On The Table

A collection of knowledge-based articles to inspire overall wellness.

How Your Brain Can Help You Lose Weight

While the tools to lose weight are often in the forms of food and exercise, one of the most promising methods is by embracing a mind diet for weight loss. “A mind diet for weight loss?” you ask…

How Your Brain Can Help You Lose Weight

Think about it: How many times have you mindlessly grazed in front of the TV? Or what about taking a piece of candy off the receptionist’s desk just because it’s there? None of these scenarios have anything to do with actual hunger, but rather feeding into thoughts instead of a true appetite.

So train your brain to meet your health goals, including the components of changing your focus, modifying rewards and punishments, and learning how to make a vision board for weight loss!

How to Train Your Mind for Weight Loss

Tip #1: Change Your Focus

Solely fixating on weight loss can provoke anxiety, cause yo-yo dieting, and increase the risk of disordered eating and additional health concerns.

So diminish such harmful consequences and shift your focus to overall wellness. Not only can adopting a healthier lifestyle naturally lead to weight loss, but gifts a more positive mindset.

For example, instead of fixating on the number on the scale, shift the goal to increasing fruit and veggie intake to five servings a day or cooking at home at least four times per week.

Ultimately, goals should be small, sustainable, realistic, measurable, and within reach.

Tip #2: Modify Rewards and Punishments

To get into a healthy eating mindset, it is valuable to reflect on and modify how you view rewards and punishments...

Viewing food as a reward and exercise as punishment cannot only deter your weight loss efforts, but create harmful relationships when it comes to what you view as "healthy."

Train your mind to believe food is the fuel your body needs to function efficiently, while recognizing exercise keeps the body strong and vigor for a longer, healthier life.

Tip #3: Find Distractions

Walking to the kitchen to grab a cookie "just because?" While cookies can certainly be enjoyed every now and then, it is important to not continuously give into such lures.

So if food is often too inviting, and if weight is constantly on your mind, find more affirming and positive distractions. Constructive actions to best utilize your time include reading a book, listening to music, catching up with a friend or tackling a workout.

Regularly taking part of these actions will start embedding into a routine and help displace negative thoughts and empty fillers.

Tip #4: Keep Your Distance

"Out of sight, out of mind" is the name of the game with this brain weight loss trick! Generally, foods in close proximity are tempting and sparks cravings just because they are in line of sight.

(You know, that candy dish that is not-so-conveniently located in your path to the employee bathroom…)

Luckily, there are a number of ways to handle this scenario:
1. Choose a different path to the bathroom.
2. Ask to keep the lid on the dish.
3. And even a step further… Request to swap the candy dish with a fruit basket. (You might be surprised how many others wished for this!)

Ultimately, try to keep your distance from such temptations to prevent constantly accepting their invite.

Tip #5: Practice Meditation and Mindfulness

Like your biceps and quadriceps, the mind is a muscle that can be strengthened. But rather than building strength via weight and resistant training, wire and improve your mindset by meditating and mindful eating.

The practice of both meditation and mindfulness gifts some immediate and long-term benefits, including greater feelings of well-being and lower levels of stress and anxiety.

Mindful eating is also a supported weight management technique. The practice is a non-judgmental awareness of physical and emotional sensations while eating, particularly by eating based on hunger and satiety cues, without distraction and with intent.

Tip #6: Create A Vision Board

A vision board is a tool to help keep you motivated to reach goals and should align with your "why," which is your personal reason for what sparked weight loss in the first place.

Whether it is feeling more confident in your own skin or living healthier to grow older with loved ones, sit and write down your personal inspirations.

After reflecting on your purpose and aspirations, create a vision board to keep you reminded of why you decided to get in shape in the first place, along with sustaining motivation to progress towards goals.

The board should reflect on how you want to feel, not necessarily material items you want, including feelings of strength and happiness. Also feel free to modify as needed, particularly as views flourish amidst a healthier lifestyle!

Tip #7: Practice Acceptance

Gifting your body and brain with acceptance truly is key for hitting your weight loss goals and help you keep the weight off.

It is important to realize weight loss is an ongoing process and there will be roadblocks, barriers, and obstacles to overcome. Learning to accept unforeseen circumstances helps you overcome them and continue on your weight loss journey.

Since we truly can be our toughest critics, and rather than allowing negative thoughts and feelings flood our heads, accept yourself in the moment and bask in all the positive impacts you have already made and continue to endure!