So, you’ve tried the low-cal dietary plans, the metabolism boosters, and maybe even a few tummy wraps, but you’re still not dropping pounds as quickly as you’d like. While all of these tools and methods can certainly be helpful, there is no weight-loss weapon as powerful as your mind. Use these tried and true psychological tricks to lose weight and keep it off for good.
1. Focus on Your Food
We live in a fast-paced world prized for its convenience. Nowadays, most meals are eaten anywhere but the dining room table. We eat in the car while we’re driving, at our desk while we work, or in front of the T.V. as we binge-watch another series on Netflix. Even if we do find time to sit down and enjoy a meal, many of us spend that time with a fork in one hand and our smartphone in the other.
We become so wrapped up in the distractions that surround us that we don’t pay any mind to the food in front of us, which is one sure way to overeat. When you allow yourself to focus on your food, you become more aware of how much you’re eating and when your body has had enough to feel satisfied.
Put down your phone, turn off the T.V., and practice being mindful during meal time.
2. Sleep More
Sure, you need energy to exercise and yes, being tired causes you to crave sugary foods for quick bursts of energy, but the benefits of sleep reach far beyond the physical reactions.
Getting plenty of sleep tonight will set you up for success tomorrow by preparing your mind for another round of fattening temptations and challenging exercise. As you sleep, your brain is able to process and unload another day’s worth of experiences and prepare you for a fresh start when you wake up.
Without sufficient sleep, your mind and body don’t have enough time to recalibrate, leaving you more easily frustrated, overwhelmed, and discouraged -- and we don’t have to explain why that type of mindset is bad for your weight-loss efforts.
3. Exercise Less
Yes, you read that right. Exercise less. Now, we don’t mean that you should exercise less often, but that you should exercise for less time. Shortening your workouts to 30 minutes may sound like one of the stranger psychological tricks to lose weight, but it’s a proven method!
In a recent study published in the NCBI, subjects who engaged in high-intensity workouts for 30 minutes at a time showed greater weight loss than those who participated in 60-minute sessions of traditional exercise. It was speculated that the subjects who exercised longer were more likely to overcompensate in their calorie intake later.
4. Keep it Positive
Do you think kindly about yourself when you look in the mirror? Are you forgiving when you step on the scale? If you’re not making your weight-loss journey a positive one, then you’re doing it wrong.
In light of recent controversy, there have been several studies on the effects of using fat shaming in an attempt to encourage weight loss. The results of these studies all point to one conclusion: it doesn’t work.
In fact, trying to shame yourself into losing weight will actually have the opposite effect. The more negative you become about your body image, the lower your levels of confidence and self-efficacy will sink. Once your self-esteem has reached the point where you no longer believe in your ability to accomplish even the smallest of goals, you’ll find it much more difficult to stick to your diet or follow through with your exercise routine.
5. Think About It
One McDonald’s Big Mac has 540 calories, 950 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbs, 17 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, and one gram of trans fat. This lethal combination has the power to spike blood pressure levels to abnormal levels in less time than it takes you to finish that side of fries. The high fructose corn syrup and other additives will keep you craving more unhealthy foods throughout the day, and all that sodium will dehydrate you in under 30 minutes while it puts your kidneys and your heart into overdrive. Regular Big Mac munchers can look forward to high cholesterol, heart disease, and other health complications.
Think about that.
If your weakness lies in fast food, take a minute to research your favorite menu items and let the horror sink in. The next time you’re craving that fat-filled, sodium-saturated guilty pleasure, you’ll definitely think about it and you’ll opt for a healthier choice.
Change Your Mindset to Change Your Life
With a few psychological tricks to lose weight, you can shed the pounds more effectively. Just remember to be mindful during meal time, get plenty of sleep, shorten your workouts, stay positive, and research what you’re craving.