The diet industry might have you believe that losing weight is all about calories in vs. calories out, but you should know weight loss is beyond this simple math. Losing weight is intrinsically connected to your beliefs, emotion, and psychology.
In some ways, the math makes it a lot simpler but why hasn’t it worked for you? While it has worked for some people, 98% of them ends up regaining their lost weight once the diet ends. Despite the weight loss efforts of many Americans, about 70% of the population is still either obese or overweight.
Making lifestyle changes committed to weight loss is not as simple as it sounds, especially in the aspect of foods choices. Once you make up your mind about making these changes, you find yourself falling back into the old habits.
Why is it so hard to simply make this decision and stick to it? Dr. Howard Rankin, an expert on behavioural change states that addiction, depression, stress, and anxiety can limit the conscious control of our behaviors.
Even if all these mentioned factors that limit our control over our behaviors are eliminated, there are millions of people who still wouldn’t be able to stick to their decision to get rid of excess weight.
This can as well happen to you if you do not mentally prepare yourself for lasting weight loss. Dr. Howard mentioned that one’s state of consciousness, mood or the context also affect people’s resolve to lose weight.
Besides, it is not easy to persuade the brains to do something it is not used to doing. Generally, success requires learning how to be very good at doing the same thing over and over again and you need the right mindset for this. These are things you need to keep in mind before embarking on a detox or weight loss diet.
- Eat regular meals: skipping meals slows down your metabolism, makes you crave unhealthy snacks and treats later, which can negatively affect your weight loss journey and health.
- For your motivation; focus on a change of heart instead of having a change of mind. You can’t expect to lose weight just because you change what and how much you eat. Get in touch with your deepest and heartfelt desires.
- Just like a muscle needs to be exercised and strengthened, you also need to practice self-control. Resisting temptation gives you greater self-control.
- Get rid of sugar addiction. Avoid sugar-laden foods.
- You absolutely need others to lose weight and get fit but avoid people with dieter’s mindsets. You will need the support of your family and friends to make the changes necessary for your weight management goals.
- Pay more attention to stress management, sleep better and improve your mood.
- Know the difference between the desire to eat and hunger.
- Be confident in the face of relapse.
- Focus on feeling satisfied with food than being completely full.
- Don’t fall in the trap of “I need to lose 10 pounds” or “I need to lose 20kg before my high school reunion” because once you achieve that, you will relax.
- Accountability is very important for long-term weight loss maintenance. Stop obsessing over daily weigh-ins, mirror checking or skin fold clutching.
- Avoid harsh self-critics. Stop seeing yourself as fat and ugly because you think things aren’t working the way they should.
The mind is a very important tool you can take advantage of to prepare yourself for lasting weight loss. Having the right mindset will make almost any weight loss program effective. Weight loss is not a race that you need to run with a diet for 6 months and end it. Be realistic with your weight loss expectations and focus on long-term goals.