there may be a stern little voice in you that finds something about everything and gets in your way. Maybe you’ve come up with all kinds of rules and sports and eating schedules that you have to stick to. It can feel uncomfortable to stop believing it and listen to your body. Give yourself time to develop the confidence that your body really knows better what is good for you than your mind. It’s a different way of dealing with food.
Make sure you have a base of healthy foods at home and every morning feel: what food do I need today? Sometimes images of foods immediately come to mind; your intuition can tell you a lot. Write down in a booklet which food you feel good with.
Important questions for you
It can feel uncomfortable to no longer believe in exercise and eating schedules, but to listen to your body.
Food is meant to give you energy and to enjoy it. The idea is that you feel full after a meal, so that you can go ahead for a few hours and not have to think about food. Instead of focusing on an eating plan and weight loss, ask yourself: How do I want to feel during the day? That makes the whole process easier! You will see that today you can create that you feel good (and that you do not have to fight for it).
Answer the following questions:
• How do you want to feel?
• How much energy do you want?
• What foods make you feel good? What do you get energy from? What keeps your stomach calm? What foods can keep you going for a few hours?
• How many times a day is it pleasant for you to eat?
If you work with the answers and give yourself what feels good every day, you will automatically get balance. If you are overweight, you will lose weight at a leisurely pace and gain the weight that suits you naturally. In addition, you feel good about yourself. You give yourself what you need, without coercion or restrictions.
Mute emotions with food
It is important that you find out when you are eating to dampen emotions or feelings that you would rather not feel. So keep an emotion diary. Write down which emotions play a major role in you. What are your food craving triggers? What beliefs keep you trapped in a vicious circle and keep you in a state of deficit and emotional eating? Thanks to your emotion diary, your patterns become clear and you can change them step by step. This provides peace of mind and a sense of pride and self-confidence.
Regulate your blood sugar level
As a highly sensitive person, skipping meals can feel extremely uncomfortable, causing spikes and dips in your blood sugar levels. You may feel shaky and lethargic and have trouble focusing. It is therefore important to investigate what is a pleasant eating structure for you. Some people like to eat three times a day and others like it five times.
Experiment and discover how you keep your energy stable throughout the day. Eating vegetables, healthy fats and proteins is important because they keep your blood sugar level stable. In addition, take products that contain slow carbohydrates such as oatmeal, sweet potato, quinoa and buckwheat.
Drinking plenty of water is also important for everyone. But as a highly sensitive person, you are more likely to suffer from the consequences of a lack of water: headaches, energy dips… And you may think you are hungry when in reality you are thirsty.
Put yourself at number 1
Highly sensitive people are usually very preoccupied with others. Children, partners, work, and family come first, they themselves are last. They are afraid to disappoint others. If you recognize yourself in this image and you would like to lose weight, then you would do well to really prioritize yourself and your needs. Write down what you would like to create for yourself and share it with your partner or a friend.
What can help with weight loss: do it together with someone who supports you. It can be a friend, partner, family member or coach. It can also be valuable to build up healthy routines with someone, for example exercising together. If someone is involved in your progression, it can be very supportive. For everyone, but especially if you are highly sensitive.
Move-in a gentle way
Your body loves to move and is made for it. Very intensive workouts where you push yourself sometimes seem necessary to lose weight, but that is not the case. If you are highly sensitive, you want to move in a loving and gentle way. Not because you’re too weak to go to the hole, but because you don’t like it and it’s not the best thing for your nervous system. You don’t have to be in pain to be successful and feel good about yourself.
Look for a way of moving that gives you pleasure and feels good for your body. As an HSP, you probably have a lot of body awareness and a sensitive nervous system. Finding a way of exercising that works for you can not only help you lose weight, but also improve your mood. You develop more self-confidence, strength, and balance in yourself.
Learn to say no to temptations
If you want to stay true to yourself and be powerful, it’s important that you give your sensitive body what it needs, even though it can be very tempting not to. It is better to avoid anything that causes an extreme reaction. Experiment with the following foods if you enjoy eating them. Find out what the right balance is for you.
Experience shows that it is best to completely eliminate them from your menu:
• Very spicy food
If you want to take good care of yourself, it is important that you give food the attention it needs. And that you dare to say no to food that doesn’t feel good and also to other things that may exhaust you, such as social activities or working too much.
Get enough sleep
When you get enough sleep, you have more energy and it’s easier to say Yes to what you really want and no to what you don’t. If you develop sleep deprivation, your satiety mechanisms also become unbalanced, so that you can feel hungry more often and feel less full. Your body craves energy and looks for it in food when you actually need sleep. Find out how much sleep makes you feel good and create a sleep routine that fits.
Focus on your health
Focus more on your health than your weight. Become the healthiest version of yourself. Be consistent in what you do, both in terms of food and exercise. Be happy with the small steps you take and realize that doing something is always better than doing nothing. The results you get are based on what you do the majority of the time. As long as you can enjoy the process, every day, what you do becomes sustainable, you feel in balance and you gain the weight that suits you.