The Power of Self-Compassion

When it comes to sticking to a diet, we’ve all experienced those moments of slipping up – perhaps indulging in an unplanned treat or deviating from our meal plan. These instances can often leave us feeling guilty and frustrated, questioning our willpower and dedication. However, recent research suggests that practising self-compassion could be the key to overcoming these setbacks and staying on track with our weight loss goals.

Understanding Dietary Lapses

A recent study involving individuals striving to lose weight examined how they responded emotionally to dietary slip-ups, known as “dietary lapses.” These lapses, triggered by factors like hunger and stress, not only hinder progress but also lead to negative feelings such as guilt and shame, which can derail our efforts.

The study further delved into three core aspects of self-compassion:

  • Mindfulness: Being aware of our thoughts and feelings without judgment.
  • Common Humanity: Recognising that we’re not alone in facing challenges, fostering a sense of connection.
  • Self-Kindness: Treating ourselves with kindness and understanding, especially during tough times

Key Findings

The research revealed that all elements of self-compassion were linked to reduced negativity following dietary lapses. However, showing ourselves kindness emerged as particularly beneficial, helping us regain a sense of control and resilience. By practising self-kindness, we can bounce back from setbacks and continue our weight loss journey with renewed determination.

Practical Insights for Everyday Life

  • Normalising Dietary Lapses: Understanding that slip-ups are a normal part of any weight loss journey can alleviate feelings of failure. Realising that everyone faces challenges on their path to better health fosters a more compassionate attitude towards ourselves and others.
  • Embracing Self-Kindness: Responding to dietary slip-ups with self-compassion, particularly self-kindness, empowers us to move forward without self-criticism. By being gentle with ourselves and treating mistakes as learning opportunities, we can overcome setbacks more effectively.
  • Distinguishing Compassion from Complacency: Practising self-compassion doesn’t mean giving up on our goals or becoming complacent. Instead, it helps us accept setbacks without losing sight of our long-term aspirations. By cultivating resilience and self-acceptance, we can stay committed to our health journey while navigating the ups and downs along the way.

In the journey towards weight loss and healthier eating habits, self-compassion emerges as a valuable tool for managing setbacks and maintaining motivation. By embracing self-kindness and recognising our shared human experience, we can cultivate a mindset that supports our well-being and resilience. Let self-compassion guide you towards a healthier, happier lifestyle, one step at a time.


Hagerman CJ, Ehmann MM, Taylor LC, Forman EM. The role of self-compassion and its individual components in adaptive responses to dietary lapses. Appetite. 2023 Nov 1;190:107009–9.

Decoding the Diet Battle: Vegan vs. Omnivorous – What You Need to Know

Ever wondered what would happen if veganism went head-to-head with the classic omnivorous lifestyle? Well, buckle up because we’re about to spill the beans on a groundbreaking study that unraveled the mysteries behind these dietary powerhouses.

The Showdown

Imagine the scene: forks clashing with knives, fruits gearing up against flanks and shanks. In a recent face-off, researchers from Stanford University orchestrated a showdown between 22 sets of identical twins. One twin in each duo embraced the vegan life for eight weeks, while their counterpart stuck to the omnivorous route. It was a diet duel for the ages!

Guess who emerged as the victor? The vegans, hands down! Not only did they shed more weight than their omnivorous counterparts, but they also flaunted improved health markers. Lower fasting insulin and LDL cholesterol levels were their badges of honour, while the omnivores remained relatively unchanged. A surprise victory, but there’s more to the story.

The Plot Twists

The vegan warriors did experience a dip in ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL) and a drop in vitamin B12 levels, but nothing to lose sleep over. Differences in fiber and saturated fat intake, especially from legumes and whole grains, played a role in these changes.

Here’s What You Need to Know

  • Balanced Choices Trump Extreme Diets: Whether you’re team vegan or omnivorous, the key is balance. Extreme diets might bring short-term wins, but the real victory lies in making sustainable, balanced choices. It’s all about long-term health, not a quick fix.
  • Navigating the Learning Curve: Thinking of tiptoeing into a more plant-based lifestyle? Take it easy! Gradual changes are the secret sauce. Swap out a meaty dinner for a plant-powered one once a week. It’s about progress, not perfection.
  • Universality of Healthy Eating: Here’s the golden rule: healthy eating is universal. Load up on minimally processed foods, get that protein in, and paint your plate with a rainbow of fruits and veggies. Your body will thank you, whether you’re munching on kale or embracing the occasional steak.

In the end, it’s not about declaring a winner in the diet duel. It’s about finding what works for you – a diet that fuels your energy, supports your health, and lets you enjoy the journey. So, whether you’re slicing into a juicy steak or savouring a vibrant salad, here’s to a healthy, balanced life!


The Potato Paradox: Rediscovering this Nutrient Powerhouse

Our culture has not always been kind to the humble potato. For generations, “peeling potatoes” was synonymous with punishment and drudgery. Today, potatoes are often considered a treat only in their “worst” forms, such as chips or fries. But even when they’re baked or boiled, potatoes are sometimes still disparaged. Low-carb advocates highlight that 90 percent of the potato’s calories come from neither protein nor fat, while others compare them unfavourably to sweet potatoes. However, a recent study aims to debunk the myths and misinformation surrounding the simple spud, advocating for a more prominent role in a healthy diet.


In the past, doctors and nutritionists often oversimplified carbohydrates and fats, with the former viewed as vastly superior. While some recognized the complexity, differentiating between types of fats was easier than categorizing carbohydrates. However, models like the 10:1 ratio of fibre to carbohydrates sought to differentiate “high quality” and “low quality” carbohydrates. This classification placed starchy vegetables, including potatoes, in the same category as highly-processed foods.

What the Study Found

In this study, scientists re-assessed carb-rich foods with additional criteria like mineral content and energy density. Interestingly, starchy vegetables, including potatoes, scored well in these assessments, sometimes even surpassing whole grains. This aligns more with the nutrient content of potatoes and offers a better perspective on their nutritional value.

A Potential Conflict of Interest

The study received support from industry groups, which should be noted but doesn’t necessarily invalidate the findings. It’s crucial to consider potential biases in such cases. While industry-funded studies are common, transparency and sound methodology are key.

Key Takeaways
  • Potatoes Deserve a Second Look: It’s time to reconsider the role of potatoes in your diet. Don’t let myths about their nutritional value hold you back. Both sweet and white potatoes offer essential nutrients, low energy density, and unique benefits.
  • Feel Full and Satisfied: Despite their reputation, potatoes are incredibly satisfying. They rank high on the satiety index, keeping you fuller for longer. This means you can enjoy them without constantly feeling hungry.
  • It’s About Preparation: The real issue with potatoes often lies in how we prepare and top them. Instead of blaming the spud, focus on healthier cooking methods and toppings. Small changes can lead to more significant improvements over time.

Rediscover the potato as a versatile and nutritious addition to your meals. It’s time to separate fact from fiction and enjoy this humble yet powerful vegetable.


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