Junk Thoughts and Junk Food
It’s all over the media, suicide is starting to be talked about more and more as it floods our social media pages and the news. I can’t just narrow it down to suicide, but we’re starting a conversation about how we need to have conversations about mental illness. Shows like “13 Reasons” on Netflix remind us of the impact of our actions on the lives of others. You must be wondering what this has to do with weight loss? If you want to lose the weight and keep it off for life you need to be in the right mindset. When we fill our minds with negative junk, we have no issue filling our bellies with junk food.
Too many people think if they lose the weight they’ll stop being depressed, and anxious. We have to think about what the root of the problem really is and you can’t just know it, you have to be aware of the cause and effect factors. The extra pounds are not so much an issue as the extra negative thoughts you have planted in your mindset. We can’t just pick those weeds out overnight, it’s constant work. You can still be the same person trapped in a skinny body after you lost the weight and in no time, you will be gaining it all back again. We can’t believe all the negative things we believed, we can’t hang around the same negative people, or keep living a life that leaves us feeling dead inside.
Coping Mechanisms Vs Bad Habits
We’re excited when we first start a diet. I mean everyone in the commercials, brochures, or whatever sales pitch you saw is now skinny and happy. The diet process isn’t all sunshine and rainbows all the time. We need to have coping mechanisms in place that are productive. First, we must identify what is your cope definition? What do you do now when things go wrong in your day to deal? Do you tell yourself chocolate cake if I get through work? Is food a reward? What other bad habits do you turn to when your day goes wrong? Do you try to forget about your day while watching television and devouring chips? Do you drown yourself in social media wishing your life was a certain way? Guess what? Majority of people are only posting the highlights in their life and not all the dark times they deal with. We need to figure out what are your triggers and what new good habits we can replace them with.
Life is unpredictable. Rather than waiting for something bad to happen and lead you to decide I’ll stop my diet and start when life is happy again, let’s work on skills to keep you dieting through the good and bad times. Life happens, but you decide your reaction to the circumstances. Successful diets combine diet, exercise, and psychology.
Mindful Diet Tips
- Use alarms to remind you to stop doing an activity or to go eat or drink water. Set an alarm to utilize emotion-focused coping. Have the alarm read how do I feel? Set this alarm for three or more times during the day. The more aware you are of how you feel the easier it will be to make better decisions. You’ll know the motivation behind each decision.
- Let your friends and family know about your goals. Ask them to help keep you accountable. They might even want to join you if you let them know about your diet.
- Be mindful when you eat. Don’t eat while you work, are on social media, watching a tv show, etc. You need to be aware if you are completing chewing your food, how much you are eating, and how full you are. If you have a hard time not reflecting on the past in your daily life, you might be doing this while you eat too.
- Use visualization. You can even create a vision board with all the things you are excited to do when you lose weight. Even if it’s easily tying your shoes! Put it on there! It can be something as crazy as skydiving!
- We must go within. Whatever is within us will outpour into our daily life. If your thoughts are negative you will have a lot of problems in your life. If your thoughts are positive you will have a lot of possibilities. Meditation allows us to restart our day renewed without the previous day’s clutter.
- Exercise releases good hormones!!! When we lose weight, we can be a bit hormonally out of balance.
- Use your calendar. Have small daily, weekly, and monthly. They don’t have to be part of your diet. The more things you try the more confident you will be.
- Get enough sleep! I used to think my lack of sleep was hunger. Even when I was falling asleep at my desk I thought shoveling food into my mouth would help. Big lie.
- Be aware of your negative mental chatter. Identify when you are telling yourself you will never, I can’t have that, I’m a failure, etc. Truth is you can have whatever you want. You can lose the weight. You will lose the weight. You are the only one standing in your way. You have all the power. You are not a victim. You can do anything because you are the most important ingredient to make everything happen!
- Use practice scenarios to prepare for events where dieting will be a challenge. Telling yourself you can’t control yourself if you go to a restaurant, buffet, wedding, party, etc. is only confirming what you don’t want. Focus on instead, I have control. To do this you must prove to yourself you have self-control. Go to a restaurant with someone you can trust to keep you accountable.
- Reflect daily on your weight loss goal. Hang up a picture from when you used to be skinny where you will see it daily. Write down all your reasons for losing weight and put them on your fridge, bathroom mirror, your lunch box, phone background,
- Be prepared with crunchy snacks. Pick a day, I use Sunday, and precut and cook all your snacks for the week so they are fast food you can grab that is healthy. After a long day of work, no one wants to do prep for a meal. It’s so much easier to call the local pizzeria.
Feature image via The Science Network