Mental tricks for weight loss

Anzhelika Tolstikhina

As students, we have busy schedules that include not only classes but also work and co-curricular activities that often deplete our willpower when it comes down to weight management. 

Our willpower, contrary to generally accepted ideas, isn’t constant. It changes multiple times throughout the day. The more decisions that are made during the day, the more our will weakens toward its end and the harder it gets to resist the temptation.

In the marketing world, such behavior is known as the “Theory of Depleted Ego”. Grocery stores successfully use this psychology when piling up the extensive selection of unhealthy candy bars near the cash register. 

Being on a tight budget, the majority of students are pushed into constantly having to choose between price and quality of the groceries. By the time we approach the checkout, our willpower reserves have already been exhausted from all of the price vs product decisions. While standing in the line for the checkout our sight falls on a shelf with chocolate bars – and usually the hand ends up reaching for sweet “compensation”. 

That is why a balanced diet, unlike strict one, is the path to achieving the desired weight. The harder you limit yourself, the more power you spend on the unnecessary fight against temptations. At the beginning you might have enough of willpower to control hunger, but once it depletes, which happens in most case scenarios, you will go on a binge-eating marathon that will interfere with your weight loss dreams. 

Always keep in mind that fat is not removed locally. The only way to rid of fat accumulation in the problem zone is by exerting more calories than consuming. A daily calorie deficit is the only requirement for a weight loss of healthy person. The rest is completely up to you to choose the most comfortable way of creating daily calorie deficit be it portion control or increased activity level. 

“Watch the amount of calories you are getting from nutritious food compared to working out,” said Tiffany Dirks, professor of Kinesiology department at Washburn. “If you don’t have a deficit you are not going to lose weight.”

But beware that the more food you consume in one setting, the more you want during the next one. Once you buy that pack of cookies to snack on, your dreams to lose weight go down the drain.

At first, you cannot imagine a day without one cookie, then the habit progresses into one cookie and a candy, and within a blink of an eye your lexicon includes phrases like “my legal three cookies a day.” So it is best not to buy any of so delicious, but so harmful, products that will not only negatively impact your health but will interfere with your weight loss dreams. You will miss them at first, and then forget about them. After a while, processed goodness will simply cease to exist in your everyday life. 

“The best way to lose weight is by following food guide recommendations and exercising regularly,” said Colette Meyer, wellness coordinator. 

It is important to remember that portions should be small be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Large portions stretch the stomach while small speed up metabolism.

That is why fasting after a certain time in the evening is not always the best idea. Many times sense of hunger interferes with individual’s ability of falling asleep. Lack of sleep always leads to metabolic deceleration, which ultimately hinders your weight loss dreams and puts you at risk of binging in the morning. 

Lastly, the slightest deviation from the principles of your diet should not be perceived as a point of no return. If you fell into temptation and ate a piece of cake, it does not mean that you are forever flocking out of any chance to pursue the body of your dreams and now doomed to fate of sorrowful overeating. 

What do you do if you drop your phone? You lift it up and continue with a day. What is the best choice after eating that forbidden cookie? Get pleasure from food and get back to the healthy diet without the slightest feeling of guilt. 

Did you eat pizza? Life happens. Eat a cup of yogurt before bed and go to sleep, then start a morning with oatmeal and not cake. It is simply illogical to drop the phone and see no other option but to crush it into a hundred pieces.