A common question we receive about hemp is, “Can it help me lose weight?”.
One might expect a self-described health company like us to display our product’s weight management information in sky writing – after all, weight loss products are an easy sell! However, we at HempE pride ourselves on being both a heart-lead business that puts our principles before our pocketbooks, and an evidence-based information and education center, ensuring that truth trumps profit. As such, we would like to unpack this loaded question, and offer what we believe is an accurate, but fresh, perspective.
Sometimes, when someone is asking about weight loss, they are actually asking, “Will this product improve my health?” The answer, of course, is an emphatic YES! Hemp is an excellent source of Protein, Essential Fatty Acids, Vitamin E, and more! We’ve written about some of the ways it can improve your health in past blogs, which you can read here, here and here.
Other times, the question means just what it says, “Will it make me skinny?”. We, as a culture, have become obsessed with thinness. We have come to see it as synonymous with health, and even as a barometer for worthiness. We have created a toxic climate that fosters disordered eating, mental illness, and shame.
Of course, acting as your own bus driver, you are allowed to choose whatever path to health you feel called to, including intentional weight loss. There are a lot of articles that support the idea that hemp will aid you in your weight loss journey, which you can read here, or here, or literally thousands of places that a quick Google search will reveal to you. However, before you go, we would like to offer some ways you can support your mind and spirit while you seek health for your body:
- Honor your hunger: Our bodies are amazingly intuitive, and if we pay attention, they are actually telling us exactly what they need to be healthy and satisfied. Often, diets ask us to ignore what our body is telling us, but by doing this we are undermining our bodies inherent wisdom. If we deny ourselves for too long, we trigger a biological (not psychological) drive to overeat, and we eventually lose the ability to hear what our body is saying at all!
- Give yourself permission to eat – the ‘Satisfaction Factor’: These days most of us have sectioned off a portion of our psyche for the Food Police to obsess over every calorie. The Food Police are the ones with the internal megaphone that tell you you’re ‘good’ if you eat nothing but celery, or ‘bad’ if you enjoy a cookie. We get so wrapped up in our anxiety fueled self-denial that we overlook one of the most basic blessings of life – the pleasure and satisfaction we gain from eating good food. The Food Police won’t tell you this, but when you allow yourself to eat what you really want, the pleasure you gain from that experience is a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied. If you do this while listening to your body, you’ll find that you need a lot less food to decide you’ve had ‘enough’.
- Respect your fullness: Slow down, breathe, taste your food and listen to what your body is saying. When we are present in our bodies while we eat, not only do we enjoy the experience of eating more, we are also more likely to hear our body tell us when we are comfortably full.
- Honor your feelings without using food: Negative feelings, such as anxiety, loneliness, boredom or anger are very difficult emotions to sit with. It is natural to seek comfort or even just numbness from the pain. Food may feel nice for the short term, but it doesn’t solve the problem. If anything, once the food hangover wears off, we are left with the same difficult emotions along with a dollop of food shame on the side. Sooner or later, you’ll be left to deal with the source of your pain, as well as that bloaty feeling.
- Respect your body: Your body is worthy of love and respect just as it is, in this moment. Really. Our bodies do so much for us every day and we don’t always remember to treat them with gentleness and gratitude. When we learn to respect our bodies, and let go of our self-criticism, we can finally seek a more holistic health that supports our mind and spirit, as well as our body.
- Pleasurable Movement: Cross fit will definitely get your heart pumping, and if this is your jam then high fives all around. However, if your local gym feels more like a medieval torture chamber to you, it can be hard to motivate yourself to stop pressing the snooze button to get there on time. This is especially true when we are exercising because we are unhappy with our bodies and not because they are precious, and we want to take care of them. Find an activity that brings you a sense of joy and connection with your body. Go for a walk in the park, pick up a hula hoop, join a soccer team, find something that is accessible to you, and makes you feel good in your body. There are more ways to fitness than burpees and flipping tractor tires.
- Honor your health: While it is true that our diets don’t have to be perfect, we still need to make food choices that honor both our taste buds and our health. Consistently adding nutritious choices, like hemp, to your diet can go a long way towards making you feel well. That is, after all, what we at HempE are really here for. We want to honor your health, the health of your family, and the health of our planet, with love. We want you to know that no matter what path to wellness you chose, you are worthy of gentleness, respect and delicious food.