For some, few challenges in life equal that of dieting. It would be correct to put successful weight loss up there with other kinds of successes like a happy marriage and financial independence. And just like these, dieting is won first in the mind.
Dieting is literally a mind game, a battle with self. If you do not understand it thus, you are honestly a non-starter. Changes in lifestyle mean changing your everyday choices, it means disliking things you have always liked and liking things you do not, it means knowing different.
One of the first things you will need to change is you belief system. You will need to work on “food is my comforter” “I like munching cookies” and similar beliefs ingrained somewhere in your subconscious. It is this belief that is the source of your craving and at the very least want of foods you should not be eating.
Belief systems are the way you see the world. Stephen Covey in his book Seven Habits of Highly and Effective People calls it you “life lenses”. So it is your belief system that determines whether you see half full or half empty. And how you see determines your altitude and probably as you know your attitude determines your altitude.
A poor attitude in dieting is a guarantee for failure. You cannot approach weight loss nonchalantly. You cannot think that you are denying yourself or you are being punished. Infact such attitude mostly comes from miss-information.
The ability to change your belief or what Covey calls paradigm shift, is often a result of awareness. For example the governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee who lost 100 pounds “woke up” to the fact that he may die of diabetes just like a parent of his he watched suffer. And as we all know the problem of obesity and their co-morbidities is that they creep on you slowly. The joints start aching, then your back, and then you cannot walk without being winded. So for most people it doesn’t hit them until it is too late and they need extreme intervention like surgery just to live.
However there are means and techniques that are under your control that can help you alter your paradigm. Primary of this is knowledge, because knowledge is power. You do not want to try different diets as so many do. First you want to know why you should lose weight anyway. What works for other? Why do some say low carbs is bad? How come some have lost weight with diets others say are bad? What happens when you are fat? How do people get overweight? Have answers to as many questions as possible. This puts you in a position to make informed decisions.
With a shift in your belief system or paradigm, then it becomes easier and necessary to change habits. Remember you cannot just do away with a habit you need to have it replaced by another.
If you used to eat watching T.V, do not just switch of the T.V. You need to replace that urge to watch T.V as you eat with something else. For example eat with the family and talk.
If you snack, you just will not necessary stop snacking. If you can, well and good but if you still have this desire to put something in your mouth why not try and apply instead of crackers.
Too little is talked about how your mind contributed to winning or losing in weight loss. But after all is said and done, you need your mind to agree with your weight loss plan for you to succeed.