The Right Weight Loss Diet Begins in the Mind

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Weight Loss Diet Mind

Terminating a life long pattern of turning to food for feelings other than hunger is vital for any weight loss diet to work. Filling emotional needs with emotional solutions and using food for physical nourishment only is key to any effective diet program. Seeking comfort, security, love, or solace in appropriate ways allows the dieter to manage their food intake intelligently and effectively.

Steps Toward a Mindful Weight Loss Diet

The first step towards attaining or maintaining an ideal weight is recognizing that weight management is more about thought processes and lifestyle than food. Thousands of dieters start a fast diet regime every day, one that may indeed melt off a few excess pounds immediately, only to have an emotional issue or craving throw them back into making unhealthy choices. Understanding one’s relationship to food is crucial to reprogramming self-defeating patterns.

Secondly, creating a vast array of choices other than food for emotional needs and building a reserve base of alternatives for times when "chocolate calls" or the beckoning smell of a favorite comfort food gives the dieter an upper hand over old counter-productive patterns. A network of supportive friends to call or a planned activity to replace non-hunger related cravings for food builds new neurological patterns that become healthy habits.

A complete physical prior to starting a diet program is a must. Blood work results will let both dieter and doctor know if there are underlying conditions contributing to weight gain and give the otherwise healthy dieter a baseline from which to start. Results such as elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol or a high blood sugar level may give the dieter whose health has been adversely impacted by excess weight a strong motivational edge.

Why Fast Diets Don’t Work

An essential for weight loss success is understanding that the reputed "best diet" or "best weight loss program" is doomed to failure unless it provides enough food to satisfy actual physical hunger and maintain energy and health. Focusing only on food, crash diets, severely restricted calorie diets or highly advertised fad diets are seldom long term solutions and may ultimately sabotage success.

Avoiding physical hunger is imperative to dieting success because hunger signals the reptilian part of the brain that starvation is imminent. Human beings are wired to preserve life at any cost and hunger is interpreted on a subconscious level as a threat to the dieting individual’s very existence. Fast diets cannot address the fundamental issue of hunger and automatic self-sabotage is often the result.

Tips for Successful Weight Loss

The successful dieter plans for success well before starting a weight loss plan. Just as a star student prepares for finals, the dieter who prepares for success before beginning will reap a higher level of achievement. A mind that has been prepared for change is better able to work with that change. Choose a weight loss start date of less than 30 days and begin both physical and mental preparation.

  • Get a complete physical during the pre-diet period. The best diet will be an individualized one recommended by a physician or nutritionist.
  • Eliminate all foods from household cupboards that are not on the recommended diet. (A local homeless shelter will make good use of them). Begin stocking only foods compatible with the recommended diet.
  • Learn to read food labels and double check manufacturers statistics with an unbiased source like The Nutribase Nutritional Facts Desk Reference by Dr. Art Ulene.
  • Since water is a staple for every effective weight loss program, plan for a way to have it nearby at all times.
  • Monitor thoughts for negativity or victim mentality. Such thoughts will sabotage success.
  • Begin thinking of nurturing things that are not food related. Make a list.
  • Pamper the body, mind and spirit with personally meaningful non-food activities or things

Beginning the Weight Loss Diet

Do not confuse preparation with procrastination; set a definite date and prepare for success with both physical and mental housecleaning. Dr. Judith Beck Ph.D., of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research has excellent tips on how to reprogram the mind to prepare for dieting success. Her research, and that of other experts in the field indicate the best diet is unlikely to be the fast diet many dieters wish for. The best diet program will likely be slow, simple, and steady, but it will be sure and lasting if the dieter changes their thinking and coping techniques along with their eating habits.

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