Losing weight isn’t just a physical struggle. It’s also a battle against your mind. Cravings will rear their ugly heads, your discipline might falter, and your self-confidence could dip unexpectedly. So how do we fight this battle with our own minds? What are some good strategies for maintaining mental discipline? Nobody said it was easy, but there are some great tips out there for those who are fighting that demon on their shoulder that’s telling them to just give up and drink that extra chocolate espresso Frappuccino! The psychology of weight loss is a complex thing, but when you understand it you will be very well equipped to lose tons of weight fast.
1. Set Goals
One of the best ways to get your mind ready for the unnerving task of losing weight is to set goals. This is a tactic that can be used for pretty much any situation, but it’s especially useful with the psychology of weight loss. When you set realistic goals for yourself, you can tackle things one pound at a time. Losing hundreds of pounds may see impossible, but when you split it up into segments of a a few pounds each month, it starts to seem a lot more doable. Don’t stress if you don’t meet your goals, just try extra hard next time and focus on the next month. These goals should be written down, not just vague ideas in your head. Pin that list of goals to your fridge with a magnet, and you’ll be amazed at what you can get done.
2. Reward Yourself
Along with setting goals, a good way to make weight loss seem a lot more doable is to have rewards for each goal you’ve attained. For example, tell yourself that if you lose ten pounds this month, you’ll buy yourself that fancy new wristwatch you’ve been eyeing. Don’t cheat, and this will make losing weight seem like a much more positive thing than if the only reward is to move on to the next goal. It’s another way you trick your mind into thinking that the light at the end of the tunnel is just a little but further. This is a great trick for the psychology of weight loss. You can also reward yourself by eating your favorite snack or junk food. Yes, even if it’s unhealthy. Once or twice a month isn’t going to hurt, and if the junk food is “earned” then it will motivate you to lose even more weight in the future.
3. Reduce Stress
Studies have shown that high stress levels make it a lot more difficult for people to lose weight. This is for a number of reasons. First of all, many people over eat when they get stressed. Too much strain can cause them to break down and revert to old eating habits, like inhaling cake or ice cream. In addition, stress actually has a physical effect on our body by making us much less healthy. Most illnesses and ailments are caused by stress. Because of this, our systems are less able to get rid of fat. The solution is simple. Relax! Don’t get too stressed out about things that don’t matter. Take deep breaths, do things that help you calm down, and find ways to laugh. One of the best ways to relax is to meditate, and this will also help you focus on your weight loss goals.
4. Take Note Of Barriers
It’s not a good idea to be too hard on yourself when trying to lose weight. As previously mentioned, you shouldn’t worry too much when you don’t achieve a goal. In addition, this will only stress you out, making it harder to lose weight. Instead of getting frustrated with yourself when you lose discipline, take a second to think. Ask yourself why you lost focus. What was it that made you give in to your cravings? When you’ve figured out what caused to eat that cake or ice cream, you can take not of it and you will be better equipped to deal with it or avoid it in the future. The psychology of weight loss demands that you approach your own body and mind with a very scientific mindset. Try to view it all as an experiment. If you think about what caused the slip-up, instead of just blindly getting mad at yourself, you can improve your discipline and be ready the next time you face that barrier.
5. Replace Your Favorite Foods With Healthier Versions
Everyone has an Achilles heel when it comes to weight loss. For some people it’s potato chips, for others it’s brownies, and for others still it’s frappuccinos. Your mind has actually become addicted to these foods, and this is very important in the psychology of weight loss. A great tactic is to use these addictions to actually help you lose weight. Whatever addiction is, there’s probably an alternative out there that looks and tastes just like your favorite snack, but with half the calories and a lot more nutrition. Examples would be vegetable chips instead of potato chips, or a fruit smoothie instead of a frappuccino. What you’re doing is tricking you mind into thinking your satisfying that craving (which you are), but instead of being detrimental to you health and weight loss path, these foods actually help.
Another great tactic that will help you with the psychology of weight loss is portioning. This is a simple and effective tactic. What it involves is simply taking your snacks and splitting them into portions, usually with a zip-loc bag or container of some kind. When you feel like snacking, don’t feel guilty about grabbing one of these portions and munching on them. When you finish the portion, you will most likely feel full and satisfied. This is because splitting snacks into portions tricks your mind into thinking you’ve eaten more than you actually have. When you finish a bag full of nuts, for example, you feel like you’ve “finished it all,” even if that bag of nuts contains less nuts than you’d normally eat. Not only is your mind tricked, but your stomach feels full as well.
7. Distract Yourself
Anyone who’s ever tried to lose weight knows that craving can rear their ugly heads when you least expect it. So how do you prepare to deal with them? A great tactic that uses the psychology of weight loss to your benefit is to come up with distractions. Take a notepad and write down ten things that really occupy your mind. Things like video games, sports, or doing chores are perfect for distracting you from your cravings. These can also be things that help you clear your mind, like going for a walk, bird-watching, or painting a picture. When you’ve got that list ready, as soon as you get a craving to eat those brownies you can distract yourself with those activities. You’ll be surprised at how fast the cravings will fade to the back of your mind.
8. Try Not To Watch Too Much Television
Television is your worst enemy when it comes to losing weight. Think about how many times you’ve seen food advertised on TV in a way that just makes you want to go out and buy it that second. These commercials utilize powerful techniques that really target your mind. They know how to make you crave that burger or ice cream sundae. You see the cheese melting in slow motion, the look of pure bliss as the actor eats each bite. These things are designed to make us lose discipline and give in to the cravings of these unhealthy foods. And these commercials are very good at what they do. The scariest thing is you might not even realize the effect these subliminal messages have. The best way to avoid being exposed to this is to avoid watching television. Anything without advertisements, like Netflix, is totally fine.
9. Enjoy Every Bite
Another great tip to help with the psychology of weight loss is to really slow down and enjoy every bite. When we eat too fast, we don’t experience of pleasure when we eat. When we allow ourselves to taste every little detail of our food, the meal becomes much more satisfying, and in turn we become less likely to eat more food afterwards. Again, this is a way to fool our minds and stomachs into feeling like we’re more full than we actually are. In addition, this tactic can also help when we make the switch from a diet consisting of mostly junk food to a diet with more nutritious and healthy food. These more healthy options may be less tasty at first, but when you really slow down and enjoy each bite, you start to enjoy all the subtleties of a nutritious meal. When you really focus on how a meal makes you feel, as opposed to how it tastes, you will realize that healthy options can be very bit as addictive as junk food.
10 Boost Your Self-Confidence
The number one hurdle you will have to overcome when it comes to weight-loss is your self-confidence. This is a major part of the psychology of weight loss. Chances are, your weight is already contributing to low self-confidence, and that needs to change immediately. You’re never going to succeed if you feel like you can’t win, so amp yourself up and really start believing that you can do this. If you don’t keep your morale up, every time you give in to your cravings will make you feel like you’re destined to fail, and you will be tempted to just give up. There are many ways to keep your self-confidence high, such as setting realistic goals and achieving them, or even more adventurous options such as counselling or even setting your phone to send you motivational messages every day.