Dieting is difficult, and it often fails or backfires in a way that leaves you looking and feeling worse than before you started. The most likely reason for your weight fluctuation when dieting is because you work so hard to change your body, but you fail to condition your brain. So, when your diet ends you go right back to your unhealthy habits. Here are four techniques you should implement during your diet to target your thinking as well as your eating.
Training your brain for dieting success doesn’t just happen at the dinner table. Your actions are determined by your thoughts and when you have too many swirling around in your brain at once, you can’t make the best decisions. You may think multitasking is the best way to be productive in your life, but overloading your schedule causes you to make poorer choices, like forgoing a real lunch and opting for a candy bar at your desk while you work. If you want to reach your weight loss goals, you need to focus on the single task of eating at specific times.
Meditation is an exercise for the mind, so why wouldn’t you include it in your daily workout plans? Mindful weight loss is a great way to approach a healthier lifestyle because it helps you to feel inspired, energized and proud of your progress at each level. It also lets you address the issues that caused you to gain weight in the first place, like feelings of anxiety and depression. Online programs like GoEatRightNow.com are easy to follow and help you check in with your mental health while you make healthier choices for your body.
It’s easy to get down on yourself when you aren’t meeting your weight-loss mile markers as quickly as you think you should. However, negative thoughts lead to negative actions. When you call yourself a failure over and over, you reach for a box of cookies to make you feel better. This is a vicious loop that only leads to weight gain and poor self-esteem. When you catch yourself thinking “I can’t do this,” practice reframing that thought into “I am capable and strong,” and rebuild your perspective to support your journey, not sabotage it.
Eating engages the pleasure centers of your brain, meaning you are designed to enjoy food. That’s why it can be so hard to swap noodles for zoodles and steak for cauliflower on day one of your eight-week diet plan. Whether you opt for calorie counting, carb cycling or fasting, give yourself the benefit of indulgence every now and then. If a “cheat day” is what you need to keep you on track, then don’t feel bad about it.
Dieting doesn’t mean you have to avoid the family barbeque because there won’t be any food for you there. It’s an opportunity to indulge while also challenging yourself. Choosing a slice of sweet watermelon instead of a cupcake doesn’t deprive you of pleasure, but it is the better choice. Eventually, you can learn to prefer the healthier options because of the better way they make you feel. Then, you won’t even feel like you’re dieting anymore.
Stop letting your brain sabotage your body when it comes to your food and exercise regimens. No matter which avenue you choose to shed excess pounds, you deserve the greatest chance of success. With these techniques and a concentrated mind-body approach, you can reach your weight-loss goals in no time and maintain them for a lifetime.