- Establish why you want to lose weight. Put it in positive terms, “I want to be fit and healthy”, rather than “I don’t want to be fat and bloated”. The brain thinks in pictures and when you think about being fit and healthy, it sees you as being fit and healthy. When you think about not being fat and bloated it sees you as being fat and bloated.
- Be positive and set yourself a goal. What weight do you wish to be? Choose a realistic weight for your age and height. When would you like to achieve that weight by? Be realistic, if you want to lose three stone then a healthy timescale at 2lbs per week might be 20 weeks or 5 months. Once you’ve decided on the date mark it with your new weight on the calendar.
- If you can, find photos of you at that weight and display them at key points around the house. The fridge, the biscuit jar and any mirrors. These will help you to stay focused on your goal.
- Make a list of all the healthy foods you enjoy eating and combine them into your diet. Focusing on what you can eat will help the sensible part of your brain to stick to your diet. Focusing on the foods you can’t eat will only encourage the emotional part of your brain to crave those very foods and sabotage your efforts.
- Drink lots of water. Drinking water is good for the body as it helps you to avoid feeling dehydrated without adding to your calorie count. Always drink a glass of water before meals, it will help you to feel full more quickly and avoid temptation.
- Eat small regular meals. Avoid starving yourself for any length of time. If you do this then your body will believe that it is in some sort of crisis situation. Once this happens, your body goes into survival mode and as soon as you start to eat it begins to store food as fat.
- Deal with your stress. Cortisol is created by stress and anxiety. Too much cortisol can cause weight gain. Excess weight stored around the middle of the body is often due to stress or anxiety.
- Raise your serotonin levels. Serotonin is the feel-good neurotransmitter. When we are feeling positive then we are not tempted to overeat. Serotonin is created by being positive. There are 3 ways that we can be positive and improve our serotonin levels: by thinking positively, by being active in a positive way and interacting with others in a positive way. So think about solutions rather than problems. Exercise or simply get on with life – do something to move your life forward every day. Be sociable and avoid negative conversations.
- Find an activity that you enjoy and do it – often! Weight gain is a simple formula, more fuel (food) in than activity expended equals weight gain. Less fuel (food) in than activity expended equals weight loss.
- Think about this as a lifestyle change rather than a diet. This will help you to change your attitude towards food. Short term goals = short term weight loss. Long term goals= long term weight loss.
- If you occasionally eat something you know you to be unhealthy, accept it and move on. Don’t allow it to ‘neg you out’. It won’t do you any harm as a one-off, so accept it and make sure that everything else you eat today is healthy. Failing to do so will encourage the emotional part of the brain to convince you that there’s no point in eating healthily for the rest of the day/week or month.
- Find some healthy foods to use as treats. This will help to rewrite the instruction in our brain that tells us that we deserve something unhealthy when we’ve had a great/dreadful day. I have seen people spend an hour in the gym and then reward themselves with a huge portion of fish and chips. It’s time to change your mind!
- Eat from a smaller plate/bowl. This sounds too simple to work, but it really does. Sitting down to a plate filled with food does help us to avoid the temptation of eating too much. A large plate with the same amount of food leaves us feeling as though we’ve been short-changed.
- Stop eating when you feel full. This one sounds simple, but if you eat too quickly then the body doesn’t have time to let you know when you’re full. So take your time when you’re eating and allow your body to ‘catch up’ with the amount you’ve eaten. If you still feel hungry after a meal, wait 10 minutes before eating anything else. You might just find that the hunger passes.
- Change your routine. If you know that when you sit at your desk at 10.30am you reach for a packet of crisps then at 10.25am, get up and walk about. Our emotional brain believes that what we did yesterday will keep us safe. So if you have a habit that is fuelling your weight gain, find a way to change it.
I hope these suggestions help you. If you need a little more support to return to your ideal weight then maybe hypnotherapy can give you that extra push you need. Want to know more? Then just give Jenny a call on 07748 511841. The initial consultation is half price and allows you to find out if I am the right therapist to help you.
Copyright © 2015 Jenny Mellenchip.