The latest weight loss secret you don’t know is that you can trick, manipulate or outrightly configure your brain to help you drop pounds and reach your weight goals.
Re-configure Your Brain for Weight Loss
Throughout my life, I’ve come to realize that it is often easier for me to start something than it is to stick with it and see it through. I recognize that this isn’t true for just me, so many others battle with it, maybe you do too.
When we think of weight loss, we often think about what we eat and the exercises that can help us burn fat. While these things matter, we often fail to acknowledge the significant role our brain plays to help us achieve our body goals.
Every day people come up with interesting new diets, workout routines, and pills that promise to take us to our weight loss destination faster and easier. According to research, over 70% of women are unhappy with their current weight, and this explains why millions of people are hooked on anything that promises to help them lose weight. This has in turn made the fitness industry a thriving billion-dollar industry.
Isn’t it ironic that regardless of all the information we have at our fingertips statistics still records the increasing rate of obesity worldwide? It is so severe that obesity has been given epidemic status.
We need to acknowledge the need to be mentally engaged with our weight loss journey to enable us effectively manage the change that will occur and also make changes that will help us sustain our results.
Several people desire to lose weight for numerous reasons and in my search to discover numerous ways to achieve our body weight goals, I came across cognitive reframing and discovered its enormous powers that can aid us to achieve so much including weight loss. this secret weight loss formula was quite fascinating.
Mental strategy can be deployed to help you achieve your weight loss goals using Cognitive Reframing. Every attempt to achieve weight loss requires mental and psychological work to be successful.
If you are mentally prepared for your weight loss journey you’re less likely to:
- Give up when it gets hard
- Let frustration get the best of you
- Fall off your diet because you were offered food that isn’t compliant with your diet.
I’ll teach you how you can use cognitive reframing to lose weight. The result will be a fortified mind that has mastered the art of reframing situations, altering perceptions and looking at events from a positive frame and eventually creating positive emotions when it comes to doing what you need to do to lose weight, regardless of whether it involves exercising or diets.
There are simple strategies we can explore and I’ll teach you what I taught my clients who recently completed a one month “what waist” challenge that centred around getting them to lose weight and tone their ab muscles using home workouts and my secret winning formula (cognitive reframing).
7 Best Strategies for weight loss using Cognitive Reframing
Understand what created your habits
A lot of my clients have an unhealthy relationship with food and this literally leads to abuse. Like most of us, they use food to comfort themselves when they feel sad, they use food to celebrate. They also use food as entertainment when they get bored.
Most of them confirmed that they cannot get themselves to practice portion control. Even when they are on a diet they end up eating too much every time they make a plate.
We traced the source of this to childhood lessons our parents taught us that has somehow cemented it in our brains that we need to finish our plate of food every time, because “it’s the right thing to do”.
Growing up most of us were rewarded whenever we finished what we had on our plate and over time we started deriving a sense of satisfaction and positive emotions whenever we finished our meal so now we try to achieve the same feeling even though we know we are full and shouldn’t eat anymore.
Debunk Whatever fallacies you were raised with
When you identify the reason for your actions and you identify how flawed they are, it is easier for you to debunk them and slowly start to let them go. You can tell yourself “it is okay not to eat everything on my plate” etc.
Goal setting is a great life strategy, it makes it easier for you to achieve goals. It literally gives you a sense of direction daily. My clients are all made to write down their fitness and weight loss goals and share them with me and I help them ensure they are setting practical goals.
To gain the benefits of setting goals you should ensure that you set:
- Realistic goals, I understand the temptation to reach for the stars when you set goals but I can tell you first-hand that setting overzealous and unrealistic goals can backfire. They can become overwhelming, stressful and discouraging. You can be left feeling like a failure when you fail to achieve them. Be realistic with timelines as well, I have seen people set realistic goals with unrealistic timelines and it is also a recipe for disaster.
- Specific goals, instead of saying “I want to look slim”, it is better if you choose a specific number of pounds you desire to drop to achieve your result. This way, it is easier to know what your target is. Another example is deciding to cut out fizzy drinks and replacing them with healthier options like smoothies and fresh juice.
Monitor your progress
Monitoring your goals will keep you on track and help you determine your progress if any. You should also measure where you are in comparison to your desired destination. I always ask all my clients to take pictures of themselves and also measure themselves. This will help them have facts and evidence to compare to determine if they’ve made any progress as opposed to just starring at their reflection in the mirror.
Replace the negative emotion with positive emotion
I believe images are powerful and a lot of people do too. This is the entire reason why people make vision boards/ dream boards. They could have easily written their dreams down, rather they put pictures on their boards. The boards depict their goals and hang the board where they can see it every day and get reminded of their goals. This helps them stay on track.
I incorporate this by asking my clients to download pictures of what they desire, and save them someplace it will be easily accessible or they’ll see them daily. E.g. my clients for the what waist challenge downloaded pictures of defined abs and set the pictures on their phones as their lock screen pictures. Every time they say no to an unhealthy snack, push away a plate of food etc. They look at the picture or just think of it and it gives them a positive feeling as they imagine themselves having achieved their goals. This dispels the negative feeling that would have ordinarily come from having to reject your favourite junk or unhealthy snack.
If you are not naturally positive, it is important that you join an encouraging and positive community like BI community that will cheer you on when you are feeling blue and also celebrate your milestones with you regardless of how small you think they are during your weight loss journey. They will share their own relatable stories that will motivate you and make you feel less alone in your journey.
Sometimes when you are too close to a situation it impairs your ability to see the entire picture. Having a support system or group will give you a set of people that will objectively measure your progress and root for you while providing you with any help you need.
Rewards and Incentives
When I was in law school, I was so overwhelmed with all the studying I needed to do. I felt like I was drowning, after numerous attempts I found what helped me stay afloat.
I permitted myself to enjoy certain rewards if I completed my chosen daily tasks, like completing my assignments or reading a chapter from my textbook.
Over time all the reading required wasn’t dreadful anymore. I started looking forward to it because what came after was the enjoyment of sorts which gave me a positive feeling.
In the end, I realized I had successfully reframed my situation and tasks positively.
With incentives, you find something that gives you a strong motive to achieve what you desire.
If you desire to effectively practice cognitive reframing, you have to change negative frames to positive ones. E.g. If you start a diet that requires that you cut out processed sugar from your meals, do it. However, instead of thinking “I have to eat just fruits today without my favourite fizzy drink or junk. Automatically viewing your diet as a negative experience, inconvenience or obligation. You can focus on the healthy fruits you are about to eat that will nourish your body and keep you healthy. That can make the situation a positive one.
Don’t dwell on all the things you “can’t have” rather think about everything “you can have”.
Another example is supposed you attend a party and you are celebrating with friends and next thing you know you are eating those greasy chips and drinking alcohol that you know isn’t part of your diet, instead of thinking “I’m a failure, I should just go ahead and eat whatever, I’ve ruined all my hard work”. This is typical catastrophizing and its illogical. You have eaten something you shouldn’t have but it is hardly a total disruption of all the progress you’ve made. When you realize this, it will be easier for you to pick up where you left off even if you make mistakes.
You can then change your thought to a more positive one. Example“I just slipped up but that’s okay I know what my goals are and I have to get back in line to reach them”.
Reframing is definitely a weight loss secret that has proven effective and we haven’t taken advantage of. It does not mean you should live in La-La land where everything is all rainbows and beautiful. It means you should be realistic enough to weigh things as they happen. You can identify the automatic cognitive distortions you might have and effectively debunk or tackle them.
If you have any questions or comments please share. Don’t forget to share this article if you found it helpful and remember you can always talk to me.