Brain Game: Mental Tricks for Weight Loss Success

Health and fitness experts explain how to train your brain for successful weight loss

Here’s the thing: when it comes to losing weight, it’s the “doing,” not the “knowing,” that’s the hard part for many people.

We know that we should eat less and more nutritiously, and that we should exercise more if we want our clothes to start fitting more loosely. However, our already ingrained habits and a whole slew of real world obstacles present a challenge when it comes to actually doing these things.

It’s not mentioned often, but successfully losing weight has a lot to do with your mentality. Those already ingrained habits you’re so used to, it’s going to take more than knowing what to do to break them.

You know you need to eat right. You know you need to move more. So, what’s next?

Here are a few expert-recommended mental tricks you can use to get your head in the weight loss game and successfully reach your goal.

Watch your words.

“Watch your language,” said Dr. John Mayer, President of the International Sports Professionals Association and author of “Family Fit: Find Your Balance In Life.” For example, he suggests avoiding the word “workout” and swapping if for something that sounds more enjoyable like “activity.” “Or, name the activity itself and say, ‘my run’ or 'my Pilates,’” he said. This can help you view exercise as something you'll look forward to doing, rather than a laborious task to check off your to-do list.

Find creative substitutes.

Jonathan Alpert, a licensed psychotherapist, executive coach, columnist and author of "Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days," suggested substituting some of your favorite “junk” foods with healthier options that resemble the same texture and taste. Of course, you can still have your favorite treats every now and then, but this trick can help you stick to healthier eating habits on a more regular basis. His examples: try frozen grapes to satisfy a Popsicle craving or eat yogurt with blueberries instead of ice cream. According to Alpert, over time your brain will adjust and learn to enjoy the healthier options, too. 

Click here to see more mental tricks of weight loss success.

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