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Taking a New Look at Maintaining a Healthy Weight



Maintaining a healthy weight is a goal that many people aspire to, but it can often feel like an uphill battle with all the conflicting information and fad diets out there. However, it’s time to take a fresh look at how we approach weight management and prioritize our health. Rather than focusing solely on diets and quick fixes, let’s delve into a holistic approach that encompasses various aspects of our lives to achieve a healthy weight sustainably.

Eating Mindfully

Eating mindfully is about cultivating a conscious and intentional relationship with food. It involves paying full attention to the entire experience of eating, from choosing the food to savoring each bite, without distractions. Here are some key aspects of mindful eating:

Listen to your body

Tune in to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Eat when you’re physically hungry, and stop when you’re comfortably full. Avoid eating out of habit, boredom, or emotional reasons. When you eat mindfully, you’re better able to discern whether you’re eating for hunger or for other reasons.


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Engage your senses

Take the time to truly experience the taste, texture, smell, and appearance of your food. Chew slowly and thoroughly, savoring each bite. Pay attention to the flavors, the crunch, and the aroma. By engaging your senses, you can fully appreciate the eating experience and feel more satisfied with smaller portions.

Eat without distractions

Avoid eating while watching TV, working on your computer, or scrolling through your phone. When you’re distracted, you’re less likely to pay attention to your body’s cues and may end up overeating. Instead, create a dedicated space for meals without distractions and fully immerse yourself in the eating experience.

Be non-judgmental

Mindful eating involves cultivating a non-judgmental attitude towards food and yourself. Avoid labeling foods as “good” or “bad” and refrain from criticizing yourself for your food choices. Instead, approach eating with curiosity, openness, and self-compassion. Listen to your body’s needs and honor them without guilt or shame.

Incorporating mindful eating into your lifestyle can help you develop a healthy relationship with food and make more conscious choices that support your weight management goals. By being fully present during meals, choosing wholesome foods, and listening to your body’s cues, you can foster a sustainable approach to eating that supports your overall health and well-being.

Seek Help From the Professionals

Seeking help from experts in the field of health and nutrition can be a valuable resource in maintaining a healthy weight and shifting your mindset towards a positive and sustainable approach to food and body image. Here are some ways in which experts can support you in your journey:

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)

RDNs are qualified experts in the field of nutrition and can provide personalized guidance on developing a balanced and nutritious meal plan tailored to your individual needs and goals. They can help you understand the importance of different nutrients, portion sizes, and meal timing and provide practical strategies for incorporating healthy eating habits into your lifestyle.

RDNs can also help you navigate any dietary restrictions or health conditions you may have and provide evidence-based information on fad diets or misinformation related to nutrition.

Therapists or Counselors

The relationship between food, body image, and mindset is complex, and seeking support from therapists or counselors who specialize in eating disorders or body image concerns can be beneficial. These professionals can help you explore any underlying emotional or psychological factors that may impact your relationship with food and body image. They can also provide tools and techniques for managing stress, building self-esteem, and developing healthy coping mechanisms that support a positive mindset and healthy eating habits.

Fitness or Exercise Professionals

Physical activity plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy weight and overall well-being. Consulting with fitness or exercise professionals, such as personal trainers, exercise physiologists, or physical therapists, can help you develop a safe and effective exercise routine that aligns with your goals, fitness level, and preferences. These experts can provide guidance on different types of exercises, proper form, and progression, as well as motivate and support you in staying consistent with your exercise routine.

Medical Professionals

Consulting with medical professionals, such as your primary care physician or a specialist, can be valuable in understanding any underlying health conditions that may impact your weight and overall health. Medical professionals can assess your overall health status, provide recommendations for appropriate screenings or tests, and offer personalized medical advice, including suggestions for bariatric procedures such as gastric band surgery.

