These 6 mental tricks to give your weight loss momentum are tried and tested. Read through the list and figure out which one you can take on board straight away. It’s not a race or a competition; do it at a pace that you are comfortable with. All too often we feel compelled to take it all on board only to find that we are swamped and confused.
You may elect to start at 6 and start by making small goals that you are likely to reach, thus demonstrating to yourself that you are capable. Then kick on and take on the other mental tricks for weight loss momentum.
1. Become Self-Aware:
Know your triggers. Know yourself. Completing your mental weight questionnaire is a very useful tool to help with this – you’ll learn more about your [changing] habits and attitudes for a start, and how some of these can trip you up, rather than help you. As the great Nelson Mandela once said, “Learn to know yourself…to search realistically and regularly the processes of your own mind and feelings.” Because, when we know ourselves, we are better equipped to ‘mind’ ourselves.
For instance, when we become aware that we are having feelings of anxiety or low mood (and when we allow ourselves to have those feelings), we can then do something to help to lessen the effects (and, in a way, you can validate yourself, rather than running away from your emotions). You can say, ‘I am feeling anxious’. You can ask yourself, ‘What would help me right now?’ If you learn to do this, you can avoid the mindless eating and drinking alcohol that you previously relied upon to ‘numb’ those feelings. Instead, practice self-care; things such as meditation, listening to music or talking to a loved one will all help to reduce your feelings of anxiety.
Being self-aware gives you more control; because you’re better equipped to deal with difficult feelings and emotions; and even difficult or toxic people. Being true to yourself, and to your own values and feelings, will make you feel more secure and grounded than you ever have before.
2. Take the Focus off the Scales:
Those clients that learn to take the power away from the scales are often the most successful ones at Motivation. They learn to focus on other things, such as the amount of fat they are losing, or their healthier mindset and reaction to slips, for example. We can see the most scales-obsessed clients change in front of our very eyes; so much so that, within just weeks or months, they are looking at things quite differently.
Instead of being deflated that they haven’t lost any weight one week, they’ll give themselves credit for working on a habit, or they’ll tell us that they have every belief that the scales will come down the following week, or the one after that.
They know that they are working hard on their habits, so the inevitable result it their hard work will show up – it might not be on the scales immediately, but they are aware that their clothes feel looser and their energy has improved.
They don’t become obsessed with the scales having to shift TODAY, as they are secure in knowing that their habits are healthy.
They can see the bigger picture. That’s the difference.
They have faith in themselves and in the plan.
They don’t look too far forward into the future.
They are taking each day and week as it comes, and are grateful for how much better they are feeling every step of the way.
3. Visualise Yourself Healthier:
One of the most powerful mind tricks you can use for weight loss momentum is visualisation. We have seen this work consistently in our clinics. The clients who repeatedly see or visualize their success tend to be successful.
Research shows that we can literally ‘groove’ a new neural pathway in our brains with visualisation. This means that, although we may have struggled with temptation previously, because we become so focused on what they are moving towards (our visual goal of the healthier or slimmer us), then saying ‘no’ becomes much easier (even automatic). It makes sense; it’s the power of the mind in operation.
Remember the ‘movie’ that we asked you to come up with on week two? You might not remember. Let us remind you. We asked you to come up with an image (even a movie, seeing yourself on the big screen) of you at a very happy and healthy place. Ideally, you’re at your target weight and you feel incredibly good, full of energy and self-confidence.
Try to picture the exact scene now. What are you wearing? What are the sounds and smells surrounding you?
Who are you with?
And how do you feel?
Put words on those feelings.
Bring it to life.
Now, once that image and feeling is concrete in your mind, we want you to replay this every single day until you reach that place. It’s a matter of time. And effort. See it. Believe it. It’s happening right now. Enjoy the journey towards feeling better.
Read more about the power of visualisation here.
4. Believe in Yourself:
If you don’t believe in yourself, or your abilities and competencies, then you will most certainly fail. Don’t be disheartened, it is possible to LEARN to believe in yourself, even if you haven’t up until now.
