So you want to lose weight, but you don’t want to be miserable in the process. I feel you! And I’ve got good news for you. It can be done, but it’s not necessarily going to be a cakewalk (pun totally intended).
Here’s how you do it: you re-program your brain. You “re-wire” it so that it believes that it PREFERS the food you NEED to eat to lose weight.
This means that you need to teach your body to WANT the foods you need to eat to get the healthy body you really desire.
But sometimes, that’s easier said than done, am I right?
Well, why is that? Let’s take a look at some recent statistics that might give us an idea.
- A recent study found that less than 10% of Americans are eating enough vegetables.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 14% of Americans are consuming the recommended 2 to 4 daily servings of fruit.
- The CDC also notes that less than than 9% consume 3 to 5 servings of vegetables.
So how do you overcome those kinds of statistics?
Now, don’t fall over when I say this, because it’s the truth, and if you are willing to make it happen, you CAN, despite how impossible it seems.
Here it is: If you’re going to beat the odds, you may need to rewire your brain so you crave broccoli more than bacon. Each time you choose healthier foods, you’re strengthening your desire for them.
I’m not going to lie to you. There are so many healthy foods I really love – but it’s not because they’re healthy (though, to be honest, that doesn’t hurt my opinion). The reason I love healthy food at all is the same reason I love unhealthy food – because it tastes good.
In the course of losing 100 pounds and keeping it of for the last nearly 4 years (so far), I learned to sort of “trick” my body into actually preferring healthy good. So how’d I do that? Well, I’m glad you asked.
The Mind-Body Trick to Make Your Body Beg for Healthy Foods
Take a look at these suggestions for changing the way you think and eat and let me know what you think in the comments.
Weight Loss Hack: Change Your Mind
1. Remember your purpose. Focus on why you want to eat nutritious whole foods. Cutting down on empty calories can help you look and feel your best. You’ll have more energy, and you may even save on medical bills.
2. Plan ahead. Ask yourself if a few minutes of munching on corn chips is worth the consequences. Would your future self be better off if you snacked on baby carrots?
3. Study nutrition. The more you know about how your diet affects your health, the stronger your motivation will be. Schedule a session with a registered dietician or browse online to learn more about reading food labels and restaurant menus.
4. Form new habits. It’s easier to start a positive new habit than to break an old routine. If you’re used to eating a donut with your coffee, treat yourself to a few almonds instead of going hungry.
5. Focus on nonedible rewards. If emotional eating is a concern, you may need to seek gratification elsewhere. Reward yourself by watching a movie or spending time with friends.
6. Enlist support. Speaking of friends, social support is vital. Surround yourself with others who are trying to eat well so you can share encouragement and feedback.
Weight Loss Hack: Intentional Diet Tweaks to Reprogram Your Cravings
1. Add healthy fats. You may have noticed a recent shift in nutritional advice. Experts are now talking less about avoiding fats, and more about choosing healthy fats. Broccoli can be a lot more appealing when you drizzle on olive oil. Personally, I cannot say enough good things about coconut oil.
2. Hunt for bargains. Maybe the high price of some superfoods is dampening your enthusiasm. Shop for seasonal produce or grow your own. Stock up on inexpensive staples like beans and lentils. Visit the bulk bins where you can save on packaging costs, and sample small quantities until you discover your favorite grains and seeds.
3. Beautify your place settings. Presentation makes a big difference. Sit down to eat. Create an attractive centerpiece or light candles. Use colorful dishes and bowls.
4. Branch out. If kale and iceberg are starting to bore you, experiment with other salad greens like oakleaf or mizuna.
5. Try new recipes. Get busy and Google it – or sign up for cooking classes or visit the library for more ideas about what to make for dinner. A lot of grocery stores offer cooking classes.
6. Carry your own snacks. Bring hummus or yogurt to the office with you for your afternoon break. You’ll soon like your own fresh food better than the packaged goods in the vending machines.
6. Make it convenient. The foods we crave are often the ones that require minimal effort like cookies and frozen dinners. You can make healthy substitutes just as handy. Keep a bowl of fruit on your dining room table. Buy whole-wheat pizza crusts you can top with cut vegetables and cheese for a hot meal in minutes.
Imagine looking forward to a bowl of beets with the same enthusiasm you usually reserve for double-fudge brownies. Some simple mental training, along with adjusting a few lifestyle habits, will have you craving food that’s good for you. You feel me?
Need more help losing weight? Check out my book, Project Blissful – it’s the story of how I lost more than 100 pounds and have kept it off. See the ebook here and the paperback here, or visit BooksAngieWrote.com for a selection of all of my books.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.