What is our greatest resource when setting a weight loss goal? Our mind is usually overlooked when it comes to weight loss. The priority is usually on which diet and what exercise to do. The weight loss equation taught by the dieting industry:
Right Food + Right Quantity + Right Exercise = Weight Loss
When dieting, our thoughts have been trained to go immediately to what we should and shouldn’t eat and how to squeeze exercise into our week.
Our mind isn’t considered as a resource in that diet equation. We assume (or for some of us who have not been able to follow through in the past), we cross our fingers that willpower will be the thing that carries us through to our goal.
For successful long-term weight loss, however, we need to consider a new equation. The mind and how it has been programmed to think in times of stress plays the most significant role of all in weight loss. When things are going well, diet and exercise do work short-term. If you add a bad day, or worse still a stressful week into the mix, it is our mind (both conscious thoughts and subconscious beliefs) that over-rides our willpower to eat right and exercise.
Sarah, a 38-year-old mother of two, is a prime example of how leaving the mind out of the weight loss equation creates frustration, and ultimately the disappointment.
Sarah had tried more than 15 different formal diets in the past two decades (and umpteen fad options). When life was going well, Sarah loved to exercise, and her eating was relatively healthy. But it only took one or two interruptions to her routine and Sarah’s stress levels created internal chaos.
As that shift happened, Sarah’s willpower would cave in, and she'd back to where she started, often a kilogram or two heavier. Weeks, sometimes months would go by before she’d find the energy to start over. Only next time, Sarah had an extra challenge. Her mind was filled with more doubts. “What if I fail again?”, “Can I be bothered, this takes too long.”
Once Sarah factored into the equation, her mind and how it reacted to stress, weight loss was a far smoother ride.
Long-Term Weight Loss Equation
Healthy Trained Mind & Focus + Food Choices + Movement = Long-Term Weight Loss
Before starting on a diet or an exercise regimen, ensure that your mind has been trained to focus on the same page as your goal.
Here are 5 ways to train your mind and have weight-loss success:
1. Write out a short scenario of your healthiest day. See yourself happily making healthy food choices, exercising the way you like to and easily drinking lots of water. End your scene imagining yourself lying on the bed, thinking about how proud you are for the choices you made and how healthy you feel inside. Experience it with all of your senses activated. Imagine how proud you are, experience the natural motivation you felt and how easy it was.
2. Mind rehearse that scenario for 2-3 minutes every morning and night. When you frequently focus your mind on a scene like this, your subconscious mind encodes the image as if it’s actually happening. Your brain begins to change as new neural connections are made. The more that idea is imprinted on your mind, the more your mind instinctively guides you into doing everything possible to achieve that outcome. Repeating the scenario creates the neural connections in your brain for these new habits to become set in stone. Within no time, your mind is supporting you to practice these habits.
3. When your mind triggers unhelpful cravings or inappropriate stress eating patterns, take a deep breath, yawn, stretch and roll your eyes in a big circle slowly clockwise and then anti-clockwise. You’ll notice the urge to reach for that food is diminished.
4. Consult with your body and stomach about which foods to choose. If you ask your body how it will feel a half an hour after eating the food you’re about to eat, your body will indicate with a sensation; or your mind with an instant thought whether that food will make you feel better or worse physically. If the food can be easily digested, a light and pleasant experience will be perceived. You'll experience a heavy or bloated feeling if your body is rejecting the food choice. When your mind and your goals are aligned, your body will always naturally indicate the healthiest, lightest option.
5. If you’d like help to make this even easier, reach out to me personally at [email protected] Or request to join me on one of my FREE webinar training.
Remember – when subconscious programming, the conscious mind, your beliefs, and habits are in conflict with your goals, then what's programmed at the subconscious level of your mind always wins.
Add a few minutes every day to focus on your mind, and it’s programming, and everything else will begin to fall into place. The weight loss equation will seem far more natural than you thought.
Maggie Wilde – The Potentialist Award-winning Author of Unzip the Fat Suit Using Your Mind www.thepotentialist.com