So you went to the mall and incidentally saw your school friend. It was a pleasant surprise. You got talking about old times and went to the memory lane over a cup of coffee. While chatting, you kept on noticing that despite being your age, she looked much fitter and younger. You secretly admire that even giving birth to 2 children didn’t leave her out of shape. You exchange numbers with desire to meet again and leave.
During the walk back, you keep thinking that despite being the same age as you, how much younger and fitter your friend looked. You realize that you need to start weight loss fast. A spark is ignited and you reach home and make a pledge to lose weight. At night, you skip dinner eating only fruits and water and sleep happy that you have started successfully. Next few days you skip your normal meals and diet and feel happy with the progress.
Then it starts happening. You feel bland and feel tempted to try a burger. After all, in your mind, you feel you deserve it. How can eating just one burger undo all your work? Now, you start feeling tempted and weak and exhausted and grumpy as you are almost always hungry and fight off desire to eat. Finally, you go on the scales and see that in a last few days, you didn’t lose any weight. You feel like a nuclear bomb has exploded and it has wiped out every bit of your efforts and motivation. Isn’t this a familiar story? Almost every person that has tried to shed the pounds can relate to it. It’s time to understand and break the cycle……
Weight loss is a complex phenomenon that is often not understood well. Yes, spending more calories than taking in is the fundamental principle and for most of the people, this is all there is to it but unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Food has physical and emotional connections to our body and mind. Sometimes we eat food when our body doesn’t have the need for calories and we eat it for our psychological fulfillment. This psychological element makes this already complex system even more complicated.
“The purpose of this article is to help people tune their minds for weight loss as if we can control the psychological battle, we can definitely win the war.”
Tuning your mind and habit building or PHASE 1…….
This is the most important aspect before taking up any weight loss programme. Sit in a comfortable chair, relax, close your eyes and start a critical analysis of how you eat all day and you will soon realise a few patterns:
1- Impulsive eating: eating foods without being hungry.
2- Eating whenever you feel like with no recognisable timeline.
3- No control over portions.
These three eating behaviours bear the major chunk of the reason people are overweight and have a strong psychological root. For a successful weight loss, the first step starts with tackling these behaviours.
Human nature is that we don’t like things to change and we don’t like to live in a restrictive environment. Most people when start dieting are not able to cope because dieting has both of these elements. The sudden change from eating cheese burgers to fruits in a restrictive environment in which people look at food and say “ oh, can’t eat that” is basically against our nature and drains people psychologically so much so that people cannot keep it up and they give in.
Let’s see what you need to do to overcome this:
1-Set up an eating schedule whether you like to eat 3 meals a day, or 7 meals a day, that is not important. Important is that there should be a specific timeline for your food intake. This will eventually tune your body’s metabolic needs and regulate your appetite eventually saving you from food cravings and impulse eating.
2-Develop portion control while eat whatever you feel like. If you like pizza, keep on eating it but develop a portion size and eat accordingly. This portion size should be for every meal and snack. This gives psychological advantage as you don’t feel restricted.
3-Have a gap of at least 3 hours or more between your last meal and sleeping. This phase is designed to control impulsive eating, temptations and creating a dietary discipline and above all, weakening the psychological aspects of eating without massive changes and restrictive feelings.
You will know that you have successfully completed this phase when:
1- You wake up hungry.
2- Start feeling light.
3- Start feeling hungry when it’s time to eat.
4- Don’t impulse eat.
Now you are ready to lose weight. Stay tuned for the next article in which we’ll explain the weight loss diet plans to start losing weight.