Mind Over Matter:  Key Strategies for Weight Loss Success

Oct 1, 2022

 by Nicole Grevelis


Katie, a 33-year-old mother of two

has been on her share of diets.  She feels she has tried everything from Weight Watchers to the Zone to Sugar Busters.  While she has had moderate success in losing weight from time to time, she has never found a long-term weight loss solution.  Her weight is a point of contention in her marriage; her husband—who also happens to be obese—wishes she were thin but says he loves her anyway.  The two have been separated several times, and even filed for divorce once.  The stress has caused Katie to begin binge eating again. 


There is hope for Katie

and others like her who feel as if they’re trapped on the diet carousel.  The key to long-term weight loss success may not be the body but the mind.  Research indicates that those with a positive outlook on life are more likely to lose weight—and stay thin.  But how can you have a positive outlook when you’ve been burned many times?  Is it possible to “will your way” to losing weight?


One technique that has been proven effective in sports training is visualization. 

For instance, a baseball player might visualize his bat connecting with a ball, leading to a home run.  A soccer player might visualize kicking the winning goal in a soccer match.  And a golfer might visualize sinking the winning putt in the Master's Tournament.


Dieters can use the same technique. 

Visualize yourself as thin.  Picture yourself in that dress that is now two sizes too small.  Imagine stepping onto the scale and being pleased with the result.  Visualize yourself saying “no” to that piece of chocolate cake or that plate of Fettuccine Alfredo.  These mind exercises can help to spur you onto weight loss.



 When people learn they are suffering from cancer, they are encouraged to imagine their cancer cells being destroyed by healthy cells.  You can follow the same technique to lose weight.  That means imagining your fat cells being destroyed by thin cells.  You can “think your way” to a healthy weight through such a method. 


 In addition, it is critically important that you maintain a positive attitude.  Be forgiving of yourself.  If you veer off your diet plan, simply get back on course with your next meal.  Don’t spend precious time “beating yourself up” over your failures.  Instead, celebrate your successes—in a non-fattening way.  For instance, when you reach a milestone—say you’ve lost ten pounds—reward yourself with a trip to an art museum or to your favorite coffee shop  (but skip the cream and sugar).   Marking milestones will give you a sense of accomplishment and that you are triumphing over food.


 Another helpful technique can be prayer or meditation. 

Some support groups even offer Bible-based weight loss programs that use scripture verses to help inspire.  Taking stock of your life and handing your weight loss problems over to a higher power can be cathartic and may give you a sense of peace about your weight difficulties.  It has been said that a clear head leads to a healthy body.  Try praying or meditating for ten minutes at the start of your day.  Chances are you will feel refreshed and ready to tackle the weight challenges that come your way.


Yet another technique you might consider is role-playing. 

Grab your spouse or a friend and ask him or her to act out a situation in which you might be tempted to overeat.  You’ll be forced to come up with strategies to fight temptation.   This rehearsal could be quite helpful when a real-life diet dilemma comes your way.  If role-playing works for job interviews, it should also benefit your weight.   


Mind over matter is not just a clever saying. 

It can be the solution to your weight loss problems.  Using your brain power, you can develop the techniques needed to make healthy food choices.   You have the best of both worlds when your mind and body are healthy.


Do you want additional support in your weight loss journey?

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