Want to know how to change your thinking?
Your beliefs are your reality. If you don’t like the reality you see, change your beliefs!
Think you gain weight by just looking at a cup of black coffee? How frustrating is it when someone you know can eat twice as much as you and still look like a stick insect? Without the ‘right’ thinking, approach and attitude, the best food plans in the world are unlikely to work! Lets look at the strategies to help those pounds roll off smoothly and steadily….
Trick or treat?
An interesting question, to start with, is why do most “diets” only last a few weeks? The answer quite simply is that your mind will always opt for the easiest route. Any type of discipline that involves gaining something of value may require you to break through some kind of barrier. If you interpret something as being difficult or painful, your mind will wonder why on earth you would want this and drives you to revert back to what it interprets as being pleasurable. This inadvertently sabotages your goals in the process. By changing your thinking to interpret your goal as being pleasurable, enjoyable, fun and easy, you are far, far more likely to achieve what you set out to get. So, getting creative in how you enjoy the process, so that it uniquely works for you, is key. With this in mind, read on…
Pain versus Pleasure
In the short term, many people will opt for instant gratification, what they consider to be pleasurable now, but this is sometimes at the risk of creating long term pain for themselves.
Let’s consider an example. Perhaps someone wishes to lose a few extra pounds. The long-term benefits are obvious to them. They will feel better about themselves, their clothes would fit better, their self-confidence would increase and overall they would feel healthier and more energetic.
How interesting is it then that those same people will think up enough reasons to put off the goal? There will be enough excuses for them to avoid even getting started!
Do they really work? Glamorous brochures and promises of instant weight loss can be seductive, but these impractical quick-fix diets can be damaging. The UK diet industry is worth billions of pounds, yet research suggests that in most cases, slimmers regain all their lost weight, if not more, after they stop dieting.
It’s oh so tempting to go for a novel diet that promises speedy weight loss, yet often these diets can lull you into a false sense of security.
- Put up a photo or picture of how you want to be – look at it each time you feel like swaying from the lifestyle change and remind yourself of what you can achieve.
- Weigh yourself only once a week. Your weight fluctuates from day to day and it is not helpful to weigh yourself more often. A steady loss of 1-2lb per week will give you far more long term results than a diet that promises you’ll lose a stone in a month. It may be tempting, but it won’t be long before you’ll be back to square one
- Set realistic targets, such as a loss of 5-6 pounds in a month. Reward yourself with a trip to the theatre, or a new book when you reach your target.
- Make a list of all the benefits you will have once you reach your goal. This can be very motivating, so keep it handy.
- Eat on a smaller plate to make your meals look bigger.
- Weird though it may sound, brushing your teeth may help you avoid those unnecessary extra mouthfuls. Clean your teeth after breakfast and your evening meal.
- Eat at a table and be conscious of what you’re eating. Limit night-time snacking and TV dinners.
- Distract yourself at times when you feel like over-indulging. Perhaps go for a stroll, take a bath or read a magazine.
- Shop after you’ve eaten a meal or snack – you’re less likely to go for those quick-fix snacks, and regret it later. Use a shopping list (it’ll benefit the bulge and the budget!) and take time to compare the calorie and fat content of foods.
- Remember that activity can be therapeutic, so tackling those garden weeds can have more benefits than you think. The more you use up by being physically active, the faster you’ll lose weight. Find ways of making activity part of your daily life.
Helpful questions to ask yourself
How will achieving this make me feel ?
What will be truly important to me about succeeding with this goal?
How much more could I go on to accomplish (in other areas of my life)?
How could others benefit if I make this change?
How much happier will I feel?
‘Think Well To Be Well’. An Inspirational Pocket Guide to Diabetes. By Azmina Govindji and Nina Puddefoot. Published by Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation, 2002.