We’ve all heard about the power of thoughts. Whole books have been written about using mental visualizations to support you in your life goals. In the past many dismissed the idea of affirmative thinking as a fanciful notion, but as scientists delve deeper into neurological research they are continually discovering more supporting evidence for the power of positive thinking. Thinking positively isn’t often our first instinct when it comes to facing a challenge like weight loss, but it can have a huge effect on your results. Below we’ll examine different ways to think positive to lose weight.
Set affirmative goals
Weight loss is very goal focused, but how you word and think about your goals affects your success rate with them. Most people say they want to lose such and such pounds. This goal is fine, but the wording doesn’t support an optimistic outlook. Instead try, “I will lose such and such pounds” or imagine you are your future self and write “I take the stairs four days a week.” This helps place your mind in achievement mode, instead of task mode.
Breaking up your goals into small weekly and/or monthly goals and reviewing them every few days helps keep you in that mindset. Don’t only focus on pounds. Focus on activities too. Weight loss is not just about numbers, it’s about being able to do the things you want.
Begin each day with one positive thought
How you begin your morning affects the rest of your day. Just like eating breakfast is important to get your metabolism started, prepare yourself mentally with one positive thought. Make it your daily intention and say it aloud at least once. It can be something you want to achieve or it can just be something encouraging. You could choose something along the lines “I will drink eight glasses of water” or “Anytime I feel discouraged about my weight loss, I will think of two things I am doing better than I used to.” Starting your day as an optimist instead of a pessimist will help you feel better about yourself and your progress.
End each day with a compliment
As you wind down from your day it can be easy to think about all the things you did wrong or just didn’t do, but focusing on the negative won’t help you achieve your goals. Weight loss is a long process and it takes a lot of time and effort to make permanent changes to your habits. So don’t beat yourself up for your failings.
Focus on one thing you did well today. Compliment yourself on that achievement. Psychologists have shown that in the workplace, people whose achievements are praised do better than those whose achievements are ignored and their faults are berated. The same goes for weight loss; you can achieve better results by focusing on your successes, no matter how small, than your failings.
Enlist a friend for support
Even the most naturally optimistic people have their off days, so choose a good friend to help keep you positive when you see everything as bleak. Check in with them every week or so to celebrate your successes. They’ll be able to help keep you feeling positive about your efforts. We are our harshest critic and an outside voice can often help us find our accomplishments when we can’t see them.
Keeping a positive attitude about your weight loss can be a challenge. It is so easy to think that “no other diet has worked”, “it’s just my genes”, “I hate exercise” or “Nothing is changing so I might as well give up,” but resist falling into the negativity. You’ve already tried negative thinking, so you know it doesn’t work. Give positive thinking a try. You’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve when you believe in yourself.