We can tick all the boxes when it comes to what we think is the perfect recipe for weight loss. We can eat all the right things, exercise daily, and we be physically healthy but our mind can cause us to gain weight.
Behind the scenes of our conscious awareness, our subconscious mind could be telling our body to keep the weight on, when we don’t even realise it.
That’s because our thoughts and emotions have a huge impact on our body’s biochemistry and therefore, what it decides to do with our fat stores.
When you put it that way, why wouldn’t we start paying more attention to how we feel when we’re trying to lose weight? But, our feelings are often completely overlooked when looking at the big picture of weight loss.
It’s well known these days, that prolonged stress or the ‘stress response’ has been linked to cancers, auto-immune diseases, heart disease and a shorter life span. But what many of us don’t realise is that our subconscious mind also translates negative thoughts and feelings as stress and therefore reacts in the exact same damaging way to our body.
Wow, talk about having to keep all our thoughts in check. But not many of us do.
And it’s that stress that causes the body to think there is a crisis going on so will be thrown out of its normal rhythm and will elicit the fight and flight response. It’s the fight and flight response that can then trigger our body to start storing fat because it thinks that’s what it needs to do to help us ‘survive’
So you can see how this could be a problem when you’re trying to lose weight, right? Our subconscious doesn’t know the difference between the stress of having a hard day at work and the stress from the thoughts you tell yourself about being too fat.
And it’s often our thoughts alone that can be the culprit, when it comes to weight gain we can’t quite explain.
So how to we avoid this?
Go on A Diet from Negative (Fat Promoting) Thoughts
I love the way Louise Hay author of ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ puts it. She says “If you go on a diet from negative thoughts your figure will take care of itself.”
Often, our body will finally let go of the weight as soon as we decide to let go too, and accept ourselves the way we are. And the pattern of weight gain or weight fluctuation will shift as we start to feel good about ourselves.
So, as soon as you start accepting your body the way it is (for now, of course. If you’re overweight, it’s only temporary) your body will feel at ease, in absence of the stress response, and you’ll help it to fall back into its normal, natural rhythm. One of health and vitality.
Getting angry at your body for not being the weight you want it to be is counterproductive. Did you think that maybe that’s why it has been storing weight in the first place? Because of the way you ‘talk’ to it and talk to yourself?
So relax. Accept that you may be overweight for now and start to change the way you talk to yourself.
For example, instead of saying “Why did I let myself get so fat. I hate my body”, start telling yourself, “I love that I have decided to start intermittent fasting. And even though the weight loss might be gradual I’m getting healthier every day and getting closer to my weight loss goal”.
Ahh. Doesn’t that feel so much better?
Pushing yourself to fast, or even to do gruelling exercise sessions that you don’t enjoy can do more harm than good to your body and your mental state. So it’s vital that you feel good about what you’re doing.
If fasting feels like a chore for you then try changing your mindset about intermittent fasting so that you start looking forward to each fast. The weight loss implications of that mindset change will be much more powerful when your mind and body are in a state of harmony.
Change your Mindset about Intermittent Fasting
So how do we change our mindset about intermittent fasting and losing weight so that it feels good?
Start by researching all of the weight loss and health benefits so you know you’re doing something positive for your body (and that it works!). Read through some positive success stories and put some visual encouragement on your wall like this graph, get an app to track your progress, join an intermittent fasting facebook support group. Whatever you can, until you feel excited and positive about fasting.
Tell yourself things like “this is exciting. I can’t wait to see how well this works for me.” Or “I’m getting so many health benefits by intermittent fasting, I’m going to feel great” and “I’m never going to have to diet again”.
It’s these small mindset changes and the way that you talk to yourself, that will not only make sure you don’t trigger survival mode in your body, but will make you feel better, will make your fasts more enjoyable and your weight loss journey so much easier.