When it comes to losing weight, you might think it’s strictly a physical thing––eat ‘X’ number of calories, do your workouts, get enough sleep, and magic will happen.
Rarely does it ever work out this way.
While in a lab, that is most certainly correct. However, in the real world, we have free will and the scenario is much more complex. As soon as our psychological state gets added to the mix, there are many opportunities for things to go awry.
So much so that one might consider a successful diet more of a mental game than a physical one. Truth be told, if you can adjust and adapt your thinking, it can be the ticket to maximizing the success of your results.
Let’s talk about how you can put yourself on the ‘brain diet’ to help shed more pounds.
Reframe Your Thoughts Revolving Around Hunger
One of the biggest drivers of not having success on your diet plan is inevitable hunger. You might be totally fine on your plan until hunger hits and when it does, all bets are off.
Whether you are aware of it or not, you probably have a negative viewpoint surrounding hunger––it just feels wrong. No one likes to be in a state of deprival, and that’s essentially what hunger is. Not only do you know that food is available and you aren’t letting yourself have it, but you also have physical discomfort taking place simultaneously as well.
The best way to work with this is to reframe your thoughts. First, know that hunger is expected on a diet and moderate hunger should be celebrated because it means you’re on track to results.
Also know that hunger is transient, meaning it typically comes and goes in waves. If you feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water and waiting 15 minutes. Chances are, that hunger will leave.
If it doesn’t, it may be your body telling you that it really is time to eat soon.
Most of us overeat to some degree. When we actually learn to listen to true hunger again though, that is when weight loss will often effortlessly start taking place.
Get Deep With Your Reasons Why
The next thing you need to do to get your mind right is to really know your reason why. Why are you attempting to lose weight?
And not just because you want to look better or be healthier. Dig deep. What is beneath that?
Why is it important to be healthier? To look better? Ask yourself why for a series of questions until you can’t ask “why” any longer. Then you’ll have your reason.
When this is crystal clear in your mind, it becomes a very powerful driving force.
Adjust Your Expectations
Another mental shift you need to make is with regards to your expectations. Make sure they are realistic. Some people (mistakenly) still believe they should be losing two pounds per week every week on their diet plan.
While for some two pounds per week may be achievable as an upper limit, if you have lots of weight to lose, realize that losing two pounds every week is not likely attainable. Your weight loss will fluctuate and that is both normal and natural. When you have some weeks where you lose half a pound and others where you lose two pounds, you need to not let yourself get too worked up/give in on those slow weeks.
Get In For The Long Haul
Going along with adjusting your expectations is to stop viewing this as a diet and start really thinking about it as more of a lifestyle change. You need to get out of the notion that this is something that has an endpoint. When you view it like that, there’s always that ‘finish line behavior’ tempting you. It’s pulling you to just give up now and go back to eating how you think you’ll eat when you’re done.
If you have no set “finish point” however, as time continues, your temptations will eventually reduce or even disappear altogether.
This is another very important reason why it’s so critical that you find a plan that works, and that you find it enjoyable. If you hate every second of it, there’s no way you’re staying on it forever.
By keeping these mental shifts in mind and making a change to how you view dieting, you might just find that you better position yourself for success.
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.