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  • Writer's pictureChad Arterburn

Mind Over Matter: Key Strategies for Weight Loss Success



Mary, a 33-year-old mother of two, has been on her share of diets over the years. From Weight Watchers to the Zone to Sugar Busters, she feels as if she has tried them all. While she has had moderate success in losing weight from time to time, she has never found a long-term weight loss solution. Her weight is a point of contention in her marriage; her husband—who is also overweight—wishes she were thin, but says he loves her anyway. The two have been separated before, and even thought about divorce once. The stress is so much that it not only has increased her weight but has sabotaged her efforts in losing any. This has also caused Mary to begin binge and emotional eating again.


There is hope for Mary and others like her who feel as if they’re trapped on the diet carousel. The key to long-term weight loss success may not be only the body, but the mind too. Research indicates that those who have a positive outlook on life are more likely to lose weight—and stay thin. But how can you have a positive outlook when you’ve been burned so many times before? Is it possible to “will your way” to losing weight?


Studies at the National Metabolic and Longevity Research Center have taught me that overweight people constantly think about their weight in a negative way, thus creating the undesired effect. It's true that you become what you think

about, and if you constantly see yourself as being fat, you'll never be thin!


Here are some techniques to use that can help you with this.


One technique that has been proven effective in sports training is something called visualization. For instance, a baseball player might visualize his bat connecting with a ball, leading to a homerun. A soccer player might visualize kicking the winning goal in a soccer match. And a golfer might visualize sinking the winning putt in the Masters Tournament.


The same technique can be used by dieters. Visualize yourself as thin. Picture yourself in that dress that is now two sizes too small. Imagine stepping onto the scale and being pleased with the result. Visualize yourself saying “no” to that piece of chocolate cake or that plate of Fettuccine Alfredo. These mind exercises can help to spur you onto weight loss.


When people learn they are suffering from cancer, they are encouraged to imagine their cancer cells being destroyed by healthy cells. You can follow the same technique to lose weight. That means imagining your fat cells being destroyed by thin cells. Through such a method, you can “think your way” to a healthy weight.


In addition, it is critically important that you maintain a positive attitude. Be forgiving of yourself. If you veer off your diet plan, simply get back on course with your next meal. Don’t spend precious time “beating yourself up” over your failures. Instead, celebrate your successes—in a non-fattening way. For instance, when you reach a milestone—say you’ve lost ten pounds—reward yourself with a trip to an art museum or to your favorite coffee shop (but skip the cream and sugar). Marking milestones will give you a sense of accomplishment, a sense that you are triumphing over food.


Another helpful technique can be prayer or meditation. Some support groups even offer Bible-based weight loss programs that use scripture verses to help inspire. Taking stock of your life and handing your weight loss problems over to a higher power can be cathartic and may give you a sense of peace about your weight difficulties. It has been said that a clear head leads to a healthy body. Try praying or meditating ten minutes at the start of your day. Chances are you will feel refreshed and ready to tackle the weight challenges that come your way.


Yet another technique you might consider is role-playing. Grab your spouse or a friend and ask him or her to act out a situation in which you might be tempted to overeat. You’ll be forced to come up with strategies to fight temptation. This rehearsal could prove to be quite helpful when a real-life diet dilemma comes your way. If role-playing works for job interviews, it should be beneficial for your weight as well.


Mind over matter is not just a clever saying. It can be the solution to your weight loss problems. By using your brain power, you can develop the techniques needed to make healthy food choices. When your mind and your body are both healthy, you have the best of both worlds.


Here's a tip...for the next 30 days (it takes 28 - 30 days to change how you subconsciously think of yourself) take a few minutes in the morning and picture a great looking, tight, sexy body from head to toe - then put your face on that body.

Do this exercise again in the midafternoon, and then again right before you fall asleep at night.


Do this for 30 days and I guarantee that you'll start to experience a dramatic change in the way you look at your body and the changes it is making.


One of many things I do in my programs is work with the mindset. If you need help with this or any of the nutrition and fitness parts of your journey, please reach out to me.


For a better tomorrow,

Coach Chad

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