lose weight

Have you attempted weight loss or tried to improve your eating habits, only to find yourself unsuccessful?

It could be because mentally, you’re not setting yourself up for success.

I see a lot of people who feel very guilty about their ‘bad’ food choices and this leads to them feeling worthless, ashamed and defeated. They beat themselves up for eating a particular food or having a binging session. The way they feel about themselves certainly isn’t positive and because of this they have negative ‘self-talk’ – they don’t speak nicely to themselves. Our self-talk is something that goes on all day, usually without us even being conscious of it!

Most of the people I see say they know how to eat healthy, but are somehow unable to actually put it into practice. They know what they are doing is is not helping themselves, but they can’t quite work out why they’re still doing it. Unconscious self-talk and thoughts often lead to unconscious decisions and these unconscious thoughts and decisions could be why you can’t get in control of your eating habits and lose weight.

One example of this is having a ‘bad’ meal where you were undisciplined and over ate. You then start telling yourself that you’re ‘fat’, ‘disgusting’ and ‘worthless’. You think so little of yourself that you then completely give up on your healthy lifestyle change or diet because you believe you can’t do it, there’s no point and you should just give up. A week later you regain motivation, eat healthy for a few days, only for the same thing to happen. This cycle can repeat itself for years!

I believe that if people were more aware of their thoughts, this wouldn’t happen.

A major key to stopping this cycle is to simply talk nicely about and encourage yourself! Catching unhealthy thoughts before they lead to unhealthy behaviours is critical when implementing lifestyle changes.

Here are 3 simple steps to help you choose healthy thoughts:

1)     Think about what you are thinking about.

When I did my counselling diploma a few years back we had an assignment in which we had to pay attention to our daily self-talk. The task was simply be more aware of the thoughts that were running through our minds throughout the day. In other words we had to actually think about what we were thinking about. Honestly, I was so surprised at how negative and toxic the majority of my thoughts were – especially because I consider myself to be a pretty positive and happy person. Try doing this exercise at various times during your day. Set an alert on your phone or computer that goes off at whatever intervals you set and when you hear this, stop and identify all the thoughts that are running through your mind. Once you become more aware of these thoughts, you are able to recognise the ones that are toxic and unhealthy and then deal with them in a healthier way.

2)     Catch and stop the toxic thoughts

Once you’ve become aware of the thoughts running rampant in your mind, you can start to catch the negative ones before they ‘set up camp’ up in your brain and wreck your day. Did you know that you have the power to choose what you think about and what you dwell on? You don’t have to think about whatever random thought drops into your head. Most of the time they’ll will be negative and detrimental, don’t dwell on those ones.

3)     Consciously redirect the thoughts into something positive

Once you’ve decided against a detrimental thought, replace it with something positive. For example, the thought ‘I’m not good enough’ could be replaced by ‘I’m a fantastic creation’. Say this affirmation out loud! This process is basically choosing to replace your negative thoughts, with positive ones, ones that encourage you and not pull you down. A wise man once said: ‘As a man thinks in his heart, so is he’. In other words, if you think you’re fat and worthless, that’s what you’ll remain. If you think you’re a beautiful person who is on the road to success, that’s what you’ll become!

If you’re continually speaking negatively to yourself, you’ll never be able to climb out of that rut and be the person you want to be. It can be extremely hard at first, but if you make a commitment to choose what you think on and the thoughts you dwell on, then you can become a much happier and productive version of yourself and achieve your goals! If you think you aren’t worth anything, you won’t value eating healthy food and caring for your body by exercising. If you always say to yourself ‘I can’t do this’, that will be your reality. Decide today to value yourself and talk to yourself nicely. You don’t have to be perfect, but as long as you are headed in the right direction you have something to celebrate! A great quote I heard once was:

“I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I’m no longer where I was!”

At The Healthy Eating Hub we give you specialised advice to suit your goals and lifestyle. Great advice, combined with your great attitude, will equal great success in your life!

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