Weight loss is easy, right? Eat less and move more – it’s that simple. But for many of us, this weight loss formula falls flat. After months of dieting and exercising, you still aren’t seeing results – those pesky extra pounds stubbornly stay put.
Desperate and frustrated, you’re driven to seek a quick fix – magic pills that promise fast and effective results; exercise contraptions that promise to pave the way to your dream bod; and dangerous crash diets which leave you feeling miserable. With every costly purchase, you’re left even more disappointed, because nothing seems to be working.
Is there a secret ingredient for shedding fat that you’re missing? Body positivity can go a long way. While you may be hungry for results, dedicated to working out and eating right, if you aren’t enjoying the process – every healthy meal feels like a sacrifice and each workout feels like a slog – you could be self-sabotaging by preventing your body’s ability to shift that extra padding. What can you do? In this post, we’ll show you how to use massage to build a body-positive attitude and harness its fat-busting benefits.
Body Positivity and Weight Loss Success
No one blames you for feeling disheartened over your lack of results. Restrictive diets aren’t fun. However healthy you are, it’s hard to get excited about boiled chicken and broccoli. We all know that exercise releases feel-good endorphins, but, at the same time, intensive workouts can leave us feeling worn out, exhausted and stiff. When all that effort doesn’t seem to be paying off, we’re often left asking, “why bother?” It’s a knockback for even the most dedicated among us.
And then, there’s the destructive vicious cycle. You’re disappointed with your progress, so you question the entire process and start indulging in self-defeating behaviors. You break your diet and skip a gym session, but then you feel guilty and frustrated with yourself. You miss another gym session and treat yourself to a bar of chocolate to make yourself feel better. On and on it goes – a cycle of negativity that leaves you feeling worthless, unmotivated and a failure. The good news? You can break that cycle.
Weight loss isn’t all a case of “no pain, no gain.” Setting out on your weight loss journey shouldn’t feel like a form of punishment: it’s a positive step towards a more healthy you. Even if you don’t get ripped, the benefits of a new, healthy regime are well worth the effort. The key is to embrace your body and celebrate your efforts, not just focus on your successes – or lack thereof. Massage is one of the best and easiest ways to cultivate a positive relationship with your body. It puts you in touch with your body, literally.
The soothing and nurturing effects of a massage relax an overworked mind and help you feel good about your body. Taking some time for yourself and to indulge in a bit of self-care helps put a stop to negative thought cycles. Through learning to love your body, you’re also more likely to be consistent in your efforts.
The Best Massage Techniques for Melting Fat
Not only does massage improve your connection to your body and dispel negative thoughts, but it also has scientifically proven weight loss benefits. Regardless of what you’re looking for, there’s a massage for you. But if you’re on the weight loss train, which types of massage are most effective?
- Kick the Cravings with an Aromatherapy Massage
If sticking to your diet is the hardest part of your new health kick, you’re engaged in a daily battle with your treats cupboard or you regularly break your diet when you need a little pick-me-up after a long day, an aromatherapy massage is the perfect solution. Designed to stop your cravings in their tracks using oils extracted from leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds, this massage stimulates your senses to make you feel more relaxed and in control.
Our eating habits are intimately connected to our emotions. When we feel anxious or stressed, we’re far more likely to reach for that cookie jar or bucket of fried chicken. Eating your feelings may feel good for a moment and satisfy your cravings, but fast forward a few hours and you feel sluggish, lethargic and, worst of all, guilty for indulging. On the flip side, when you feel calm and relaxed, you’re more in tune with your body and are able to make smart decisions about the food you eat. Rather than grabbing a greasy slice of pizza, you intuitively choose the food your body actually needs – without even realizing it.
The overpowering scents of the oils used in aromatherapy massages are combined with rhythmic strokes on the body to restore a sense of peace and order in our minds, allowing us to finally conquer our cravings.
- Detox Your System with a Lymphatic Massage
A lymphatic massage is the ultimate in fat-busting massage techniques. If you want a streamlined waist and a toned body, this is the massage for you. First used in the 1930s as a way to stimulate lymphatic drainage, this kind of massage rids the lymphatic system of toxins and waste. The lymphatic system is a series of tubes which transport fatty acids around the body. When we overindulge in sugary, processed foods, this system becomes blocked up, causing unwanted puffiness and swelling.
Using rhythmic strokes that specifically target the lymph nodes, a lymphatic massage flushes out these blockages. After one too many slices of Papa John’s, this kind of massage helps to re-balance your body. But the benefits don’t stop there. A lymphatic massage can also temporarily alter your body by acting as a diuretic to rid your body of excess fluid – perfect if you need to squeeze into that party dress and an effective quick fix if ever we saw one.
Other fat-busting benefits of this kind of massage include improved digestion, circulation and metabolism. We all know that the higher your metabolism, the more calories you burn, even in a rested state. A massage is a workout in itself, one that will help you burn fat without you having to do anything. For more intensive results, an abdominal massage is a great variation on the classic. While this massage also rids toxins in the body, it specifically focuses on your abs to supercharge your digestive system. This will leave you feeling revived and rejuvenated, and it might even make that underlying six-pack start to show.
- Tackle Cottage Cheese Thighs with an Anti-Cellulite Massage
If you’ve lost a ton of weight, but you’re still feeling insecure about, and embarrassed by, cellulite, this is the massage for you. Cellulite affects over 90% of women. While it’s completely natural and nothing to be ashamed of, many of us recoil from cottage cheese thighs and forgo our favorite mini-skirts in favor of something more demure. Unfortunately, cellulite is a reality whatever your weight, so shedding those extra pounds won’t necessarily get rid of it. In fact, there’s no known cure, but a vigorous anti-cellulite massage can certainly help.
Cellulite is fat that forms beneath the skin, creating dimples over the thighs, abdomen and glutes. The lumpy texture occurs when fat cells build up in the fibrous tissue that connects your skin to your muscles. Fat cells are pushed and pulled between the layers of the epidermis, causing dimples to emerge.
An anti-cellulite massage improves circulation in these areas to disperse built-up fat cells – it literally busts your fat. Although the results won’t last forever, an anti-cellulite massage can reduce the appearance of your cellulite for up to six months. To really tackle cellulite, consistency is key. Over time, your circulation will improve, meaning the build-up of fatty cells will become less common. You don’t even need to visit a massage therapist to enjoy these benefits — you can do it yourself. Use a handheld massager with intense vibrations over the parts of your body affected to shake up those fatty cells, all from the comfort of your own home.
Showing yourself some self-love and getting body positive doesn’t have to be difficult. Incorporating massage into your clean diet and exercise regime is an easy way to kickstart your new healthy life and achieve the results you’ve always dreamed of. The most important part is to stay positive throughout the process, which is made so much easier with the relaxing benefits of massage.
Author bio: Anthony R. Izzo is the owner of truMedic, a personal health and wellness business that sells the highest quality home massage and pain relief equipment at affordable prices.