The inspiration to lose weight usually skyrockets during this time of year. And it’s no surprise considering January typically symbolizes new beginnings. It’s a chance to forgive ourselves for past mistakes and revel in the optimism that comes with a fresh start.
Although healthy eating habits and regular exercise are the keys to losing weight, did you know you can think your way to being thin? Many experts say long-term weight loss success usually starts in your head. Negative thought patterns and self-criticism may be the two most damaging things holding you back.
From practicing patience to setting incremental goals, you can make this year your most successful yet. So here are 5 mental strategies to help you cut the ‘mental fat’, so you can eventually shed the belly fat, too.
1) Learn to have patience
In a digital age that places immense value on instant gratification, it can feel foreign to have some patience. But that’s exactly what needs to happen if you want to achieve your weight-loss goals. So many of us want to lose too much -- too fast. We want immediate results. But you’ll keep the pounds off if you take the time to do it slowly. Doctors recommend an average of shedding 1-2 pounds per week. Crash diets and starving yourself just won’t work if you want long-term results.
2) Picture yourself thin
There’s perhaps nothing more powerful than visualization. If you want to be thin, picture yourself thing. It really is that simple, and it works. Visualizing how your body will look when it’s two sizes smaller is a good start. But take it a step further by imagining how good you’ll feel once you drop those extra pounds. For inspiration, look up old photos of yourself from a time when you were thinner. And display them prominently -- like in your kitchen, workout room or on your office desk -- to help keep you motivated.
3) Set small goals
At the beginning of each year, too many of us try to make sweeping changes in our lives. But these lofty challenges are never successful because they quickly run out of steam. Instead, try working towards smaller goals that will give you more tangible results. So rather than completely swearing off meat, commit to eating one or two vegetables per day. Instead of promising yourself to 2-hour gym session 5 times per week, take 15-minute walks on your daily lunch break. When you chop up those bigger goals into smaller tasks, you’ll be able to form healthy habits and change your overall lifestyle.
4) Don’t be shy to reward yourself
We all need a little treat here and there to reward our efforts during our weight loss journey. Otherwise, there’ll be nothing to look forward to as we work towards the next milestone. Although you may be inclined to reward yourself with a fast-food binge or a bucket of sweets, you may end up setting yourself back. Instead, acknowledge your mini-achievements with a pedicure, a new haircut, or even a trip to the movies. Always recognize your hard work and dedication, no matter how small you think the achievement may be.
5) Keep a journal
There’s no doubt that what you eat, how you exercise and the way you feel will change dramatically as you work towards your weight loss goals. Write down your progress in a journal, and also include any changes you notice physically and emotionally. Keeping track of your journey can actually encourage positive behaviours. It’s also a lot easier to identify old patterns and bad habits creeping in when things are put down on paper. Ultimately, journals keep people accountable because they’re less likely to get off track when progress is being documented.
For more information on successful, long-term weight loss or to book an assessment, contact us here.