Mind Matters, Brain-power to boost weight-loss

Losing weight and keeping it off isn't just a matter of counting kilojoules. The secret weapon for long lasting weight-loss calls for team effort - between your eating habits and your grey matter. Mind-power is the key.

The secret to weight-loss is simple: eat less kilojoules than you actually burn. But lasting weight-loss has little to do with simply crunching those numbers. To shed these extra kilos and to keep them off for good means you have to re-train your brain and challenge the thoughts and feelings you associate with food. In order to permanently minimise your waistline, you have to alter your relationship with food and re-shape those unhealthy eating patterns that you have developed throughout your life.

With these tips here, you learn how to recognise emotional eating patterns and exploit psychological make-up so that healthy eating becomes easier and the pounds stay away from your waistline.


Figure out your FEELINGS

Fact is people tend to use food for comfort. To add even more salt to the injury, comfort food No. 1 is unfortunately food that is high in sugar as eating carb-heavy foods temporarily boosts levels of serotonin - a brain chemical that regulates your mood and energy levels.

Instead of gulping down that chocolate bar when the next choc craving sets in, step back and ask yourself why you crave that sugar high. No answer here? Well, consider healthy alternatives that will benefit your health and waistline such as going for a walk, jumping on your bike or catching up with friends.


Spot food FRENEMIES

Watch out - some situations can trigger emotional eating! For example, after work drinks or simply catching up with friends can present an evil food-trap. Often these social gatherings make you eat more than you actually want. Peer pressure is on! Over conversation and drinks you often forget how much you actually eat. In addition, you tend to eat more when in company of others - food with friends can quickly turn into a frenemy feast. Try to keep track of your drinks - especially cocktails tend to be high in sugar! Food-wise opt for the more 'healthy' dish like a yummy salads, grilled meat and steamed veggies.


Keep a POSITIVE outlook on life

There's a definitive connection between living well, eating healthy and the way you think about yourself. Your mood strongly affect the success of your weight-loss. Keep in mind that negative core beliefs tend to hold you back from achieving your goal - a 'can do' attitude and a cheerful outlook on life can lead you anywhere - well, almost!

Of course, in the beginning it might be easier to give up when the results just won't show the desired effect. But you can challenge these negative attitudes and keep positive by writing a 'Fabulous 5 list' every day before you go to bed. Simply scribble down all the good and positive that you have encountered during the day - a compliment at work, a smile from a stranger on the subway or simply encouraging words from your friends. Yes, all these small and simple things will make a difference! Just wait and see!


Keep a FOOD DAIRY

To change bad habits means to be aware of what they are. It's much easier to change the known than the unknown.Record your daily food intake and make this your new secret weapon for successful weight loss - every Latte on-the-go, every little nibble in-between - pen it all down without making excuses! Make a note every time you munch, including the exact time of day, your activity before and after eating and also your mood in that particular situation.

The point of this precise food analysis? Well, within a month you start noticing a certain eating behaviour. The next step is then to distinguish the good from the bad pattern like eating too much sweets in between meals or eating chocolate every time you feel low!


Focus on your PLATE

Stop multitasking! To eat is an everyday activity that deserves your full attention. Put down that magazine, switch out that TV and concentrate on your plate! The brain needs 15 to 20 minutes to register signs of fullness - so slow down and focus. Take breaks and drink in between bites. And if you feel full, don't force yourself to clean the plate - leave the leftover for the next day as healthy lunch option.


Wait out TEMPTATION

Put food cravings on hold! Sometimes you are not really hungry, just emotionally stressed out or bored. Try to drink a glass of water instead of turning to that chocolate bar. If you are still hungry 10 minutes later, get a healthy bite like a piece of fruit.


Author: Anya Weimann





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