In this article I am going to discuss what I feel is the most underrated technique in the battle to lose weight: positive thinking.
I know some people might think that this sounds a bit wishy washy, but please bear with me!
I am firmly convinced that more people would lose more weight if they adjusted their mental outlook on the way they approach dieting and exercise.
According to research carried out by the Tufts-New England Medical Center, the single biggest reason that many people fail to lose weight is because they quit. It appears that the actual diet and exercise program that is followed is not the be all and end all of weight loss. It is sticking to it that causes weight loss.
So what exactly does positive thinking involve and how can it help you to lose weight? Lets take a look.
Affirmations for weight loss
In terms of losing weight, positive thinking involves using positive affirmations. A positive affirmation is a phrase constructed in a way to cause your brain to remain focused and positive about what it is you want to achieve.
Examples of positive weight loss affirmations include: "I only eat when hungry" and "I am thin " and "I am full and satisfied after meals".
Affirmations are basically a method of altering the way that you think and feel. The goal of any affirmation is to put yourself into a positive frame of mind and create a situation where you know that you can achieve your goals.
So the affirmations do not magically make you lose weight just by saying them, but what they will do is alter the unconscious thought process of your mind so that you naturally go about your daily life in a way that helps you lose weight. Simple things such as being motivated to exercise, feeling full after meals, and staying away from unhealthy foods will start to become second nature.
It is also important to note that positive affirmations need to be constructed and said in a very specific way in order to be effective. You will notice that the examples above are all very simple and get to the point. They are also said in a very firm way using positive wording such as "I am" and not negative sayings such as "I can" or "I might".
Done correctly, simple sayings like this repeated over and over again can do really amazing things. But many people seem to struggle to get to grasps with using positive affirmations, so let us take a look at why this is and how you can overcome such obstacles.
Patience is key
An affirmation is going to take time to become effective. You cannot expect that it is going to change the way that you think overnight. The more weight that you want to lose, the longer you should give yourself for the affirmations to start to work. It is a gradual process and sticking to it is the key.
For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds you will need to allow yourself a good number of weeks, or a few months to achieve this. You have to keep focused and set your goals and affirmations accordingly. If you set an unrealistic goal and then try to reach that weight using affirmations you are likely to get very frustrated.
A more focused approach is required. Set a realistic time limit for the amount of weight that you want to lose and then write down exactly what weight you want to get down to and the exact date that you want to achieve this by. Then write down an outline of the weight loss targets for each week leading up to the end date.
This step by step approach is likely to keep you more positive as you are focussing on regular, gradual
changes than just going for the overall goal all at once.
Once you have set these goals, start to create your affirmations. Make the affirmations specific to what you want to achieve. So instead of saying "I am thin", say "I weight 120 pounds" or "I have a flat stomach" or "I weight 20 pounds less" etc.
The more specific you are, the more effective the affirmations.
Why do you want to lose weight?
Many people do not understand that in order for an affirmation to really be effective you have to totally believe in what you are saying and know exactly what it is you want to achieve.
The brain is very powerful and does all that it can to help you achieve your goals. But if it does not know what you want to achieve, it will not know what the appropriate course of action is.
For example, you may use the affirmation "I am thin" but you do not fully believe it. When you say "I am thin", you are really thinking "I am fat" or "In your dreams!".
These negative inner thoughts are counter acting any positive results that the affirmation is doing. In order for an affirmation to work you have to have a clear goal in mind, and one that you are prepared to work to achieve.
An affirmation is a way of making a change in your thinking but you have to want to change and to truly believe in it. It is often a good idea to just step back and take a good look at why you really want to lose weight.
Do you want to lose weight to be more healthy or to have more energy throughout the day? Or are their deeper reasons to it?
You might tell yourself that you want to lose weight just to be more healthy, but maybe you want to lose weight for vanity reasons and to appear more attractive to the opposite sex. This is a great reason to want to lose weight!
So be honest with yourself about the real reason that you want to lose weight and you will find it easier to focus on your goals.
Positive thinking via the use of positive affirmations can make some great changes to the way you approach your diet and exercise routine. Simply by being more focused and positive about things, you are less likely to quit and thus will eventually achieve your weight loss goals no matter how slow the progress may seem at times.
Give it try. Go away and make positive affirmations a part of your weight loss plan. Make a long list of positive affirmations that are specific to your weight loss goals. Read these affirmations out load and think these affirmations to yourself at least twice a day.
You can also automate the process by using software to communicate these affirmations to your subconscious brain to ensure that any negative thoughts from the thinking part of your brain does not get in the way. You can find out more about this software below.
But at the end of the day, the reason people lose weight is because they stick to their diet for the long haul. They do not quit.