To paraphrase renowned Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, your thoughts become your habits and in turn influence your destiny. Thoughts influence a lot of decisions you make subconsciously. Unfortunately, most of the time people encourage negative thoughts, forgetting the powerful effect positive thoughts can have on your life and overall wellbeing.
As lifestyles change and people become more reliant on technology, weight gain has become a daily challenge, and a concern on a national level. But did you know your thoughts can help you lose weight? It’s a simple concept: think healthy and develop habits that are beneficial to your weight loss journey. If you are still skeptical, read on for ways you can use your mind to help you achieve your ideal waistline.
1. Food Is Not a Reward
After achieving something big like finishing a 28-day diet, completing a marathon, submitting a project on time, or making a kick-ass presentation, you are likely to want to reward yourself. However, rewarding yourself with a slice of cheesecake or a brownie is bad for your weight, and you should therefore instead choose something that makes you feel good like treating yourself to a spa day or depositing $100 in your vacation fund. Rewarding yourself with food makes you feel good momentarily, and you soon end up regretting the extra brownies you had for dessert. It also derails your weight loss program and dampens your mood, especially when your intention is to celebrate.
2. Diet Foods Don't Always Work
Manufacturers shrink potions to trick you into buying ‘diet snacks’ by labeling them as low fat, zero cholesterol, or healthy snack. However, if you look at the situation realistically, can you replace a healthy meal with a ‘healthy chocolate bar’? Ignore marketing gimmicks and work on a diet that is right for your wellbeing. Start by reducing your portions, snack healthily throughout the day, and drink plenty of water. The best way to stay health is to eat foods that give your body the nutrients it needs to function. Alternatively, consult a nutritionist to assist you create a diet that best suits your lifestyle.
3. The First Is the Healthiest
In a group setting, you are more likely to make an unhealthy choice if your (slimmer) friend asks for a king-size burger and fries. Always place your order first to avoid your friends’ choices subconsciously influencing your own and subsequently compromising your diet plan. Weight loss is about continually making the right choice and making the right food part of your daily habits. Talk to your friends about your lifestyle changes; if they care about you, they will support you fully and even order healthier options in solidarity.
4. Binge Eating Is Bad, Very Bad
Overeating, especially at parties or during the holidays, is harmful to your body. The excess fats affect your hormones and block your brain’s ability to respond to hormones that communicate when you are full, affecting your ability to control your eating. You can have treats once in a while, but you should avoid reckless eating that has negative effects on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. If you cannot give up your sweet treats, find ways of infusing them into your regular diet with the help of a nutritional expert. For example, supplement your chocolate treats with dark chocolate, which is a healthier alternative.
5. Free Has a Price
Marketers understand that you are trying to keep off some foods and will use all the tricks in the book to get your attention. One popular word they use is ‘free’, for example, like ‘sugar-free’ or ‘fat-free’. However, fat-free products could mean more sugar or salt or an alternative ingredient that could be more harmful to your health. Ditch the ‘free’ stuff for something real and far healthier like an organic apple or a banana. If you absolutely must buy packed food, read the ingredients carefully first, and check if it’s been certified by any organizations that encourage healthy and organic lifestyles.
6. Avoid Temptation
The truth is that you might cheat on your diet by eating a cookie or two laying on the meeting room table, or perhaps even by accepting a piece of chocolate from Jane in IT, and one piece of advice is that anytime you see temptations, you should walk away – and fast. Spontaneous nibbles contribute to your calorie intake without you even noticing, rendering all your hard work and tough choices useless. The golden rule to keeping a healthy lifestyle is ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ Stop leading yourself into temptation; you’re better that that!
7. Fad Rhymes with Bad
Coincidence? I think not! Diet trends are in fashion: lose 20lbs. in seven days (and get a modeling gig with Victoria’s Secret, a villa in Beverly Hills, and a millionaire husband).
The quick fix does not work. Your aim is to stay healthy and happy, so you’ve got to put in the work, give up on fried food and sugary treats, and fill your plates with more vegetables. Getting to your ideal weight takes time; it’s a process you must continually invest in if you plan on living a holistic lifestyle. The gratification is getting to your ideal weight while picking lifestyle habits you know will last a lifetime.
8. Sweet Is for Fruits
Sweet snacks give you the calories but fail at providing nutritional benefits to keep you going. Replace your morning bagel with a bowl of fruits and old-fashioned eggs for a protein-backed energy boost. Fruits boost your blood sugar without bringing in the excess calories, and also improve digestion, better metabolism and a stronger immune system. If you must have sugar, choose honey.
9. More Sleep = Less Eating
The longer you stay awake, the more likely you are to bore or tire yourself into eating a snack. Meanwhile, eating late at night overwhelms your body’s digestive system, making it hard to properly digest food. If you must, eat a meal that your body can digest fast before going to bed, and you might want to consider replacing the late night snack with herbal teas or fruit.
10. Fancy Names Lie
Cumin-flaked crispy chicken or good old fried chicken? Don’t let the attractive names on menus deceive you into ordering a meal that is not in line with your health goals – cumin chicken has just as much fat as fried chicken does. If you eat out, stick to restaurants that offer healthy meals or ask the waiter to recommend their healthiest option. Alternatively, save yourself the stress and carry packed meals to work and snacks to keep you going throughout the day.
See Also: How to Lose Weight with a Sedentary Job
Whether you’re looking to shed a few pounds to fit in your wedding gown or to prevent another heart attack, losing weight is both a mental and physical process. You must have a strong will and dedicate your body, mind and spirit to the cause. If you can control your thoughts, you have already won half the battle. Keep the company of likeminded people and have an accountability partner to help you in the process. Your body will thank you in a couple of years.
Do you have any tips and tricks on losing weight that you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments section below!