How Your Needs Impact Your Body & Weight

Jan 24, 2024


Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in 1943. This theory suggests that human beings have five basic categories of needs that must be fulfilled in order for them to achieve personal fulfillment and growth.

At the base of the hierarchy are physiological needs, which include the need for food, water, shelter, and other basic necessities. Once these needs are met, individuals can move on to the next level, which is safety needs. This includes the need for physical safety, security, and stability.

After safety needs are met, individuals move on to the next level, which is love and belonging. This includes the need for friendship, intimacy, and a sense of community. Once these needs are met, individuals can move on to the next level, which is esteem needs. This includes the need for respect, recognition, and a sense of accomplishment.

Finally, at the top of the hierarchy are self-actualization needs. This includes the need for personal growth, creativity, and fulfillment of one's potential.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a useful tool for understanding what motivates human behavior and what individuals need in order to be happy and fulfilled. By understanding this theory, we can strive to create environments that support the needs of individuals and help them achieve their full potential. Let's relate this to the body and weight.



Basic Needs

These include physiological needs like food, water, warmth, and rest. Ask yourself, are you truly resting? What do you need to truly rest? Safety needs like security and safety are also important. Do you feel safe and secure? What do you need to feel safe and secure?

Psychological Needs

These needs relate to belongingness/love needs like intimate relationships and friends, and esteem needs like prestige and feelings of accomplishment. You should identify what you need in order to have intimate relationships, high-quality friends, and feel accomplished. Shift your focus from productivity to accomplishment.

Self-Fulfillment Needs

Self-actualization, which refers to achieving one's full potential including creative activities, is crucial. Identify what you need in order to feel fulfilled, what drains you, what gives you energy, and what makes you excited. Reflect on what you loved to do as a child and how you want to spend your time.

Creating Your Ideal Life

Identify what you want your average day to look like and what does your ideal life look like? What are you doing that you don’t want to do? What you not doing that you want to do? The easiest way to have your ideal body is to create your ideal life so your body has no choice but to transform.

Fulfilling Needs Leads to a Happy Body

When you give your body what it needs, it can perform optimally. Your body knows how to heal wounds, pump blood, digest food, and even burn fat. Give it an environment to do so and then step back.

Understanding Weight Gain

Weight gain happens as a way for your body to communicate to you that it needs something different. It does not necessarily mean it needs a change in food/exercise. It may need more rest, love, appreciation, presence, forgiveness, etc. Greet weight gain with curiosity and then problem solve to figure out what you need more and less of.

Self Care: Prioritizing Yourself

Do you take care of yourself the same way you do others? Why are you prioritized differently? Self care is the process of understanding and fulfilling your own needs. It's important to get over any guilt you feel about prioritizing yourself and move towards self-love and acceptance.

Eliminating Self Sabotage

You only do what you want to do. Prioritizing consists of choosing the things that feel most important to you. If it comes a choice between something you loath doing and something you love or just like a little, you will always pick the latter. Eliminate the things you really don’t want to do, pick a different method to accomplish them, or change your mind about the thing you don't want to do. This often includes an identity shift.

Trusting Yourself

Trust the voice that asks for rest when you planned to run, for exercise when you planned to eat a pint of ice cream, and to listen to your intuitive thoughts. Trust that your body will seek balance and you will never swing one way for too long.

Final Thoughts

To remove weight permanently, you need to honor and fulfill your needs. Remember, your journey to permanent weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint. Take one day at a time and trust the process.