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The Power of Positive Thinking: How Your Attitude Affects Weight Loss

Dec 22, 2010

Positive thinking plays a significant role in your weight loss efforts. Perpetual negative thoughts can lead to self-defeating behaviors such as going off your diet, overeating and skipping your exercise routine. Positive thoughts, on the other hand, can increase your motivation and energy level.

Positive Thinking and Weight Loss

Positive thoughts are empowering. A negative attitude can set processes in motion that makes losing weight difficult, if not impossible. Berating yourself every time you eat the wrong foods, constantly focusing on what you cannot eat and approaching your exercise regimen with dread are all ways that negative thought patterns can sabotage your weight loss efforts.

When you hold a negative image of yourself, you rob yourself of much-needed energy. When feeling powerless, depressed or unmotivated, it's easy to skip your daily workout or eat a bag of potato chips to feel better. However, tuning into how you feel, acknowledging those feelings and transforming those thoughts into something more positive can actually help you to achieve your weight loss goals faster.

Strategies for Increasing Positive Thinking

A common response to those who tell you to think more positively is often: "I feel what I feel. I can't help how I feel." Positive thinking is only effective if it is in alignment with your true feelings. If you sincerely feel down about your body weight, telling yourself that everything is okay will often create internal discord.

The trick is to tap into those feelings that ring true for you. For example, keep a daily journal in which you write down your negative thoughts and feelings. If you feel you are lacking in willpower or just can't overcome your cravings, write those thoughts down. When you acknowledge the darker emotions, they often tend to have less power over you.

It is important to then make a conscious effort to transform your thoughts. It may be true that you often cannot overcome your food cravings or stick to your diet. However, if there are times when you are able to stand strong, then focus on those moments and celebrate the triumphs. Maybe you put less sugar in your coffee today and said no to a second slice of pizza. Giving attention to the positive things will help to create greater self esteem and motivation to continue with your weight loss efforts.

Positive Thinking and Setting Manageable Goals

One of the ways that a negative attitude can prevail during dieting is if you have set unreasonable goals for yourself. Trying to exist on an extremely low-calorie diet or setting your weekly weight loss goal at an unattainable number often sets you up for failure.

To increase weight loss success, set achievable goals. Losing one or two pounds per week is a reasonable goal and can generally be achieved without extreme measures. Weigh yourself weekly; every week that you reach your goal, acknowledge your success. This will perpetuate positive thinking. Before long, you'll find that your motivation and energy have increased, and the pounds are coming off.

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