We’re all searching for the secret to weight loss; something that can deliver results consistently and quickly. Our quest for a slim waistline has already delivered us some pretty bewildering fad diets and trends. There’s the five bite diet, where you can eat whatever you want as long as you stick to just five bites; the werewolf diet, where you fast in cycles dictated by the lunar calendar; the baby food diet, the cabbage soup diet; the caveman diet… We can go on.
Each of these diets promise the same drastic and rapid results. While some individuals may have had short-term success with these fads, such crash dieting can never be sustained in the long-term. Not only are each of these solutions unsustainable and ineffective, but they’re also potentially very dangerous for your health.
Unfortunately, there is no secret to weight loss. No matter how many fad diets and crazy exercise regimens you try or how many weight loss pills you pop, you won’t see long-lasting results. The key to weight loss is making consistent and sustainable lifestyle changes. It shouldn’t be a chore which limits and restricts your life, but a positive process that nurtures your body.
This is where massage comes in. Of course, massage alone won’t melt fat, but, when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, it’s been scientifically proven to help you shed extra pounds.
In this post, we’ll show you how to harness the awesome weight loss benefits of massage to aid your diet and help you achieve the body you’ve always dreamed of.
Why Your Diet Is so Important to Weight Loss
We’ve all heard it before: weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. But what does that even mean and is it true? To get to the bottom of this ratio, we first need to consider the science behind weight loss and how calories work. To lose weight we need to expend more calories than we eat, creating a calorie deficit. This can be done by either cutting down on the amount of calories consumed or by increasing the calories you expend during exercise. In order to lose one pound of fat, you need to have, roughly, a 3,500 calorie deficit — that’s 500 calories every day.
So how does this apply in the real world? Let’s look at an example. A large pizza from Dominos with a fizzy drink will put you at around the 3,000 calorie mark. To burn this off, it could take up to 10 hours on the treadmill, but achieving that all-important calorie deficit is easier when you focus on diet, since what you put into your body is more effective for weight loss than what you can burn off.
Not only does a healthy diet help you to get a calorie deficit, but it also ensures that your body receives the essential nutrients it needs to keep you in good shape. You are what you eat, after all. The healthier your diet, the clearer your skin, the more energy you have and the better your health.
But for all its benefits, for the majority of us, sticking to a diet is the hardest part. This is where a massage can help.
Massage Helps You to Tackle Your Cravings
We’ve heard the so-called rules. We’ve heard it time and time again. Ditch the sugar, cut out complex carbohydrates and stick with clean and nutritious whole foods. It’s easy, right? All it takes is a quick spring clean of your cupboards and you’re ready to go — nothing will stop you! That is, of course, until you have a particularly hard day at the office or a fight with a loved one and, just as quickly as you started, you fall off the wagon.
We’re all prone to eating our feelings and it turns out there is a scientific reason for it. Our eating habits are intimately connected to our emotions. When we’re feeling down, stressed or overwhelmed, we’re far more likely to reach for that chocolate bar or slice of pizza. To tackle these cravings, we have to dig a bit deeper and get to the root cause. Instead of resigning yourself to crying over the seven doughnuts you scoffed down in the middle of the night, try an aromatherapy massage to stop your cravings in their tracks.
Aromatherapy massages are specifically designed to target our senses and rewire our brains to stop us from craving those unhealthy foods. Using oils extracted from fruits, flowers and seeds, aromatherapy stimulates the senses. The overpowering scents work to restore a sense of peace and tranquility in the mind, allowing you to claim back control over those pesky cravings. Aromatherapy oils are cheap to buy and easy to use. Simply choose your fragrance — rose, lavender and chamomile are all popular options — take a sniff and ask a friend or massage therapist to work the oils into your body. Alternatively, a personal home massager is a great option that lets you indulge in a delicious massage wherever you are.
Massages Supercharge Your Digestion
So you’ve incorporated aromatherapy massage to fight your cravings. You’ve stocked up on all the superfoods you can find and are generally eating clean and nutritious foods. But you’re still not seeing results. What’s going on?
While it may not be entirely fair, many people who start eating well will experience bloating, puffiness and sluggishness throughout the first few months, due to years of poor digestion. No matter how well you’re eating, if your digestive system is clogged up, you’ll still feel bad. It takes time to undo the damage years of eating high salt and sugar-loaded food has had on the digestive system. Over time, your digestive system gets weighed down with toxins, which make it difficult for us to absorb the nutrients in our food and cause lethargy. Think of digestion as a wheel that slowly rotates to keep your body moving.
Toxins jam the cogs of the wheel, meaning it can’t move as smoothly or effectively. Before you can reap the results of your new diet, you need to clean your wheel and oil the cogs!
Fortunately, a massage can help speed up the process. Massages stimulate the digestive organs and help to clean your body of toxins. The gentle stroking, kneading and pulling motions drain the lymphatic system, getting rid of damaging toxins, while boosting the presence of good enzymes. This stimulation can also encourage the stomach to produce more gastric acid and protease pepsin. This breaks down the food in the stomach, so that it can be absorbed effectively by the body. Finally, a massage can stimulate the intestines, allowing content to pass through more quickly. The end result is an improved digestion system, without the bloating, gassiness and lethargy.
Whether you’re just starting out on your weight loss journey or you’re simply tired of endless fad diets which fail to deliver, try a massage. Massages help keep you on track, boost the effectiveness of your diet and give you a rare opportunity to show your body some self-love. Weight loss shouldn’t be all “no pain, no gain” and you’re far more likely to stick to your new routine if you enjoy the process.
Anthony R. Izzo is the Vice President of truMedic, a personal health and wellness business that sells the highest quality home massage and pain relief equipment at affordable prices.