The way you think about yourself affects your ability to reach your weight loss goals. Mental habits have a huge impact on your health and life! On average, each person has 60,000 thoughts a day! That is one thought per second every hour you are awake! Over 95 percent are the same thoughts repeated every day. On average, 80 percent of those habitual thoughts are negative.
The good news! We can train our brain to think about new and positive thoughts.
Positive Thinking and Weight Loss Goals
Positive thoughts are empowering. A negative attitude can set processes in motion that makes losing weight difficult, if not impossible. Berating yourself every time you eat the dessert or indulge in some potato chips has significant effects. Constantly focusing on what you can’t eat, and approaching weight loss with negative thoughts will sabotage your best weight loss intentions.
When you hold a negative image of yourself, you deny yourself the energy your body and life need! Using food as a method to cope with feelings of depression, lack of motivation and lack of control in one’s life will keep your health and ultimately your life in a constant cycle of dead-end results.
However, tuning into how you feel, acknowledging those feelings and transforming those thoughts into something more positive, can actually help you to achieve your weight loss goals faster, and improve your overall health and happiness.
3 Common Negative Mental Habits That Affect Weight Loss Goals
The following 3 negative mental habits occur frequently with many people and can affect your health and weight.
Black and White Thinking About Weight Loss
The color gray is not in your vocabulary and certainly not allowed in your weight loss journey. There is no middle ground; you are either perfect or a failure.
Example: Sarah has followed her weight loss plan successfully for a month, but slipped up and ate a cookie during an office meeting. After the meeting, she was so upset about the slip up she went and grabbed 5 more cookies from the break room. Sarah does not recognize that this was an isolated bump, and instead takes an all-or-nothing approach to her weight loss. The negative self thoughts continue throughout the day, and she ends up eating a burger and fries on the way home as she continues to take the negative all-or-nothing view.
How To Change Black & White Thinking in Weight Loss
To correct you all-or-nothing thinking, try to avoid unconditional terms, such as I have to follow my weight loss diet perfectly 0r I will never reach my goal weight.
Notice when you are thinking in black-or-white extremes and ask yourself if there is a possibility for any gray area. When you can only see one side of any situation in weight loss, it can help to seek out the support of trusted friends or family. Also a weight loss support group and health coach can assist you in finding solutions and thinking beyond absolute terms when you are looking to successfully lose weight.
The “Should” Illusion In Weight Loss
You have a secret personal list of many inflexible “commandments” about how you and others should act and eat when it comes to weight loss. Often, many people with the “should” mental mindsets are not receptive of any weight loss advice from anyone or anything different than their own beliefs.
Example: Dave wants to lose weight to improve his chances of not needing his high cholesterol and blood pressure medication. He sees his primary care doctor and his doctor recommends he lose 30 pounds on a medically supervised weight loss program. The medical weight loss program his doctor recommends provides an average weight loss of 2-4 pounds per week. Dave believes he can lose weight quicker and cheaper because of his internal “should” commandments. Dave buys some over the counter diet suppressants, starts the Atkins diet and takes up running. He forces himself harder and harder to reach his weight loss goal, and ends up injuring his knee. He hobbles out of the gym and swears off weight loss programs and getting healthy.
How To Change the “Should” Illusion in Weight Loss
First, recognize this pattern in yourself. Often in life we have a number of “pre-set” ideas about many things. Some we are correct about and other ideas we are inaccurate about it. Change takes time, but small steps can reap big rewards and life long results. The “should” illusion thinking can be tough to change, but it is possible. Take small steps. Every week identify 1 new change you can make in your diet that is from a credible source such as: http://www.webmd.com, a registered dietitian or www.solsticewi.com. There is a plethora of nutrition advice out on the web, often not the most credible. Also, everyday say 5 positive things about your self. Many times rigid thinking displayed in “should” illusion thinking tends to create more negative thoughts than positive thoughts. Weight loss can be difficult process, but simply having a positive attitude will make the challenge easier. According to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, as self-efficacy improved in young adults, eating habits improved and weight loss increased. As time progresses your positive thinking habits and changes will become routine, along with your healthier lifestyle.
I’ll Start Tomorrow Weight Loss Thought
This is one we can all probably relate too! We have all said this to ourselves at one point or another, whether its was regarding health eating or looking to get back to the gym. Often this results in the cycle thinking of putting many things off till “tomorrow” and many things do not get accomplished. This creates the vicious cycle of always putting off change.
Example: Susan wants to lose 50 pounds. She gained more weight than she anticipated during her pregnancy. Susan gave birth to a healthy baby girl and was determined to lose the extra 50 pounds she gained. Every Sunday she plans to start her week eating healthy and exercising. Susan plans to get up early Monday morning to start the day with a healthy veggie omelet and to squeeze in a quick 30-minute walk. Her alarm rings Monday morning at 5:30am, Susan rolls over, hits the snooze button and decides to start tomorrow. Susan’s daughter is now 5 years old and her “I’ll start tomorrow” thinking still has her 50 pounds of pregnancy weight holding on.
How To Change The I’ll Start Tomorrow Weight Loss Thought Process
The moment you think “I’ll start tomorrow,” ask yourself what little step forward you can make RIGHT NOW. Not later in the day, but that exact moment. Can you make a small tweak with what you’re about to order for lunch, or refill your water glass before you type another email? It might feel scary to make changes, but the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll see results. You can do this. Small changes lead to big results!
You Can Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals
The famous statement mind over matter holds true. We become what we think, and often many weight loss programs do not understand the mental and emotional aspect of weight and food. Understanding your reactions to certain emotions can help you identify thinking and changes that need to occur. A POSITIVE, strong support network is vital in achieving your weight loss goals. You can reach your goals!
Contact Solstice Health today to schedule a free weight loss consult and learn more about our mindful and healthy approach to weight loss success.