An example of this is the many, many clients who say to us, “I’m really nervous. I’m going on holidays next week and I’m afraid I won’t be able to stick to the plan.” Now think about this for a moment. Isn’t this person handing over all of their control to something outside of themselves? When, in reality, we know that their success in sticking to the plan comes from within – it’s about prioritising yourself and making better choices, regardless of what is on offer (in most cases, there is a healthy choice).
Of course, it will be more challenging when a client is outside of the home environment, and they should not expect perfection from themselves. But they should believe in themselves enough to say ‘I’ll be able to do this; I’ll stick to the plan as best I can.’ There is no need to be nervous if you believe in yourself. To learn to believe in yourself, you need to start thinking differently.
What can help is to start making small goals that you are likely to reach, thus demonstrating to yourself that you are capable of change (look at habits, such as drinking water or getting more sleep and build on those). Also, make a list of other things you have succeeded at, and give yourself credit for those things that we often overlook.
5. Be Willing to Learn (and to Change):
Up until now, we can bet that the way you’ve been eating hasn’t worked for you. A lack of control over blood sugars (due to excessive sugar and/or carbs) means your appetite has been all over the place. Now it’s time to learn a new way of eating. Get on board with this. Commit fully to the process.
Put aside time for weighting food (keep the scales out on the kitchen counter for a few weeks as a reminder), cooking and prepping your meals for the day ahead (be inspired by our recipes). Read as much as you can about the plan you are on – know it inside out.
Become your own expert at weight loss. And learn that setbacks are just that; don’t give them too much power. You will slip – it’s almost inevitable – but it’s your attitude to slipping that will hopefully. You’ll react in a new way; a way that is much more helpful to weight loss. Because accepting that you are human and will make mistakes; learning from those mistakes and quickly getting back on track is the best way to progress.
Be willing to accept the discomfort of change. And consider new ways of living. Although exercise may not have been part of your life up until now, consider learning new ways to move; ones that you enjoy and that fit in with your lifestyle. Consider drinking less alcohol.
Be open to learning how what we put into our bodies matters in so many ways; most importantly, it affects the way we feel from day to day – both physically AND mentally.
Life is short; make the most of it. Be willing to learn and weight loss momentum will come naturally.
6. Start Taking Responsibility:
Try not to take this too badly, but honestly, your successes and failures are down to YOU, and not others.
Although it’s always easier to blame your partner, your boss, your weight loss advisor or the plan itself, it takes courage and mental strength to admit mistakes and to take responsibility for the challenge you face.
Always ask yourself this question, ‘Did I fully take responsibility for this?’ It’s tough, but it’s time to be honest with yourself. Or are you saying ‘right now is just a bad time for this?’ These are just excuses. There is no RIGHT time. We accept some times are more challenging than others, but meanwhile life is passing you by. NOW is the right time to tackle your health and your weight. We know the plan you are on WORKS *.
It is a science; whereby creating a calorie deficit (ie. consuming fewer calories than your body needs) WILL result in weight loss. Ask yourself ‘Am I really sticking to the plan?’ ‘Am I taking a food diary, and being honest?’ If not, it’s time to come on board and to do this as it is designed. It WILL work if you commit to it and if you take responsibility for the decisions you make…and we don’t mean the slips (they’re a normal part of any successful weight loss journey), but the choices you make.
For instance, the choice you made to throw the towel in as you had gone off track a little, or the choice to look at things negatively and to tell yourself this was never going to work and you were destined to fail. Look at it, and yourself, honestly. And then start again. The clients who take responsibility fully on their shoulders are the ones who always succeed. Sign your commitment at the beginning of your plan and keep committing – to yourself. With some determination and self-belief, you WILL get there. Real weight loss momentum and it will feel fantastic.
*In some very unusual circumstances, a client will fail to lose weight due to an undetected medical condition such as an under-active thyroid. Similarly, going through the menopause, or suffering from chronically poor sleep or elevated stress levels are other examples when weight loss can be slower or more challenging, but by no means impossible. Feel free to speak with one of our weight loss advisors about any of these issues.