It is possible to retrain our brains by taking a close look at what influences us to make the choices we make.
We have to take the time to identify and understand the mental associations we make with the things that we enjoy and those that we don’t enjoy.
When it comes to losing weight this is of the utmost importance. It explains why we have often had difficulty in the past taking the weight off and keeping it off. We will also take a look at ways to eat and feel satisfied without overeating. This is a great tool to make the weight-loss process successful.
Our thoughts and actions are controlled by our subconscious mind. We may have been eager to lose weight for years, yet for some reason, we continually procrastinate, always planning to begin our diet in another week, or next month.
The desire to lose weight is strong, but knowing that being on a diet will be quite unenjoyable and even (in our minds) painful, our minds associate it with nothing but unpleasantness and unhappiness, therefore we keep putting it off.
How interesting is it, though, that we are able to easily find the willpower to lose unwanted pounds in time for our wedding day or some other important event?
This happens because or minds determine that it will be far more unpleasant to look bad for the special occasion than it will be to “suffer through” a diet to take the weight off. The thought of the wedding dress not fitting and looking fantastic brings us far more displeasure than doing without our favorite foods for a while.
This is, in fact, one of the components that will come in to play when it comes to changing your thoughts and redirecting the feelings associated with happiness and unhappiness. It is easy to look and see that we chose to eat less in order to look good for a special event. That same type of thinking is what needs to be applied to the idea of looking good as well as feeling good and being healthy all the time.
Once We’re No Longer Comfortable With What We’re Experiencing, Something Inside Of Us Demands Change
One of the largest and most common mistakes we make is that we don’t look at the bigger picture when it comes to our pleasure or discomfort. We tend to think in terms of the here and now, the immediate future, rather than the more long-term situation.
By nature, we give in to things that will bring us instant gratification. That’s why, even when we want to lose weight so badly, we go ahead and allow ourselves that second piece of pie or chocolate cake.
It brings us pleasure right now and allows us to put off thoughts of the unpleasantness of dieting. There is still the thought and the desire to lose weight and look and feel good, but those results will take time, delaying our enjoyment.
We must learn to get past the desire to delay. We have to re-train our brains to be willing to work toward long-term goals rather than being obsessed with instant satisfaction. Understanding how important it is that we develop this skill and learning how to utilize the tools we need to do so will make it possible to change our thought processes so that we can be successful at making these life-altering changes.
The key to making these changes is to understand that there is no actual “pleasure” or “pain” involved in either indulgence or dieting. Rather, these are the terms used to describe our perception of things. Our mind accepts as reality the things we tell it.
If we equate overeating or indulging in certain calorie-laden foods with happiness as pleasure, then our brains will react by allowing us to perceive eating them as a pleasurable experience, regardless of how unhealthy it may be. This reinforces our personal beliefs that it is ok to indulge in momentary enjoyment rather than taking action to ensure more long-term, permanent results.
Another aspect of this thought process is the fact that most of us have been conditioned not to waste food. How many times during our childhood were we told to eat everything on our plate because “there are starving children in the world“? We became subconsciously conditioned to eat all the food in front of us or we were being wasteful.
This mindset definitely contributes to overeating. Some people have shared that hearing this statement made them not want to eat at all (after all, thinking about starving children doesn’t exactly boost the appetite), causing them to then overeat later on.
Once again, the mindset has to be changed to understand that this circumstance has nothing to do with how much you do or do not choose to eat, or what you choose to eat.
Our mental processes are controlled by our perceptions. Our ideas, memories, feelings, and mental images all merge to form our thoughts towards what brings us pleasure and what brings us displeasure. The things that bring us pain or displeasure are quickly linked to whatever we have previously experienced that relates to those types of feelings. The same applies to enjoyable memories and experiences. This is what makes it necessary to re-train our minds.
Take Control Of Your Thoughts And You Will Take Control Of Your Life
These types of thought processes need to be reversed so that we begin to understand that eating less in order to lose weight will bring feelings of happiness and satisfaction that will last much longer than the taste a candy bar will linger in the mouth. There are a number of ways to do this. It will take some time, but the results will be worth it.
One of the most effective ways to achieve this is to distract your brain. Make up your mind to eat only half of the usual amount you eat at mealtimes. When the meal is in front of you, before you take the first bite, separate the food into exactly half and push one half aside.
Eat only one half, not a single bite more. Don’t worry about being wasteful; you can always put away the remaining food for another meal, or you can share it with someone else or feed it to your pets. Learn to retrain your brain from these thoughts as well.
The fact that you do not eat every bit of food on your plate is not wasteful, and it is also not permanent. As your thoughts begin to change, you will become more aware of the amount of food you are preparing and putting on your plate.
When this happens, you will start to cook less food automatically, preparing just the amount you know is healthy for you to eat. When you go to a restaurant, avoid unhealthy menu choices using the same decision-making skills.
Before you know it, you will be using your new tips and tools without giving it a second thought. The main point is to teach yourself to consciously choose to eat less. This will send a clear message to your brain that you are in control, you are making the decisions. This will bring you happiness and fulfillment in a healthy way, quite unlike overeating would.
Once you have finished your meal, distract your mind from its habit of wanting more food. Read a book, listen to music, watch a favourite movie, call up a friend and chat, or go for a walk. This will increase your feelings of happiness and achievement. This is real pleasure, the kind that will result in positive long-term results.
This is just the beginning of learning about subconscious perceptions and the factors that affect the choices we make. We assume that we are constantly in complete control of our thoughts and choices, but the truth is that this is not always the case. T
he human mind is an incredible thing. We are always learning more and more about it. The more we become aware of how our minds work, the better able we are to make good decisions and really apply ourselves and our thought processes to the things that will help us to lead healthy, happy, more fulfilling lives.
Helpful points to keep in mind about eating habits:
1. Don’t look at not eating certain foods as denying yourself something that you enjoy. Instead, practice thinking of it as a pleasurable experience since you are choosing to eat good, nutritious foods rather than junk that can harm your body.
2. Train your mind to think of leaving a bit of food on your plate as a positive thing that will bring you happiness since it means that you are not overeating.
3. Don’t expect immediate results. Reprogramming your thoughts will take a few weeks to get used to. By consistently and consciously changing your thoughts toward your food choices, your brain will automatically begin to replace the old, unhealthy thought processes with new, productive ones.