When it comes to weight loss or kick starting a healthy lifestyle, we usually look towards two things; our eating habits and our exercise regime.
While these two components are essential when trying to lose weight or improve our health, there’s a third component that often gets forgotten; our mind.
Overhauling our diet and strapping on the sneakers is a great way to shift the extra kilograms added to our waistline by things like pregnancy, but when it comes to long term, sustained weight loss, it needs to start in our head.
Experts are now finding that the mental approach you take to weight loss will affect the end result. Approaching the task with a positive and committed attitude can actually help you to ‘think’ yourself thin.
You’ll often find that you’re filled with energy and good intentions at the beginning of your weight loss or healthy lifestyle overhaul. You hasn’t found themselves making grand claims about what they are planning to do and achieve in the days, weeks and months to come.
This overt enthusiasm often begins to wane however as the first flushes of excitement and dedication die down to be replaced by the reality of what needs to be achieved.
When things start to get that little bit harder, and motivation dips, it’s more likely that we’ll start to make excuses for letting our behaviour slip. Whether it’s work pressure, stress at home, the always busy life of being a mum, there’s always plenty of legitimate things that we can blame for sabotaging our healthy eating and exercise plans.
The best way to avoid this trap? Start out slowly and gently and recognise that there will always be room for excuses, but if you start realistically, you’ll be less likely to need to make them as you’ll have far less distance to fall.
For example, instead of proclaiming that you will start exercising for 50 minutes, six times a week, start with a goal of thirty minutes, three times a week (or similar). By setting a goal that is completely achievable, you’ll strengthen your mental attitude.
If you think about your mind like any other muscle in your body, it makes sense that it needs to be exercised, stretched and strengthened to make permanent changes, and that permanent change, like any other exercise to shape and sculpt the muscles in your body, takes time.
Starting out slowly and realistically is the first step in ‘thinking yourself slim’. We’ve compiled another five strategies you can use to help on your weight loss journey.
5 ways to think slim
- Set small goals – Just like a healthy dose of realism, setting small, achievable goals allows you to make regular positive progress which will keep the wheels of motivation turning.
- Write it down – Putting your exercise and eating plans and goals into writing can help you to make these things a priority in your day. Seeing them in black pen also provides a valuable tool for keeping you accountable.
- Give yourself a pat on the back – When you achieve something, be it big or small, congratulate yourself. Try sticking to non-food rewards (or something delicious and healthy if food is your thing) like a hot cup or tea or coffee at a cafe (as opposed to at home) or a quick pampering session.
- Say sayonara to bad habits – It’s usually quite easy to recognise bad health habits that we’ve slipped into. Whether it’s needing something sweet after a meal to feel as if you’ve finished eating or that extra sugar in your coffee to cheer you up on a dreary morning, knowing what motivates your behaviour means you can implement strategies to avoid these traps.
- Track your progress – Physically tracking your progress in a journal or by using our free online tool allows you to see just how far you’ve come and what you’ve achieved, a great motivational tool to keep following the path you’re treading.