Support Groups or Communities

Joining support groups or communities that focus on health, nutrition, and body positivity can provide a valuable source of encouragement, motivation, and accountability. Connecting with others who share similar goals and challenges can help you feel supported, understood, and empowered. These groups can offer practical tips, share personal experiences, and provide a sense of community that can foster a positive mindset and healthy habits.

Staying Active

Regular physical activity is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight. It not only burns calories but also improves overall health and well-being. Find an exercise routine that you enjoy and make it a part of your lifestyle. Whether it’s walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing, or practicing yoga, find an activity that suits your preferences and fits into your schedule. 

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with muscle-strengthening exercises on two or more days. Remember, staying active doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Incorporating movement into your daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going for a walk during your lunch break, can also make a difference.

Prioritizing Sleep

Many people overlook the importance of sleep when it comes to weight management. Poor sleep quality or inadequate sleep can disrupt hormonal regulation, increase appetite, and affect metabolism, leading to weight gain. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night. 

Establish a consistent sleep routine, avoid caffeine and electronics before bedtime, and create a conducive sleep environment by keeping your bedroom dark, quiet, and comfortable. Prioritizing sleep can help regulate your appetite, reduce cravings for unhealthy foods, and give you the energy and mental clarity to make better food choices and engage in physical activity.

Managing Stress

Stress can impact your weight in various ways. It can trigger emotional eating, increase cravings for comfort foods, disrupt sleep, and affect metabolism. Therefore, managing stress is essential for maintaining a healthy weight. 

Find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as practicing mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, or engaging in hobbies that you enjoy. Regular exercise can also help alleviate stress by releasing endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Additionally, make sure to take breaks, set boundaries, and prioritize self-care in your daily routine to reduce stress levels and support your weight management efforts.

Building a Support System

Having a supportive environment can make a big difference in maintaining a healthy weight. Surround yourself with people who encourage and support your health goals. Find a workout buddy, join a group fitness class, or participate in a community activity that promotes physical activity. 

Seek emotional support from friends, family, or a therapist to help manage stress, emotions, and emotional eating. You can also connect with registered dietitians or nutritionists for expert guidance on healthy eating and weight management. Building a support system can provide accountability, motivation, and encouragement, making it easier to sustain healthy habits in the long run.

Shifting the Mindset

Shifting the mindset is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy weight, and it goes beyond just changing eating habits. It involves transforming your entire approach to food, body image, and self-care. Here are some ways to shift your mindset toward a healthier relationship with your body and food:

Embrace body positivity

Instead of focusing solely on weight loss or achieving a certain body shape, shift your mindset to embrace body positivity. Learn to appreciate and accept your body as it is, with all its unique characteristics and imperfections. Celebrate what your body can do and the joy it brings to your life, rather than solely focusing on its appearance. Developing a positive body image can help you cultivate a healthy relationship with food and promote self-acceptance.

Let go of the dieting mentality

Diets are often short-term and restrictive, leading to a cycle of weight loss and weight regain, which can negatively impact your mental and physical health. Shift your mindset away from dieting and instead focus on nourishing your body with balanced, wholesome meals. Listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, and eat in a way that supports your overall well-being, rather than following rigid diet rules or restrictions.


Practice self-compassion

Treat yourself with kindness and compassion, just as you would with a loved one. Be mindful of your inner dialogue and challenge negative self-talk. Replace self-criticism with self-compassion and understanding. Recognize that everyone has imperfections and that it’s okay to make mistakes or have setbacks along the journey to a healthy weight. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you navigate this process.

Set realistic and sustainable goals.

Shift your mindset from short-term, drastic goals to realistic and sustainable ones. Avoid setting unrealistic expectations or striving for quick fixes. Instead, set small, achievable goals that are sustainable in the long run. Celebrate your progress along the way and focus on the positive changes you’re making, rather than fixating on perfection or immediate results. Remember that creating lasting change takes time and effort, and shifting your mindset towards a more patient and sustainable approach can support your journey to a healthy weight.

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