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self-compassion

#1 Weight-Loss Secret: Be Nice to Yourself

Written on April 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm , by

The Self-Compassion Diet by Jean Fain

The Self-Compassion Diet by Jean Fain

Cutting yourself a little slack is the secret to big weight-loss, according to Jean Fain, a licensed psychotherapist and author of the recent book The Self-Compassion Diet. She explains:

How does self-compassion help with weight-loss?

Most weight-loss plans revolve around deprivation and neglect. You’re supposed to stick to the plan no matter what. If you’re starving, keep eating tiny portions. If you’re exhausted, keep moving—no pain, no gain. Going on vacation? Keep counting…calories, carbs, points. It’s not a very compassionate or effective approach, and it’s no fun.

What I’m saying: when you treat yourself with self-compassion, you’re more apt to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full; rest when you’re tired and move when you feel energized. When you do that, you lose weight naturally.

So what is self-compassion, exactly?

Most simply put, self-compassion is treating yourself like you’d treat a friend or a loved one—with care and concern.

My favorite definition comes from research psychologist Kristin Neff, Ph.D., who defines self-compassion as having three essential ingredients: mindful awareness, loving-kindness and common humanity.

(Learn more and test how self-compassionate you are with Kristin Neff’s quiz.) Read more