Did you know that your subconscious mind may be the reason you can’t lose weight? There are innumerable ways in which you can train your subconscious mind to lose weight.
While diet and exercise are well-known fundamentals to shed those unwanted pounds, they are only half the battle. It can be infuriating when you follow a program perfectly but still don’t see the results you want, or they don’t last long enough.
The missing link? Your Brain. That’s right, it is the organ that’s responsible for making 35,000 conscious decisions a day, including every bite you eat and every exercise you attempt. If your brain isn’t on the same page as your body, you might have a hard time seeing lasting progress.
The mind has multiple layers to it – the subconscious is deeper and sometimes things we do automatically are less in our control than we think. This isn’t helpful if our subconscious is telling us to do things that are unhealthy. Reprogramming your mind is key for long-term weight loss success. If you are finding yourself at a mental war, here’s how you can train your subconscious to lose weight:
- Rethink Your Goals
Losing weight might be a result, but it shouldn’t be the ultimate goal. Rather, your goals should be small and sustainable things over which you have full control. For instance, getting 8 hours of sleep, or having a goal of consuming 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
Accomplishing small goals consistently act as the building blocks for training your subconscious to take strides towards those bigger and loftier goals in the future.
A good rule of thumb is to make SMART goals:
- Rethink rewards to train your subconscious mind
Making healthy choices is a way of practicing self-care for your body and not just something you do temporarily to lose weight. Food is not a reward, and exercise is not a punishment. They are both ways of caring for your body and helping you feel your best. You deserve both. Positive reinforcement will train your subconscious mind to help you stay on track.
- Focus on how you’re feeling
Instead of obsessing over your physical appearance, shift your focus to how your body and mind feel after inculcating healthy habits in your lifestyle. When you realise that your body always feels better after eating healthy and exercising regularly, it trains your subconscious to stick to these habits and give you extra motivation for long-term commitment.
- Practice forming new behaviour patterns
Your brain is wired for routine and creates neural pathways as you develop behavioural patterns. It wants to make connections to certain things you do every day such as drinking water or brushing your teeth, so that they become easier to repeat.
Our subconscious has been wired over many years and decades. When it comes to getting rid of unhealthy habits and body images formed over the years, ‘repetition’ is required to undo this wiring.
With just 2 weeks of deliberate repetition, you’ll start noticing differences in the way you perceive yourself. This is a significantly shorter time compared to the years it took you to shape your brain the way it is right now.
- Know your subconscious beliefs
Knowing what your beliefs are and checking to see if they are limiting in any way is an important step. Does your mind constantly go into a negative self-talk mode? “I am fat. I am undesirable. Nothing looks good on me. I will never lose weight.” Negative beliefs about one’s body image only reinforces these in your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind is always listening, and your worries may translate into subconscious behaviours and become a part of your identity.
Instead of worrying about how much you weigh, talk about all the things you can do on a daily basis to stay fit and healthy. Embrace fitness as a way of life instead of a short-term weight loss goal. Your internal dialogue should resemble something like this: “I love eating healthy and taking care of my body. I am forming new habits and I love the way I am.”
- Practice Health Affirmations
Affirmations help reinforce the new version of yourself that you are programming your subconscious to believe. Positive affirmations only work well when they are realistic and believable. For instance, if you say, “I will shed 90 pounds in one month,” your subconscious won’t believe it. Instead, try saying “I now make healthy decisions that support my optimal weight.”
Write down affirmations that work for you and make it a ritual to repeat these daily in your mind as a part of your new lifestyle. If you have a subconscious belief that repeating affirmations is a waste of time, your subconscious mind will try to prove you right.
- Maintain a journal to train your subconscious mind to lose weight
Journaling is a powerful technique to tap into our subconscious mind and keep a track of all the thoughts that come to us naturally each day. When we record our thoughts and feelings, we understand ourselves and our limiting patterns clearly. Write about your goals and all the processes you are going to follow to achieve what you desire. Read as often as needed.
For example, if being overweight keeps you from enjoying running or playing sports with your friends and this makes you feel left out, write down this specific situation and emotion. Then visualise and write down how you will feel when you lose the extra pounds and can join in the fun. Similarly, if you are eating fruits every day, write it down as a way to record your achievement and how your body feels after eating healthy.
As you start to uncover and understand your emotions around reaching your weight goals, continue to write them down. Let it seep into your subconscious and every cell in your body.
- Surround yourself with cues and reminders
Sounds, sights and smells serve as reminders and they prompt us into taking action. Making a switch from unhealthy to healthy helps train the subconscious. Stock up your fridge with fruits and vegetables that are nutrient-rich. Use post-it notes that reaffirm your new beliefs should be easy to find. Remind yourself to eat a papaya, go for a run, meditate, practice some yoga asanas, remind yourself how self-care has changed your life – anything that helps you stay on track.
Moreover, stop worshipping the weighing scale. While weighing yourself is not inherently bad, many people put too much emphasis on the number on the scale and even allow their weight to determine their mood, thoughts, and actions. This behaviour is self-destructive. Remember that if you embrace a healthy lifestyle as a way of life, weight loss follows.
The priority, in this blog, is to supply the reader with clear and unambiguous information. However, neither The New Me nor Gagan Dhawan makes promises, or guarantees regarding the completeness of the information found here. The content is not a replacement for advice of a licensed professional. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely that of the writer’s.