As humans, we are always faced with many choices, but how we respond to the choices we face is what determines the outcome we get. When it comes to weight loss, some people only focus on the nutrition and the fitness part things. But food and fitness decisions are not always made in isolation, the mind plays a role in the decision-making process.
In this article, I share the three ways your mind can help you lose weight.
Three ways your mind can help you lose weight
Don’t do what comes naturally to you
We all have our default responses to things. Your default response is how you react to a stimulus or a trigger. It is your first choice of action when you are faced with a particular situation. It is what comes naturally to you.
For example, if you like akara and Agege bread, there are chances that you’d stop to buy anytime you drive, or walk by the akara seller. Why is that? Because that is your default response.
When your eyes see the akara, a thought flashes in your mind that says “I want to eat!” If you react by default, you are going to buy and eat to satisfy the urge. And 15-20 minutes later you’ll regret your actions and feel bad, and depressed that you have lost it again. Sounds familiar?
A better way to deal with the situation is to choose your response. When the stimulus (akara and bread) is pressing your button, DO NOT DO WHAT COMES NATURALLY TO YOU. Exercise control for a few seconds and follow the next tip.
Pause to mindfully process your thought
Every action starts with a thought (the seed). If you nurture the seed, it will grow. If you want your mind to help you lose weight, you must learn how to become more mindful.
Many thoughts cross our minds every day, some are good, and some are bad. But we don’t act on every one of them because we know it’s not everything we think that we should do. In the same way, we can choose our responses when unhealthy habits begin to press our buttons.
Pause for a moment and become mindful of what is going on inside you. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Why do I want this now?
- What is the worst that could happen if I don’t eat this food now?
- How will eating this food make me feel in 20-40 minutes?
- Will I feel regret or satisfaction?
- Will I be angry with myself that I am weak-willed and lack self-discipline?
Be mindful of how the action will make you feel before you make your final choice.
Have an alternative
Nature abhors a vacuum. Don’t continue to stay in the tempting environment, have an alternative. What can you do right now to remove yourself (physically or mentally) from the environment? Do you need to walk or run away? Do you need to occupy your mind and hands with rewarding activities?
Don’t make the temptation your only option because IT IS NOT YOUR ONLY OPTION.
Bad habits are like darkness; they are ever present. But just like darkness is subdued in the presence of light, unhealthy habits can be overcome with healthy habits.
Your mind can help you lose weight, but you must consciously and deliberately engage it when you’re making food-related choices.