The Psychology Of Weight Loss
Weight loss is not about food – it’s about self-love and rituals. Globally, weight loss is a $US580 billion a year industry, but ninety five percent of dieters will regain lost pounds within two years.
With so much pressure from the health industry to be thin, it’s little wonder why 1:3 women are on a diet at any one time. However there is a dirty side to serial dieting that can have long-term adverse effects on your health.
After successfully coaching 1000’s of women to transform their lives and lose weight I discovered that food and exercise will never result in long-term success. To truly succeed we need to embrace a much higher perspective and weight loss is more about our mind than what we eat. Thinking yourself slim actually works.
Our daily lives are made up of habit. Whether we are aware of them or not, there is a natural rhythm to our days, weeks and months. Habits are generally formed in our early life experiences and then become hard-wired in our brain’s neural pathways which programme our behaviours and shape our personalities.
In order to save energy and eliminate the need to rationally debate every choice and decision throughout the day, our brains evolve mental shortcuts based on our habits. In other words once we get used to doing something we may end up doing it repeatedly without conscious thought and the ability to say yes or no. Eating a whole packet of biscuits or snacking during our favourite TV show. It is only afterwards that we feel guilty and wonder why we broke our diet or sabotaged our goals. Habits therefore not only affect the physical rhythm of our day; they also affect our emotional, mental and spiritual rhythms.
So how can we change these habits when it comes to diet?
It is not easy, they really are ‘hard-wired’ into our brains, but it is possible. It begins with increasing or adjusting our knowledge to such a degree that we may have to completely rethink what we thought we knew about food, nourishment and exercise.
If you are not sure what you believe when it comes to food you can recognise you beliefs because they are what you run back to every time you are stressed or emotional;
“This chocolate won’t hurt me it will make me feel better.”
“I can overeat tonight I did a big walk yesterday.”
“I’m never going to be thin, so what does it matter what I eat”
Any one of these sound familiar?
These are all thoughts that trigger us to ‘fall off the wagon’. If we don’t change these thoughts and beliefs we will always fail to keep the weight off even if we stick to a diet. The good news is, our brains are dynamic and changeable. Welcome to the concept of neuroplasticity.
Every now and then science steps up and gives us some good news and that is definitely the case with neuroplasticity. Scientists have discovered that our brains are pliable and we can change our default behaviours and thoughts no matter how ingrained they are.
In the case of weight loss, this starts by creating new rituals.
A ritual is a sacred ceremony or series of acts that is always performed in the same way. A ritual is also a spiritual term for a ceremonial act or action.
Most of you would have heard that it only takes 21 days of repeated action to form a habit and hard-wire our brain. So in a very short amount of time, we can use rituals to literally re-programme our brain so certain actions around healthy eating become ‘unconscious’ or second nature.
The best way to create a powerful ritual is to engage as many of our senses as possible. Taste, smell, touch, sound and sight.
For example by lighting a candle before you eat, setting the table with your finest dinnerware, putting on some calming music, and becoming fully engage in the cooking process you create a sacred moment out of what is for many an onerous task of preparing a meal.
This in turn begins to shift your relationship with food. Once you sit down to eat, most people don’t even ‘taste’ their food, let alone chew each mouthful 30 times to optimise digestion, so slow things down and really appreciate what you have created and how it is nourishing your body.
There are a number of rituals that healthy people do every day and we can borrow those to create healthier and happier lives. This is the mind-set we need to begin ‘thinking ourselves slim’. We then begin to make choices as if we were a fit healthy slim person and each good decision brings us a step closer to that goal. We begin to ask what would your slim-self choose to eat, drink and think?
I have developed an amazing weight loss programme that includes all the key steps to creating lasting change leading to a healthier and more fulfilling life coupled with an amazing, healthy and nutritious diet.
Anyone can lose weight, but I can show you how to lose weight quickly, safely and permanently, because we will also change your mind-set, the reason you gained weight in the first place.
We are on the outside a physical manifestation of what’s going on inside. We have to address both physical and mental in order to lose weight and keep it off. If you have never tried this dual approach before you cannot say you have failed to lose weight, only that you have failed to try the right diet, and there is still hope!