Our ability to lose weight on any kind of fast weight loss diet is largely governed by our behavior and our emotions. Our behavior is caused by the emotional state we’re in, which is governed by three elements:
- Focus – what we think about or visualize.
- Physiology – what’s going on inside and outside our body that is reflected, for example, in our posture, or feelings of fatigue.
- Language – what we say to our self.
It is usually easier to change the trigger (the state we’re in) that causes our behavior than it is to change the behavior itself. For example, it is easier to resist buying the supersized bar of chocolate (since we’re only in that state for a moment) than it is to resist eating it once it is in the cupboard at home.
Changing one, two or all three of the elements that affect our emotional state (focus, physiology or language) and influence our choices will result in a different behavioral response.
When you start a weight loss diet, you change your point of focus. You become more consciously aware of food, measuring it and counting calories, planning your next meal, and trying to distract yourself until you can eat again. You imagine how nice it will be when the diet has finished. Perhaps you change your focus so that you visualize the effect on your thighs if you eat a chocolate bar, and this puts you off. While your focus is on losing weight, this will change your behavior. (However, once the diet is over, if your point of focus returns to where it was before, perhaps to finding comfort rather than staying slim, your old behaviors will return.)
What you eat also changes your physiology. When you change the foods you are putting into your body, you change your body chemistry and your internal physiology too. For example, you can change your behavior triggers by choosing to eat more healthily.
Complex carbohydrates (such as pasta, rice and cereals), for example, will slow your digestion, giving you a steady flow of energy, whereas eating sweets will make you feel very energetic for a short time and then trigger the craving for food again. Eating the healthy way will satisfy the hormones in your body that trigger the feelings of hunger.
You could choose to begin an exercise program in order to lose weight. Your muscles will start to build in strength and endurance, and the hormone levels in your body will change. You might feel stronger, more energetic, walk taller and hold yourself differently, so your behaviors change outwardly as well as inwardly. Regular exercise is a great way to lose weight, but unless it’s a permanent habit change, the weight will go back on.
Of the three elements that make up our emotional state, the most powerful is language. What you say to yourself, either inside your head or out loud, can completely control you. We often call the negative voice ‘the gremlin’. Without changing the way you speak to yourself, you will find it impossible to change your behavior long term.
Changing each of these elements as necessary will produce resourceful and positive states, and will enable you to develop just the behavior you want, and ditch the behavior you don’t, giving you long-term success. You also need to develop the confidence to know that you can change your response should you accidentally revert to negative behavior. The knowledge that you have conscious control over your thoughts, feelings and habits will give you the confidence to know that you are therefore also in control of your life. As with all conscious activities, once you have practiced these skills, they themselves will become very helpful habits for you.
Source by Michelle Spencer