The global weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. It seems that every year, millions upon millions of people decide to lose weight. There is nothing wrong with this. What is wrong is the fact that they are all struggling because you can bet that the vast majority of them will be dieting again the next year.
Of course, they’re not going to be using the same diet books and programs. They would have switched to other books and programs. This is what makes the whole dieting process frustrating. It seems that regardless of how hot a particular fad diet is, it appears that nobody is really able to make it work.
The reality is actually quite different. There’s a reason why these diets become popular in the first place. They do work. They will help you lose weight. The problem is keeping that weight off. I’ve seen it time and time again where people would lose a tremendous amount of weight and look awesome. They’d be able to hit the gym regularly and it seems that they have a new lease on life. Slowly, they get off the diet and the weight comes back. To add insult to injury, they end up weighing more than when they began their diet.
It’s really frustrating. It’s as if the whole diet experience is like going off one merry-go-round and then getting on another. It never ends. If this has been your experience, there’s good news. The issue is not the diet that you’re on. The issue is not the lifestyle modification program you’ve adopted. The issue instead, turns on your mindset.
The sad reality is that most dieters fail because they are clueless about dieting timeline. This timeline is very predictable. You’re very intense at first and then you quickly lose interest after you’ve enjoyed some benefits. After you’ve lost maybe, 10 pounds, you stop dieting or you start dieting erratically and the weight creeps back again.
The secret to dieting is not technical but mental
I can’t repeat this enough. You have to understand that the secret to effective dieting is not how well you suppress calories. It can’t be found in how effective you are in boosting your metabolic rate. While those elements are important on a technical level, to truly benefit from any kind of diet you have to learn how to stay motivated throughout. It’s your mind that’s calling the shots. At the end of the day, it’s your choice whether you want to eat that German chocolate cake or not. It’s your choice whether you want to go to the gym five days a week or not.
I hope you can see where I’m coming from. It’s always your choice. If you are able to make the right choices consistently, then you will succeed. The glue that holds this all together is motivation. You have to find a way to stay motivated throughout your diet.
Visualization helps you stay motivated
One of the best ways to remain motivated or even increase your motivation is visualization. What I like about visualization is that it’s a solution that doesn’t come from outside of you. It’s not some sort of magic pill you take. It’s not some sort of machine that you use. Instead, it’s an idea that you believe and you incorporate. Once you incorporate it, you start implementing it and it can deliver serious benefits.
What’s important about visualization is that it’s very low-impact. It actually just works with how you’re already processing the world. It’s not like you’re going to be doing something mentally that you’re unfamiliar with. It’s not something that is very strange. In fact, if you’ve ever daydreamed in the past, you’re already visualizing. Of course, you’re visualizing with a different purpose but you’re still using the same skillsets for visualization.
Keeping your eyes on the prize reminds you of why you’re dieting
When you visualize, you put yourself mentally, emotionally and physically in a safe place. You think back to an episode in the past where you felt safe, accepted and complete. You then recreate those feelings, the visuals, and the sensory signals of that point in space and time. You tap into the power of that memory and you relive that memory in the present time.
The more you do that, the calmer you feel. You feel a tremendous amount of peace. Once you achieve this state, you then visualize why you’re dieting. Usually, this involves imagining the body you would have if your diet is successful. This also involves imagining yourself enjoying the best things in life in your new body. You also imaging the emotional sense of independence, the heightened self-esteem, the greater confidence and all the other rewards mental, emotional and physical that you would get. It takes practice to do this, but the more you do it, the better you will get at it.
Visualizing your prize boosts emotional urgency
Once you are able to vividly visualize how dramatically changed and improved your life would be, if your diet is successful, you get an emotional boost. This heightened sense of emotional urgency would enable you to realize the importance of sticking to your diet. Since you are now emotionally connected to the reward at the end of the long process, sacrifices are easier to make. You will find it easier to resist eating that German chocolate cake. You would find the energy that you need to go to the gym five times a week instead of once a week. Visualization taps into the reward that you have in mind and brings to life the emotional power of enjoying that reality.
Visualization relaxes you enough to keep pushing
The other way visualization can help you remain motivated is through reducing stress. The reason why you’re having a tough time sticking to your diet and your lifestyle modification program is that doing so creates pushback. You see, your body is a creature of habit. Your body doesn’t like to change. The moment your mind decides on something other than the status quo, your body starts pushing back.
Your body would start sending signals that would want you to make up excuses so you can quit. Visualization enables you to relax your mind and emotions enough so you can find the physical energy to keep pushing forward. The stress that your body is sending back becomes muted and your mental focus becomes clearer.
Expand your timeline with proper visualization
Another way your body and mind pushes back against you when you diet is through a lack of patience. Have you ever noticed that when you’re trying to make the right food choices, you feel that you’re in a hurry, you feel that there’s really not much time and you have to make a decision quickly? There’s a reason for this. Your mind is essentially shrinking your timeline so you are pushed to eat in a hurry. If you put yourself in this position, you are more likely to overeat. This is precisely what your body wants you to do.
Visualization enables you to increase your timeline long enough so you can make better decisions. You feel that your food choices don’t have to be made in a ridiculously short period of time. Also, you would be able to skip meals and not miss them because you have a broadened timeline.
If you have been struggling with staying motivated with your diet, try visualization. It’s quick. It’s easy. It doesn’t involve chemicals and you don’t have to buy expensive equipment. Another great thing I love about visualization is you can pretty much do it anywhere. As long as you know how to be discreet, you can visualize even if you are enjoying a hot latte at Starbucks.
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