Friday, August 20, 2010
How To Think Yourself Thin
If we could think ourselves thin, the weight loss industry would be out of business, right? Maybe, maybe not. While it's true that losing weight takes more than the power of positive thought, there are several ways you can use your brain to enhance your results.
Here are four theories that have been applied - successfully - to weight loss:
The Law of Attraction
Also known as "The Secret", has been applied to everything from financial success to finding true love. It's not surprising, then, that many dieters have taken this theory and applied it to their weight loss efforts. The concept is simple: the more you believe in something, the more it will manifest in your life. If you believe that you are taking good care of yourself and getting fit, then you will start to lose weight and enjoy better health.
Think about it: if you spend most of your time thinking about how you'll never lose weight, chances are good that you never will. Our beliefs become a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. Instead of beating yourself up about where you are now, visualize the person you want to become. Is that person active? Muscular? Thin? Do they take their health seriously and make nutrition and exercise top priorities in their life?
The Law of Attraction says that you can meet your goals by willing them into existence. Start living like the person you want to be, and before long, you will be that person.
Sometimes called "gentle eating", urges the dieter to sit back, relax, and be mindful of their food and their hunger. By taking their time and eating only what they truly hunger for, these dieters are able to get in touch with their bodies. Many forms of yoga emphasize a mindful approach to life and food. The philosophy is that if you can get in touch with your body, you will respect it and nourish it without the need for gluttony or starvation.
You can start practicing mindful eating today. When you feel hunger, ask yourself if you are truly hungry, or if you are eating to soothe your emotions. If your hunger is actually boredom or sadness, take steps to alleviate the underlying causes. If your hunger is genuine, feed your body slowly with healthy foods. Don't read a book, watch television, or surf the Internet while you eat.
Focus all of your attention on your food, its flavor and texture. Pause after each forkful and decide if you are hungry enough to continue eating. Dieters who practice mindful eating are often surprised by how little food it takes to satisfy them. They also tend to enjoy their meals more and experience less stress at mealtime.
The Logical Approach
Some people remove emotions from the weight loss equation by taking a completely logical approach to losing weight. If this sounds more your style, a healthy dose of logic could be just the thing to get you closer to your goal. Instead of struggling with themselves when they don't feel like eating smart or working out, logical dieters use an "IF/THEN" approach. "If I want to lose weight, then I must work out today." "If I gorge myself at dinner, then I will gain weight." It might sound overly simplistic, but some dieters enjoy doing away with the guilt and emotional turmoil that often comes with new weight loss regimens. They simply do what they have to do to reach their goal, and they don't stress out about it.
Sometimes it pays to take a good, hard look at the behaviors that keep us from meeting our weight loss goals. Bad habits and emotional triggers can sabotage our efforts, especially if we overeat in response to feelings, stress, or boredom. By tracking your food intake, you will have a visible record of times when you overindulged. Then you can ask yourself why the binge occurred.
Maybe you were feeling rebellious after following a too-strict diet for weeks. Maybe it was a special occasion, and your celebrating got a little out of hand. Or maybe you were eating for the rush of endorphins that accompanies comfort-food binges. By analyzing your behavior, you can learn to detect patterns and get at the root causes of overeating. That will help you anticipate future binges and head them off before they happen.
As you can see, there are many ways to think yourself thin. Combine them with a healthy diet and exercise, and you'll be sprinting toward your goal in no time!
By Adam Weisgerber