Mindsets for permanent weight loss

Most of us pick up a few extra kilos over the holiday season. For the lucky among us, the extra weight will slip off as quickly as it slipped on when we’re back in the swing of our routines. But, for many, the New Year simply means the resumption of an ongoing battle with the bulge – one to which there seems no end.

“The reason long-term weight loss is elusive to so many people is because it has less to do with what’s in the mouth than it has to do with what’s in the mind,” says bestselling author and public speaker Dr John Demartini, a leading authority on human behaviour and personal development. “It’s not another diet that’s needed but another perspective.”

Four mindsets to help you gain mastery over your metabolism

Here, he explains the four key mindset changes that must be made in order to embrace a new philosophy of learning how to eat to live, rather than just living to eat:

Mindset 1: My values underlie my behaviour

Let’s call the things in life that are most important you – your family, your career, your appearance, whatever it may be – your ‘highest values’. Every one of us has a set of these high-priority items, the things we care most deeply about. They are as unique to us as our own fingerprints.

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When our actions serve to further our highest values, we feel fulfilled, inspired and internally motivated. But, when our behaviours do not align with those things we consider most important in our lives, discomfort, frustration and despair are the inevitable result. If this is how you’re feeling about your weight-loss efforts, your actions are most certainly incongruent with your highest values.

Mindset 2: My goals must correspond with my highest values

The simple truth of the matter is that if your goals do not align with your most important values, you have very little chance of ever achieving them.

Think about it: you’re engaged and have six months in which to fit into your wedding dress. Losing weight suddenly becomes a top-priority item, ranking high in your value system, which provides the incentive to single-mindedly achieve your goal. After your wedding, however, the kilos creep back. Why? Because weight loss is no longer a highest value.

In short, if you are serious about losing those kilos and keeping them off, you will need to remodel your value structure to include weight loss as a top-priority item, thereby bringing your actions into alignment with the things that are most important to you. Only then do you have any hope of achieving this goal.

Mindset 3: Unconsciously, I am benefitting from overeating 

When our behaviours do not fulfil the things we assume or say we value most we need to question why we continue to engage in them, even though they cause us such discomfort.

What unconscious benefits are you deriving from food? A good place to start looking for the answers is once again to consider your highest values. Which of the things that you consider most important in your life are being disregarded or marginalised?

The distress that comes from living incompatibly with your highest values may be forcing you to compensate with avoidant, hedonistic or escapist behaviours, like binge eating, which provides instant gratification but little long-term relief.

Mindset 4: I can derive the same benefits a different way

If eating helps you deal with negative emotions, what other coping mechanisms can you turn to that don’t involve food? If eating calms you, how else can you be soothed without devouring a box of biscuits? If it provides an antidote to boredom, what other ways can you manage tedium besides emptying the fridge?

Only once you get to the emotional core of your mindless, compulsive or even addictive eating, are liberated from its faulty perceptions, and find healthy substitutes for the unconscious benefits it provides, will you be able to handle life’s challenges – rather than sidestepping them with food.

Find out more, or take Dr Demartini’s free online Value Determination Test, visit drdemartini.com

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.