Oxytocin’s Self-Loving Role In Weight Loss
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, feel less anxious, or simply feel better, you can trust that your hormones are involved.
As humans, hormones play key roles in major bodily functions that keep us alive and well, and yet we generally take our hormones for granted, except for those memorable developmental stages like puberty and menopause when hormones are raging.
Yet, without notice, hormones are always playing a leading role collectively in our mood, weight, and overall health.
Understanding the relationships between hormones and our mental, emotional, and physical health can shed light on why we’re quickly becoming an overweight, anxious, and stressed out society.
Generally, the main hormones involved in regulating weight and mood are cortisol, thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, insulin, ghrelin, and leptin.
Whereas unique differences exist between each of these hormones, all work together to regulate appetite, weight, cravings, metabolism, stress, mood, and much more.
In other words, hormonal balance is key to weight loss, feel better, and living well.
Yet, research continues to support that our high sugar, highly concentrated, refined and processed American diet and sedentary lifestyle are causing hormonal imbalance and resistance that’s making us overeat, crave, and struggle with stress.
One Self-Loving Hormone
However, oxytocin, better known as the “love hormone,” also helps regulate our metabolism, body weight, appetite, cravings, and stress.
It’s also the hormone that I often see women struggle with balancing most.
For example, losing weight is pretty straightforward: eat colorful healthy, nutrient-dense foods, eat when you’re hungry, stop eating when you’re satisfied, hydrate well, get plenty of sleep, reduce stress and relax, and work on your mindset.
Sure, certain medications, menopause, diagnoses, and individual differences can influence the weight loss process, but generally speaking, the path to weight loss is not complicated.
Yet, when we start talking about the importance of self-care, which releases oxytocin, in weight loss and emotional health that’s where progress slams on its brakes with, “You want me to do what?”
The mere idea of self-care, which I believe is self-love, stops us dead in our tracks.
It’s a concept that many of us dismiss as indulgent and selfish.
Self-care is sometimes so far off our radar that it’s unfathomable how it could play a role in weight loss and wellness goals.
As women, we have neglected, ignored, and put ourselves last for so long that we’re often unaware of the depth of our self-neglect and even self-loathing.
It feels normal, yet, not to the body.
Our Hormones Know The Score
In fact, Sarah Wilson writes, “Self-hatred causes autoimmune disease, which boiled down, is the body attacking itself?”
Whether or not this is true, hating your body and yourself is not the path to weight loss, wellbeing, and wellness.
It’s the path to self-destruction that no diet or pill will fix.
And even if you are able to achieve your goal weight and feel better, your results will not be sustainable.
As long you ride the rails of self-hate and resist self-care, your body will retaliate and your overall health and wellness will suffer.
You will eventually gain all the weight back and feel as anxious as ever. You know this. You’ve lived it.
Whereas we can receive surges of oxytocin through hugs and social connection, loving and caring for our bodies and ourselves provides equally important doses of oxytocin.
Self-care through self-love is how we begin to heal our hearts, put ourselves first, and make decisions in our best interest such as cleaning up our diets, our minds, and our lifestyles.
It’s when our body is flooded with self-loving oxytocin that we don’t want the sugar, we laugh at the donuts, and we can’t wait to meditate, move our bodies gently, and prepare for quality sleep and relaxation.
We say, “No,” to demands on our schedules and set boundaries around our time because we’re worth it and deserve it.
When we love our bodies and ourselves deeply, nothing gets in the way of our self-care.
So if you really want to lose weight, feel less anxious, and live well, start assessing your own self-induced level of the “love hormone” oxytocin.
What might be possible if you started showing yourself a little more love?