Control your Mind to lose Weight

Published on October 9, 2017

Obesity has risen to epidemic levels globally. Body mass index equal to or greater than 30 is consider as Obese category, obesity accounts for rising rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, and certain types of cancers.

Diet and exercise are often identified as the primary risk-reduction strategies. Yet obesity is a complex problem, driven by physiological, environmental, social, economic, and behavioral factors. Simplistic plans to modify diet and exercise alone often fail to bring about lasting weight reduction or viable long-term solutions. Complementary and alternative therapies offer strategies that providers can use in combination with diet and exercise to increase success and outcome sustainability.

The mind-body connection contributes more to weight gain and weight distribution than most of us realize. The body responds to ‘issues in the tissues’ in other words, we hold emotion in our bodies. This is the essence of the mind-body connection. Our thoughts influence the shape, structure and functioning of our bodies and our bodies reinforce in our mental or emotional state.

When we have an emotional reaction or an emotionally-charged thought, they become emotion or energy in motion. This energy in motion causes an involuntary chemical and physical reaction in the body. A physical reaction to emotion occurs on several levels:

·         Certain muscles contract or release often resulting in a change in our posture

·         The brain releases or modulates chemicals according to the type of emotion

·         Blood flow increases or decreases throughout the body

·         Our breath becomes more shallow and/or rapid so our oxygen intake decreases.

These physical effects are instantaneous and often unconscious. The more extreme the emotion is, the more we will feel it in our bodies. Without our bodies, we could not feel for a thought to have power it has to be anchored in the physical body as an emotion.

So how does emotion cause weight gain?

 It all comes down to muscle tension. When there is long-standing tension in a group of muscles, the body’s natural reaction is to ‘desensitize’ itself to the tension. It does this by distributing extra fatty tissue to the affected area of the body. This process is similar to the emotional tendency we all have which is to ‘sweep it under the carpet’, or ignore the pain for as long as possible until we have no choice but to confront it. You will find that if you press hard enough through excess fatty tissue, that there is underlying tension in the muscle. There are several ways to do this from a psychosomatic perspective:

·         Bodywork that focuses on certain emotional release points in the body to ‘unlock’ the stored emotion or ‘cellular memory’.

·         Awareness of the connection between different parts of the body and particular emotions or life lessons and using this understanding to release any past memories that are stored in the body.

Eating to soothe the emotional load?

Individuals may feel strong food cravings when they are stressed out, anxious or upset. They may crave scones or muffins when you feel unloved, alone or unsupported emotionally, or feel like munching crispy sweets when frustrated, or feel like eating spicy foods when bored. Or, feel like downright binging when have unpleasant feelings and want to numb themselves and just forget about everything.

Losing weight requires more than a physical commitment - the mental aspect is also vitally important. When it comes to fitness, the mind truly is a powerful thing. It is important because the wrong mental approach to getting more fit can have powerful negative effects. A huge amount of dieters quit their weight loss plans because of psychological reasons.

Continual negative thoughts can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. If daily you bombard yourself with self-defeating thoughts, then eventually you will begin to believe them.

When you tell yourself such things as "I'm always going to be fat" or "I can't stop eating" or "I can't walk that mile", then naturally you'll start to believe the myths as factual. From there you have immediately set the stage for failure.

So, how can you dig out of the seemingly endless downward spiral of negative thoughts and feelings? Start with these six important psychological exercises:

1. Create a list of all the negative thoughts that you have about yourself. Then create a second list of all the things that you like about yourself. Keep working on your positive list until it is much longer than your negative list. We all tend to be our worst critics, so this can be a challenging exercise. Write down even little things like "I can make a great cheese sandwich", or "I always get to work on time".

2. Take your list of negatives and change all of them to positive potentials. For example, instead of "I always fail at losing weight" change it to "I can succeed at weight loss." Or, instead of "I can't stop eating", change it to "I will control my portions." Destroy your negative list and only keep the new potentials list.

3. Stop using these words: can't, won't, never. Replace them with: can, will, always.

4. Forget the past. That piece of cake you ate yesterday is old news. Forget about it and move on. Live only in the present. You can't change what you did even an hour ago. All you can do is resolve to stay focused and committed right now and try to keep that focus tomorrow too.

5. Stop making excuses for why you can't exercise and eat right. Start by making a list of all of your steadfast excuses and also all the reasons that you should workout. The list of reasons why you should exercise inarguably should be much longer. Post your list of reasons where you can see it daily.

6. Stop the blame game. Promise to take self-responsibility. It's easy to blame your genes, your diet-plan or even your family for your failed diet attempts. But not accepting full responsibility will simply keep you trapped in a repetitive loop of failures.

Category(s):Eating Disorders

Written by:


amina belongs to Rainbow Obesity and Eating Disorder Centre in Pakistan

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