When dieters and experts start to talk about the power of thought in weight loss, it is easy for skeptics to dismiss these ideas as new-age psychobabble and insist that only strict diet and exercise will work.
It may not be possible to will yourself thin with good intentions and mentally banish all those unwanted pounds, but you don’t have to take such drastic steps as hypnosis and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy either.
There is a middle ground where positive thinking, visualization and mindfulness can all help dieters on the road to weight loss and better health.
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Positive Thinking & Perceptions on Diet and Exercise
Diet and exercise are easy targets for negative thought. Diets are created by saying no to the foods we like and focusing on restrictions and limitations.
Exercise is the result of us forcing ourselves into tough, daily sessions that feel like a chore. It is therefore no surprise that so many of us feel the need to cheat every now and then, or to give up entirely.
Switching from a negative attitude to a positive one and looking at the regime in a new light can be tough.
Instead of focusing on the food you can’t eat and denying yourself your favorite foods, focus on what you can eat in moderation and work on smaller steps.
A food journal can really help here as it records clear achievements and progress.
Perhaps you limited yourself to one high-calorie drink at the coffee house as a weekend treat or substituted your milk for a low-fat option.
Journals can also help with exercise regimes as they can record every achievement, no matter how small they seem.
One of the biggest obstacles with weight loss is setting unrealistic, long-term goals.
You may want to lose a few stone in the long run, but goals need to be broken down to see the progress. Every small gain that is recorded helps to reinforce the idea that the regime can really work.
This means every pound and inch lost, every extra mile on the exercise machine and every other success.
Recording the data is one thing, but recording the feeling can be just as helpful for positive thinking and ongoing success.
How does it feel to see more definition in your waist or to be able to touch your toes for the first time in years?
Visualization, Better Future and a Clearer Goal
Weight loss regimes are easily impeded by negative thought that keep us in the past. Instead of thinking about the better, healthier person we could be with an improved regime, we often find ourselves trapped by negative thoughts about the person we have become and the problems with our diet and exercise.
In order to move forward and break away from past mistakes, it can help to visualize the future.
Take time to imagine yourself at your ideal weight, wearing the clothes in the back of the wardrobe that your had given up on and surrounded by friends complementing your on your success.
The more vivid the image, the clearer the goal.
With this image in mind it is then time to use that, and your new positive attitude to work towards it.
Success here can depend on whether you see that visualization as a vision of something obtainable or just a dream.
This image can be a great motivational tool when an exercise regime or diet becomes tough because there is a clear prize for succeeding with it.
It can also help to personalize a diet and make it more realistic.
If you see your future self with a flatter stomach or a skinnier thighs, you can use that to encourage yourself through the most suitable forms of exercise.
Mindfulness For a More Positive Approach
If visualization is all about looking ahead to the future and the slimmer, healthier person that you want to become, mindfulness is all about the present.
A diet and exercise regime can all too easily be seen as a chore, something to push through and suffer in order to see the benefits later on.
Mindfulness and mindful eating turns this on its head to allow users to live in that moment and appreciate it for what it really is.
A big problem for many dieters is that of emotional eating. Stress, unhappiness and other negative emotions can lead to comfort eating.
After days of punishment by denying ourselves the food we love and crave, something breaks and we run back to the items of food that inhibit our progress.
The best approach here is to use mindful eating to train the mind to appreciate the colors, textures, tastes and smells of each meal and to find enjoyment in this new diet.
Small amounts of chocolate or cake are fine in moderation, so take the time to savour that small treat for what it is.
It is also suggested that dieters that eat slow, considered bites and take the time to appreciate their food are more likely to stick to smaller portions and reduce their cravings.
Mindfulness in weight loss doesn’t just apply to eating because as torturous as it may sound to newcomers, mindfulness has its place in exercise too.
If you can create that deeper mental connection to your physical actions, you can appreciate the efforts you put it and the effect it is having.
Every stretch of a muscle and quickened pulse is a step towards a fitter, slimmer you so take the time to feel it and appreciate the benefit.
The Power Of Thought In Weight Loss – Positive Vibes
Encouraging dieters to take a more positive approach to dieting and exercise may seem simplistic at first, but it is clear that there are a lot of potential benefits here.
A change in attitude, alongside the ability to try visualization and mindfulness, can have a big impact on the emotional well-being of dieters and their progress.
Embracing the power of thought in weight loss could be the important turning point for many struggling dieters.
Negative thinking keeps us in the past and turns diet and exercise into unwelcome chores.
Positive thinking, visualization and mindfulness can create a clearer goal for the future and greater awareness of the positive impact that exercise and diet has in the present moment.
Ultimately, it could be the difference between success and failure.