Mind Fitness – The Secret to Long Term Success
Why is weight so hard to lose? We struggle with dieting and exercise, enjoy short-term success, but then fall back into bad habits within weeks or months. Any of us who have attempted to lose weight in the past know that staying on this path to wellness is difficult.
That is because many of us either overlook or underestimate the most important part of creating successful long-term change: rethinking our way to wellness.
Stress and Your Brain Chemistry: A Recipe for Backsliding
For most of us eating is an emotional act. Even if we don’t overeat, what and when we choose to eat is often dictated by an emotional response deep within the frontal cortex of our brains. This response is so ingrained that we don’t even notice it. This area of the brain regulates thoughts, emotions, and decision making.
When stress gets thrown into the mix our decision making process suffers—effectively weakening our willpower. We opt to eat when we’re not hungry, choose unhealthy fatty, salty, or sweet snacks for comfort, and forget portion control.
Mind Fitness Leads to Total Fitness
It makes sense, then, that to stay on track we need to work at making our minds more resistant to this confusion. We can do this through:
- Decreasing stress levels (in all areas of our lives)
- Focusing on self-awareness and self-regulation
- Practicing skills that “force” us to become more mindful of how we feel, how we react, and (importantly) what we put in our mouths. (Like eating with our “off” hands)
But, in order to make these changes permanent we need to make them automatic.
Mindfulness Techniques to Conquer Our Bad Habits
It might seem counterproductive to accept your body as it is now when you’re trying to lose weight. But, accepting how you are doesn’t mean you have to be okay with staying that way.What it means is you have to let go of that negative self-image you’ve created.
Negativity is counterproductive! It breeds stress, which feeds back into poor lifestyle choices and dooms us to failure. Letting go of that baggage is one of the first steps toward a better, healthier future.
Neurological research suggests that negative thought patterns—especially “negative self-talk”—restructures our prefrontal cortex. This makes us more susceptible to poor choices and makes it more difficult to initiate significant life changes.
On the other hand, positive-self talk turns on areas of the brain associated with self-worth . When these are stimulated it is much easier for us to make good choices and stick to the wellness goals we’ve set for ourselves.
Take a lesson from your childhood: It’s easier to pedal a bike when the bike is already in motion. Those first few feet are the hardest but when you have forward momentum on your side everything is a little easier.
You can use the 48-Hour Hollywood Miracle Diet® to build that momentum fast—in as little as one weekend. But it’s important not to let slipups slow you down. When you skip your gym day or succumb to the temptation of that hot fudge sundae, accept it, acknowledge it, and move on!
Keep an Eye on the Prize: Set Concrete Goals
Your weight loss goals can be your most powerful set of tools. Just be sure to set the right goals for the right reasons.
- Your goals have to be personal, coming from deep within you, not from what other people say.
- Those goals have to be realistic, specific, and relevant. Declarations like “I’m Quitting Sugar” or “I’m Cutting Carbs” won’t work. Instead opt for goals like “I’m Limiting Caloric Intake to [insert goal here]” or “I’m Avoiding Added Fat or Sugar in Processed Foods.”
- Write those goals down and keep them with you. Use them to reinforce your commitment every day and use them to avoid temptation.
Weight Loss Success Is Mind Over Matter
The key to any permanent lifestyle change is rewiring your brain to make that change automatic. Becoming aware of our decision making processes, making thoughtful positive change, and doing what we can to minimize the impact of stress and emotion are essential for lasting weight loss.
While all of that can be difficult, (especially at first) once you get the ball rolling it becomes much easier. You see the results, become even more energized, and apply that positive vibe to keep up that forward momentum.