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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mental Tips for Losing Weight

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Weight loss can be an uphill battle, particularly if you doubt your ability to reach your goals. The struggle to shed pounds is not only physical, but also mental. How you think about it plays a major role. Indeed, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology conducted a study that found individuals' fitness activity and healthy dietary choices are influenced by how much they believe in themselves. So here are a few mental tips that can be used daily to help make reaching your weight loss goals easier.

No Is Not a Bad Word...Use It!
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It is alright to say no when offered something that will derail your weight loss goals. It doesn't matter who offers the temptation, it's okay to decline. Since treats, such as candy or baked goods, are occasionally presented as a gesture of affection or appreciation by family, friends, and acquaintances, refusing the offer can be difficult. If you are worried about offending the person, taking the food but rid yourself of it at home by disposing of it completely or offering it to others is recommended by the Fitness Magazine.

Think Positive
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Positive progress toward your weight loss goals can be achieved by minimizing the time you spend thinking negative thoughts according to the Cognitive Therapy Associates. Respect yourself and avoid being overly critical in your thoughts or actions. Pack your internal dialogues with pep talks and positive re-enforcement, ignoring the negative commentary that may dishearten you and stall your weight-loss. Refuse to think negative, keep looking to the bright side.

Let It Go
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As children, we are often taught to eat everything on our plates in order not to waste food. However, according to Fitness Magazine, it is best to throw excess food away than force the body to consume more than it needs. If you're worried about wasting food and money, try cooking smaller portions, reducing the amount of food that is likely to be leftover and thrown out.

Stress Less
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High levels of stress tends to weaken mental functions and increase cravings for food. Try incorporating stress reducing activities like reading, yoga, meditation, and deep-breathing exercises into your schedule. Reducing your stress level often lessens the desire to overeat, a common coping mechanism, leading to more effective weight loss.

Have Fun Without the Food
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Many activities incorporate food into the equation. Popcorn is associated with movie watching, cotton candy and hot dogs often accompany an outing to the fairgrounds. Tara Gidus of the American Dietetic Association claims that when food and particular activities become so intertwined it hard to imagine one without the other, autopilot kicks in and you are compelled to eat whenever you engage in that pastime. Alter such behavior by changing your routine. If you typically arrange your social events around dining, try planning an activity that gets you up moving around instead of sitting at the dinner table, like a walk or friendly soccer game. After all, skipping the the concession stand can help you save money as well as lose weight.