Losing Weight by Using Your Mind!
With Easter just around the corner, we know summer isn’t far away. If thoughts of summer normally leave you dreading baring all in shorts or on the beach then read on for some tips of how you can use your mind to help you lose weight just in time!
It is really worthwhile exploring the reasons that you want to lose weight. What has changed that has motivated you to commit to losing weight at this time? I encourage clients to write down all the reasons that come to mind. Examples include to feel more confident, to fit my clothes, to set a good example for my kids, to feel more comfortable in my body, to be able to reduce my medication, to be able to enjoy exercise, and on and on.
Some people like to write these reasons out on a piece of paper and keep it somewhere they can read daily. These reasons or ‘your why’ will be really helpful on the days you struggle as they will remind you why you are wanting to change.
Believe you can do it
If you belief you can do something then you are much more likely to be motivated to do. One way to increase your beliefs that you can exercise and eat healthily is by taking smalls steps and gaining successes so gradually your confidence increases. Being around supportive people who believe in you will help too. Improving your self-believe and having support both increase the likelihood that you will stick to your new behavior too.
Mindfulness plays a big role in weight loss, especially when it comes to our eating. Have you ever opened a bag of crisps and before you knew you were reaching for more and realized the whole bag was gone and you didn’t remember eating them! Mindfulness is the complete opposite to this, it is about enjoying and savouring every bite you eat. When we do this we are much more aware of what and how much we are eating and so tend to eat less and enjoy our food more.
Listen to your emotions
We are all guilty of comfort eating and sometimes it’s not such a bad thing as it takes our mind off the uncomfortable feelings we are might not be ready to deal with. When reaching for the ice-cream tub becomes a habit though, then it is time to start to pay attention to those feelings that need to be addressed. A simple way to start is the HALT method – ask yourself are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Quite often it is one of these emotions and once you recognized and name it, it is often lessens the drive for comfort eating.
Don’t get on the wagon
Losing weight is not an all or nothing process. It is not a case of either being ‘on the wagon’ or ‘off it’. This type of thinking around weight loss is detrimental as it sets us up for failure as no one is ever going to be able to stick to a rigid plan forever. This is why 95% of people who lose weight thought dieting regain it all again.
What you have to do is realize that creating a healthier lifestyle is about making as many healthy choices as you can – it’s not about perfection. Start to focus on your decisions one at a time – if you don’t make a healthy choice for lunch – that’s ok, learn from it and move on and make a healthier choice for dinner. This way the focus is on trying to make as many healthy choices as you can – not beating yourself up if you make one unhealthy decision.