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It is the mind that controls your body. Your mind can help you and can fail you to get what you want. Remember that 98% of your success happens in your mind.

Do you often hear that small voice in your head?

“It won’t hurt if I ate this cake…”
“It’s ok to eat popcorns at the cinema, everybody else does…”
“Missing my workout two days in a row can’t be that bad, my body hurts, I’ll take a second day off…”
“It’s Christmas so I can eat whatever I want…”

It is really hard to deal with the little devil inside. I’m giving you five strategies to trick your mind and get over your cravings without having to cheat.

Simple mind trick #1 – Associations

It is very easy and still it works. Whenever you find yourself craving for a certain food just play a game inside your head.

Take the first letter of the food and think of as many non-food related things as you can come up with. Let’s take biscuit for example. Take the “B” and think of any B-word – ball, bird, baby, basket, bills, boy, bath, bed…

Thinking of associations you are giving your mind a chance to switch the focus on something different from food. After minutes you’ll find yourself doing something B-related and the craving disappears.

Simple mind trick #2 – If only…

It is quite often to find yourself in unexpected situations when food is offered and you can’t resist it.

Remember the last time you walked into the kitchen office to get yourself a cup of coffee and saw the cookies on the table. And suddenly you forgot about the coffee, you had eyes and mind only for those cookies.

What do you do? Close your eyes, take a deep breath and say slowly and firmly “I only want a cookie because I’m seeing it right now. If only I hadn’t walked in the kitchen I would never have seen the cookies and would never have wanted them. I will just get the coffee and close the door as if I’d never seen anything on the table.”

Two steps to remember here – close your eyes and move on.

Simple mind trick #3 – Pretend

You are finally on a diet losing weight. Everything goes well. Except the fact that you are not supposed to eat the food “X” that you happen to love most.

The solution: When eating your “Y” try to feel the taste of “X”. Close your eyes if you think it would help and imagine eating “X”. Try to experience the same pleasure that “Y” once gave you.

This one is not easy for most of us. But things get better with practice so keep on trying.

Simple mind trick #4 – Talk about it

Sometimes it would help to get over a craving if you just talk about it. If you don’t have a friend to talk to, try to write down what you’re feeling. It helps a lot to lay down your cravings, your fights and fears.

Simple mind trick #5 – H.A.L.T.

You should have this one printed out and stick it on your refrigerator.

What does this abbreviation mean?
H – Hungry
A – Angry
L – Lonely
T – Tired

Whenever you reach for food or you just think of food ask yourself these four questions.

Am I hungry? Am I angry? Am I lonely? Am I tired?

Find the real reason that urges you to put things in your mouth and deal with it. Remember
“If hunger is not the problem food is not the solution”.

If you find yourself hungry then know that you must eat your food slowly, while sitting down and enjoy every single bite. This helps you actually see and realize what you are eating so you can control yourself more strictly.

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No matter if you are thin or fat the truth is you are in the shape you have chosen to be. It may sound unbelievable at first so let me explain what I mean.

It’s deep in our nature to have multiple wishes and cravings. Human mind is a very complex system that manages all of our wishes. Whether we know it consciously or not our mind counts all the things we want as one but with many pluses and minuses.

Let’s have a look at a simple example:
You are absolutely sure there is only one thing you want in this world – to be thin. It is crystal clear, you’ve set your specific goals (-3 pounds a week), you are doing what it takes (dieting and working out daily) and still you are not getting your desired result.

What is stopping you?

Now let’s look at the complex mathematician calculations your mind has to make:

Wish#1 – Getting thin

Minor wishes you may not be fully aware of (on a subconscious level you would still want to):

– go out with friends on Fridays
– sleep until you are almost late
– eating French fries (occasionally)
– enjoying latest from Oprah with a bowl of chocolate ice-crème
– drink alcohol at parties
– please your family and friends (by not refusing another portion)
– the list goes on and I strongly recommend that you write down all the things you think you love and you’d better forget about if you want to be thin.

When I say these are your wishes I don’t really mean that you fulfill them. Just the contrary. I’m sure you know these are incompatible with your weight loss plan and try hard to avoid them.

This is the real problem. By trying hard to avoid something that you want you give your wish a negative value.

So, back to maths. I want you to give a numeral value (1 to 10) to all the wishes in your list. Say you evaluate your #1 wish by 10, because that is what you want most. Go on with every minor wish in your list –

– go out with friends on Fridays – 2
– sleep until you are almost late -3
– eating French fries (occasionally) – 1
– enjoying latest from Oprah with a bowl of chocolate ice-crème – 1
– drink alcohol at parties – 1
– please your family and friends (by not refusing another portion) – 4
– have an excuse for almost any situation (you know, fat people can’t……….) – 6

Here is the equation:

As I told you above our mind counts all the things we want as one. You aim at a perfect body but your minor wishes are holding you back. So

Getting thin (10) – [ go out with friends on Fridays (2) + sleep until you are almost late (3) + eating French fries (1) + enjoying latest from Oprah with a bowl of chocolate ice-crème (1) + drink alcohol at parties (1) + please your family and friends (4) + have an excuse for almost any situation (6)]
= 10 – 18= -8

I hope this makes it clear for you why you cannot lose weight although that is what you want most. The fact is your mind needs more positive or less negative points so that it can tell your body what to do (lose weight).

The good news is you can change the equation the way you want.

First I want you think again about what you really want. I know you have already stated it in the most explicit way “I WANT TO BE THIN”.

Well, I’ve got news for you.

You don’t want to be thin.

In fact you want the benefits that being thin would give you:

– you want to go to the beach and wear a two piece bathing suit with confidence
– you want to tuck your shirt in without your belly looking huge
– you want to have higher self-esteem;
– you want to feel better about yourself
– you want to eat without feeling like the people around you are judging you for every bite you put in your mouth.
– you want to feel sexy
– you want to be a healthy role model for your children
– you want to no more cringe at photographs of yourself
– you want to have more energy and be more productive
– ………………….feel free to continue this list

You could make a similar list with the downsides you associate with “being fat”.

I want you to go through the lists analyzing each benefit/downside. Try to make each one stronger so that it would weigh more in the equation above.

Repeat this exercise listing the benefits of being fat and the downsides of being thin. Try to make each of them weaker so that it would weigh less in the equation.

You need to make this analysis on a deep emotional level. Take your time, no need to hurry. Try to visualize and feel every aspect of being thin or fat.

After this exercise you will find yourself clear-headed about why you want to be thin or fat.

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