It can be tough for an individual to lose weight. From doing exercises regularly to adhering to a diet that is on caloric deficit daily, these are things that can be considered challenging for the average person. One of the things that can make a difference in achieving your weight loss goal is your mental toughness.
Though it’s hard to quantify, a study discovered that mental toughness is correlated with healthy eating habits.
Can you develop a strong mind? Definitely. We’ve come up with some tips on how you can hone your mental strength and make it easier to achieve your weight loss goals.
Get a Mental Coach
One of the most effective ways to develop a strong mind is by getting the help of a mental coach. Even athletes hire mental coaches to bring their A-game. Whether it’s Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, or Kobe Bryant, these elite athletes become more confident in what they do by getting a mental coach.
These mental coaches give athletes a different perspective and allow them to embrace some of the most difficult moments that make an elite athlete challenging.
A mental coach is not only designed for you to develop a strong mind for sports. Even non-athletes can benefit from a mental coach especially if they wish to be able to embrace the difficulties that you’ll face whether it’s the hunger pangs or feeling out of breath and sore when you do your workouts.
If you don’t have access to a mental coach, you can always read books that can teach you how to be a stoic. Stoicism is a philosophy wherein you are taught to be resilient even when you face difficulties and misfortune, things that can come in handy when you are trying to lose weight.
Small But Consistent Changes
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is to overwhelm themselves with changes from their usual routine. Though you’d most likely lose a lot of weight when you make a lot of changes in your daily routine, however, it’s not exactly sustainable in the long run. There is even a chance that you could gain everything you’ve lost once you felt overwhelmed.
Rapid weight loss can be detrimental to your mental health as you’d most likely feel the need to binge whenever you have the chance. Also, there is a chance that you’d lose your muscles rather than fats. In this case, you’ll end up slowing down your metabolism.
So how do you make the necessary changes without overwhelming your system? What you want is to unlearn small bad habits and learn new ones. Pleasure-based habits are harder to break simply because your brain is rewarded with dopamine if you perform the act. Take eating sweets, for example. You get that dopamine high when you consume sweets. And the more you do it, the more you strengthen the habit.
According to Dr. Roy Baumister, who is a psychologist at the Florida State University, willpower to resist habits can be drained. It means that it can be challenging the next time around to be firm and resist your habits.
This is why you might want to go slow and change small things that matter. Do you tend to not drink 8 glasses of water every day? Why not use an app that will remind you to drink water. Eventually, this could even help you to stay away from sweets and bad eating habits because you feel full.
Wager on Healthy Activities
Lots of people love a challenge. Many tend to find their motivation to go up when there’s a wager involved. You can use this to build your mental toughness and to keep your motivation up. You can let your friends and family know that you’re going to pay X amount of money in case you don’t hit your target weight loss every week for a month or two. This could guarantee that you’re not just going to be doing unhealthy crash dieting just to get your target weight once.
This makes “The Biggest Loser” challenges still popular among friends and groups even if the TV show has been canceled for a couple of years.
Find Friends When Doing Physical Activities
When it comes to sticking to a difficult workout routine, it’s always a good idea to find like-minded individuals who you can rely on. Having a good support group can improve adherence to healthy food choices or doing workouts.
Ever wondered why indoor cycling classes and dance classes are quite popular worldwide? Or perhaps, what makes CrossFit extremely popular? And even if exercises are done at a high intensity, some individuals would even consider it over regular resistance training? That’s because people get to socialize with other people while they are doing the workouts.
It gives you a different type of satisfaction to be part of the group. And in some ways, it helps strengthen your will to move forward and stick to your weight loss workout.
Losing weight can be difficult and challenging especially if there are a lot of changes that you will have to do with your usual routine. Unfortunately, the mental aspect of weight loss is often neglected as we tend to focus more on fixing our diet and performing exercises that will burn calories. But by building a strong mind, it becomes easier to achieve your goals.