Always looking for new ways to lose weight, but nothing seems to work? Next question: Ever wondered how a mind expert would weigh in on your weight-loss goals? Glenn Mackintosh is a leading psychologist and an expert in weight management psychology. Here is his take on the best ways to lose weight for you.
1. Be honest with yourself
“First off, ask if you’re taking care of yourself. Are you eating nutritiously – not perfectly – and moving your body regularly and getting enough sleep? If so, your body’s going to find its natural weight. When people are trying to lose those last five or 10 kilos, sometimes what they’re actually doing is fighting against their body. If you’ve spent five years trying to get there, it might be that what you actually want is not to lose five kilos, but to improve your body image. That comes from embracing the body you have now from a place of love and acceptance.”
2. Eat more mindfully
“People who manage their weight best in the long term are intuitive eaters. They ask what their body is telling them – if it’s hungry, it’s saying I need to eat nutritious food. When it starts to get full, that’s a natural sign to stop. How is a food going to affect them? Not is it ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but will it make them feel satisfied and energised or sluggish and tired? Intuitive eaters don’t have avoided foods; they just listen to their bodies. Be present, pause and ask, ‘Is this food a good choice for me?’”
3. Get your mojo back
“Hypnotherapy is fantastic for motivation. It’s not someone controlling your mind; it’s a process you go through with a qualified hypnotherapist that allows your mind to open to new ideas that are right for you on deeper levels. It’s very relaxing. Try a light self-hypnotic process at home – close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and imagine how you want the day to go. For example, you imagine yourself feeling stressed and tired at work, but then going for an afternoon walk and feeling good. In a relaxed state, you’re suggesting to yourself that you’ll actually do that.”
4. Expand the picture
“For most people, their ‘why’ or the reason they’re making changes is weight loss and that’s not always helpful long term. As soon as you get [to your goal], you often lose motivation. Your ‘why’ can be important, but try zooming out from the number on the scale and looking at all of the ‘whys’ – the multiple reasons it’s wonderful to take great care of yourself, like health and how it makes you feel.”
5. Tune into emotional eating
“Part of intuitive eating is noticing all of the other reasons we eat, whether it’s just because a food is there or you’re emotional. Acknowledge that emotional eating won’t make you feel better and use it as a signal – ‘I’m having a food craving, I’m not hungry; let’s look at what’s behind that craving.’ Not sure what you’re feeling? Just start writing whatever comes into your mind. After a page of two, you’ll get to the issue.”
6. Tap away cravings
One of the most interesting ways to lose weight… Yep, we said tap. But stay with us: This is a legitimate technique Mackintosh uses to help people curb food hankerings. The gist? When you have a craving, tapping on certain acupressure points on your face and body (like the corner of your eye, under your collarbone and along the side of your body) sends a calming message to your brain, which helps you think more clearly and make better choices. “When you do it, you can feel the craving just clear away,” explains Mackintosh.
Science is on his side: A Bond University team scanned the brains of study participants before and after four weeks of DIY tapping therapy. They saw that the brain area that activates hunger and cravings settled down after the month of people getting their tap on.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthsa.co.za
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