Healthy Eating, Healthy Mindset
During Medical Weight Loss, think “mind over matter” when it comes to your diet.
We often don’t give enough credit to how much our attitude towards diet affects what we eat. In 2010, researchers from Flinders University connected intense mental imagery with food cravings. The more a participant thought about a certain food, the harder it became to resist indulging in that specific treat.
Many people assume that following a healthier diet will be easy during a medical weight loss program. After all, once you’re on a specific plan it should be simple, right? Even though you will have a different diet during your weight loss plan, that won’t change how you think about eating. If you spend all day dreaming about a piece of cake or thinking about ordering a pizza, then you will find it hard to resist those temptations even if you are not physically hungry at the time.
In fact, head hunger or cravings (the hunger you feel from thinking about food—not the physical hunger in your stomach) can lead you to make poor dietary choices despite a lack of physical appetite.
Your weight loss doctor and lifestyle coach will give you dietary tips and strategies to follow during your weight loss plan. However, if you truly want to succeed you must remain determined and focused on your goals. If your goal is to stay on track with your weight loss and use your medical weight loss program to its full advantage, you may want to stick closely to what has been instructed.
To eat healthier, you should think healthier first. Here are a few tips that can help you keep a healthy mindset when you are tempted to break your during your diet.
- Stop picturing it: The Flinders University study provided valuable insight into how to resist a food craving. Imagery works when it comes to appetite. When you constantly think about a certain treat it is going to become harder to resist. You can’t tell yourself not to think, so instead start thinking about something else that is just as vivid but not food related. Picture a rainbow or try to remember the smell of a flower. This will get your mind off of the food and help you resist a temptation.
- Work it off: In 2012, a small study was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology that found that engaging in moderate exercise for 60 minutes greatly reduced the desire to eat and the pleasure associated with consuming food. Try taking a walk or going for a swim!
Adjusting to a healthy diet takes time for anyone trying to lose weight. Follow your weight loss doctor’s guidelines in regards to your diet, and use mental tricks like the ones suggested above to overcome past dietary habits and cope with lingering temptations.