5 Ways to Lose Weight by Tricking Your Brain
Have you noticed that once you decide to go on a diet you feel like you are starving? Or you have cravings for things that were never a big deal before? This is because hunger is strongly linked to our emotions and our thought processes. As unique and smart as we all are, our brains are wired much in the same way and many of us have emotional connections with food. There are proven ways to literally trick your brain and your food feelings into eating less and keeping your diet on track. If you are a person who needs some help with will power you will be excited to use these 5 dieting tricks that will make you lose the weight.
1. Change up built-in habits. We are conditioned to eat at certain times. For example, in a theater during a movie we can polish off a large popcorn and soda but would we eat that same amount of food if we were in a different setting? If you are used to having high calorie snacks and drinks sitting out on the coffee table or next to your computer, either put them away and train your brain to only eat at meal times and reduce that thoughtless snacking. If you are struggling with this change don’t give up. Replace your normal snacks with a tall glass of ice water and a bowl of plain popcorn. This will still give your brain and emotions the pleasure of snacking without the crazy calories.
2. Use small plates. Often times dieting means eating less than you used to be. Instead of half a box of cheese crackers we measure out a handful of 8 that equal 100 calories. But your brain sees small portions and you might instantly feel cheated. Sitting down to dinner with a smaller portions may cause you to decided ahead of time that the meal is not enough to satisfy you. Putting small portions onto a regular sized dinner plate makes it look like there is something missing. Using a small plate will make your brain see a meal that fills the plate and looks like enough food to satisfy.
3. Restructure your internal voice. Realizing that change is good and sacrifices lead to success is something that we can deliberately try to do but then there is our inner voice . complaining about being hungry we are telling us how hard dieting can be. We have to be aware of these automatic thoughts and change them so that don’t sabotage ourselves. It is counterproductive to replace eating with negativity and constantly remind ourselves that we are missing out or being deprived. Stop obsessing on how bland water tastes and remind yourself that it is flushing the impurities and fat from your cells. When you have a thought pop into your head that gives you the wrong message, be mindful about changing that internal voice into feelings that will cause you to succeed.
4. Set up challenges and reward yourself. Our brains naturally like to solve problems. Our emotions are positive when we are motivated and successful. Setting small goals are celebrating the success is a trick that will keep you on track with a great attitude. If you are having trouble getting through your week, set up a reward for yourself every couple of days that you can look forward to and earn. It should not be food related and it doesn’t have to be over the top or expensive. It could be waiting to read more of your book until you hit two days of sticking to your meal plan. Maybe it is taking a walk with a friend who is proud of your progress and will listen to you talk about your successful week!
5. Delay gratification and train your brain to have self control. If you are struggling with cravings and just can’t shake it off, make a plan and stick to it. If you are craving something specific and nothing else will do, decide what you can buy that will disarm your dieting anxiety. If you crave a fast food fried, go online and research which ones have the fewest calories and buy a small. Once you order them, park in a spot and savor each one rather than eat them fast and still feel like you want more. If you really want a piece of cake that is sitting on your kitchen counter, cut a small slice and place it on a small plate. Give yourself a time that you may eat the cake. Delay the gratification for a bit to show your brain and your emotions that you are able to have control over them. Go fold the laundry, take a walk, read the news… anything to put some time between you and satisfying your craving. When you do eat your obsessive food, do it slowly and deliberately so you really enjoy it while the craving subsides. When the food is gone be satisfied and done. Pick right back up with your dieting goals and be proud that you were able to delay the gratification and not overeat.
Dieting is difficult. If we pay attention and put in the effort, we can learn a lot about ourselves, our habits and our feelings about food. Following these 5 dieting tricks will change your thinking, train your brain to have better habits and lessen the struggle with your emotions. Dieting is sometimes a learning process filled with both failures and success. Don’t give up. Keep making positive changes until you reach your goal weight.