Mindsets for permanent weight loss
Mindsets for permanent weight loss
There has been much research and many studies done by many but I came across a very interesting article by a world renowned Human Behaviour specialist who has found that achieving permanent weight loss has less to do with what gets put in the mouth and more to do with the mind than anything else.
Most of us pick up a few extra kilos over the holiday season. For the lucky among us, the extra weight will slip off as quickly as it slipped on when we’re back in the swing of our routines. But, for many, the New Year simply means the resumption of an ongoing battle with the bulge – one to which there seems no end. “The reason long-term weight loss is elusive to so many people is because it has less to do with what’s in the mouth than it has to do with what’s in the mind.”
Mindset 1: My values underlie my behaviour
Let’s call the things in life that are most important you – your family, your career, your appearance, whatever it may be. Anything that you value very highly in live. Every one of us has a set of these high-priority items, the things we care most deeply about. They are as unique to us as our own fingerprints. When our actions serve to further our highest values, we feel fulfilled, inspired and internally motivated. But, when our behaviours do not align with those things we consider most important in our lives, discomfort, frustration and despair are the inevitable result. If this is how you’re feeling about your weight-loss efforts, your actions are most certainly incongruent with your highest values.
Mindset 2: My goals must correspond with my highest values
The simple truth of the matter is that if your goals do not align with your most important values, you have very little chance of ever achieving them. Think about it: you’re engaged and have six months in which to fit into your wedding dress. Losing weight suddenly becomes a top-priority item, ranking high in your value system, which provides the incentive to single-mindedly achieve your goal. After your wedding, however, the kilos creep back. Why? Because weight loss is no longer a highest value. In short, if you are serious about losing those kilos and keeping them off.
Mindset 3: Unconsciously, I am benefiting from overeating
When our behaviours do not fulfil the things we assume or say we value most we need to question why we continue to engage in them, even though they cause us such discomfort. What unconscious benefits are you deriving from food? A good place to start looking for the answers is once again to consider your highest values. Which of the things that you consider most important in your life are being disregarded or marginalised?
The distress that comes from living incompatibly with your highest values may be forcing you to compensate with avoidance, hedonistic or escapist behaviours, like binge eating, which provides instant gratification but little long-term relief.
Mindset 4: I can derive the same benefits a different way
If eating helps you deal with negative emotions, what other coping mechanisms can you turn to that don’t involve food? If eating calms you, how else can you be soothed without devouring a box of biscuits? If it provides an antidote to boredom, what other ways can you manage tedium besides emptying the fridge? Only once you get to the emotional core of your mindless, compulsive or even addictive eating, are liberated from its faulty perceptions, and find healthy substitutes for the unconscious benefits it provides, will you be able to handle life’s challenges – rather than sidestepping them with food.
If you can get to the root of why you might be over eating then you are already heading in the right direction. Remember acknowledging that you have a problem is a step in the right direction.
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