Weight loss can be one of the most complex topics you’ve ever come across, ever. Many factors affect your progress to losing weight. But did you know that your mind has a lot more to do with losing weight than you think? And I am not just talking about willpower here. Using pure willpower to overcome food cravings is just not always going to work.
However, the good news is you just need to sort of trick your mind in order to help you avoid unnecessary weight gain.
Here are 7 perfect mind tricks to help you lose weight:
USE THE “APPLE TRICK”
Amy Goodson, RD, sports dietitian for the Dallas Cowboys states that: “The next time you’re standing in front of the refrigerator trying to figure out what you’re craving, maybe you’re not really hungry.””
Want to find out if you’re genuinely hungry or simply just trying to satisfying that craving of yours?
Goodson adds: “When you crave a salty or sweet treat, ask yourself if you’d eat an apple,” And “If the answer is yes, you’re hungry and it’s okay to have a small snack. If not, drink some water, because you’re not really hungry.”
Since thirst is often misinterpreted as hunger, drinking a glass of water should shush your craving.
ASSOCIATE DISGUSTING THOUGHTS WITH FOOD
Looking at a gross photo (a dead fly lying in a cold bowl of salad—woops) when you want that chocolate fudgecake could could immediately turn your brain 180 degrees and say “NOPE. NOT TODAY,” suggests a 2015 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
When researchers quickly showed the participants disgusting photos before actually showing them photos of deliciously looking foods like ice cream, people ended up having less of an appetite immediately afterwards and had fewer cravings for those foods up to 5 days later. I would agree to that.
When your brain begins to associate disgust with some food, it becomes less appetizing. We’ve all been there and done that one before.
SUBSTITUTE UNHEALTHY FOOD WITH HEALTHY FOODS THAT CLOSELY RESEMBLE THEM
Jonathan Alpert, a New York City based psychotherapist and author of Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days states: “Find a healthy alternative that shares some of the same qualities as the fatty food you’ve got a craving for”. Do you usually drink sprite or 7up to satisfy your thirst? Substitute with canada dry instead. Or instead of salted potato chips, you might as well just get a batch of satisfyingly crispy kale chips. You don’t always have to be attached to that yummy carton of ice cream in the freezer.
“Over time your taste buds and brain will adjust and learn to like these healthier options,” says Alpert.
MANIPULATION WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
Posting a picture on social media can help you enjoy your food more, as stated in the 2016 research in the Journal of Consumer Marketing. It’s the before-moment of taste satisfaction between snapping the picture and chowing down on it that tells your brain, “you’re about to eat something special. yes, you.”
FORGET THE DIET
“People who are naturally slim don’t diet”, says researchers at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.
In addition, 74 percent of about 150 participants said they either rarely or never dieted.
OPEN TO YOUR EMOTIONS
You reward yourself with a slice of pie for a job well done. When you’re very stressed however, uninvited mindless snacking begins to creep up on you, and soon your jar of cookies end up gone.
In late 2015, 31% of Americans in a survey by Orlando Health said that exercise and diet was “the biggest barrier to weight loss” and only 10% said that psychological factors even played a role. But the truth is, we eat for many emotional reasons (but not very many people realize this), and to lose weight fast you have to understand the reason behind what you’re eating, said by Orlando Health neuropsychologist Diane Robinson, PhD (1).
Before munching, she recommends asking yourself if you’re doing so because you’re hungry. If the answer is no, it might take some good research to finally understand the emotions that are involved in your own eating habits.
FLIP YOUR THOUGHTS
Before you sit down to the table, ignore all thoughts of “that quinoa is good for me” or “that avocado has healthy fats!” Rather, eat to relish in the taste.
Researches in theJournal of the Association for Consumer Research conducted a study and discovered that people who think of a food as healthy find it as less filling—and then they end up getting a bigger portion while still feeling hungry afterwards.