Reviewed by: Erica An, BNutr&Diet
If you’re feeling down on life and powerless to change yourself in the face of a huge mountain, especially if you’re overweight, just remember you aren’t alone. Everyone on earth faces obstacles and challenges in life every single day, but what leads some to victory and others to get stuck in a rut is largely down to mindset.
Repeat ‘I love myself’ ’til you believe it.
This must be the first step towards a long, enjoyable and healthy life and removing the self hate of being ‘overweight’. Loving yourself takes the pressure off, it also disables many of the self-sabotaging thoughts such as ‘That diet won’t work for me’ or ‘I’m no good at fitness’. These thoughts affect our habits and behaviours that many people repeat their whole lives without ever realising it.
With self-love and flexibility it eliminates the crippling ‘DIE-ting effects’ where you punish yourself with overly restrictive eating and run your body into the ground. These are not sustainable, and ultimately it’ll make it damn near impossible to reach your weight and health goals.
Mind over Matter
In addition to respecting and listening to your body more, there are a number of psychological ‘tricks’ you can use, to retrain the way you approach losing weight.
1. Get rid of ‘Forbidden Fruit’
I get it, we are so bombarded by what foods are good for weight loss and what foods are ‘bad’ that it becomes overwhelming and we start cutting out entire food groups. The reality is that if you vilify certain foods, it becomes all you can think about, making you want it that much more. The better solution is to not look at food in such a rigid way. One of the best parts of the 12WBT program is that it promotes everything in moderation, and enjoying life – and yep carbs are on the menu, and no, they wont stop you from losing weight.
2. ‘What the Hell’ effect
Have you ever been so good on your eating plan, and decide to have a little treat, say a Tim Tam. But that Tim Tam is so good, so you have two more. But then you feel like you’ve ruined all your good work for the day, so you may as well finish the entire packet, and go wild with your eating for the rest of the day and just restart tomorrow? It sounds harmless enough but this sort of behaviour is doing you a lot of damage, both mentally and physically.
The real issue here is that your diet may be overly restrictive, so the slightest trigger of eating a ‘naughty’ treat food, sends you off the rail.
Once again, practicing moderation is key. If you do feel like a biscuit, factor it in to your eating plan. And if you do have more than you intended to, it’s not the end of the world. Just stop, take a breath, have a shower and press restart then and there.
3. The ‘Last Supper’ effect
So you’ve decided enough is enough, you’re going to go on a diet and end the cycle of being overweight. But…you’ll start tomorrow so you may as well go all out tonight, after all, you wont be able to eat all the ‘good stuff’ when you start your overly restrictive eating plan. In a way, it feels like a prison sentence.
And that’s where you’re going wrong.
If psychologically you feel like you’re limited, you’re going to crave unhealthy foods a lot more. In addition, how many blow outs “before a diet starts” do you need to have. Healthy eating and portion control should become part of your lifestyle. Think of it as a long term journey with balance rather than a restrictive short burst.
Healthy eating and portion control should become part of your lifestyle. Think of it as a long term journey with balance rather than a restrictive short burst, and it will help you end the cycle of being overweight or yo-yoing.
Experiment with different foods and do your research and figure out which foods;
- Make you feel fuller for longer.
- Satisfy your soul
- Fuel your brain properly
With constant experimentation and awareness you will find foods that satisfy all three.