Developing healthier habits demands a balance between giving up old, unhealthy practices, and replacing them with new behaviors that support your goals. Many people find this balance challenging, particularly with regard to a weight loss plan. But what if there were a way to circumvent some of your old temptations, replacing them with healthier habits, without relying upon willpower alone?
One interesting strategy, often used by athletes and other highly successful people, might do the trick for you. Called Functional Imagery Training, or FIT, this practice could work to boost your motivation and enhance your mind-body connection.
Research has found that picturing the results you want (in this case, a healthier body) triggers more positive emotion than other types of thoughts (such as comparing yourself to others, or focusing on the number on a scale). In one study, published in the Journal of Obesity, those who practiced FIT lost an astounding four times more weight than those who did not!
So, how can you use FIT to support your weight loss plan?
Seek to understand your “why”. Why are you pursuing a weight loss plan? Create mental images to match those outcomes (a healthier body, keeping up with the kids, living a longer life, etc) Some might choose to create tangible, physical images (like a vision board) and that’s fine, too. You might also write down affirmations that you can review daily, or post them around your office.
Utilize these images at key times. Review your imagery at regular intervals to circumvent old habits, preferably before temptation strikes. Picture your desired outcome before meals, or at predictable times during the day when cravings tend to strike, and during workouts.
At first, you might feel a bit silly, but over time you should find that your mental imagery produces powerful motivation to make healthy food choices and complete tough workouts. The point, of course, is not merely to motivate you; over time, you will be retraining your brain to match desired results with productive actions.
Of course, if you aren’t sure what those actions should be, you might need a little help getting started. Give us a call to schedule an appointment, and we will discuss a weight loss plan that involves the right foods for your body type and health goals.