Studies have shown that it's not the quality of our diets, but our brains ability to resist cravings and follow a plan that is behind losing weight and living the slim life.
Michael Dansigner, MD, at Tufts-New England Medical Center (Journal of the American Medical
Association, January 2005) concluded in a study that investigated four
commercial diets, that the key to achieving weight loss is not the
differences between the diets, but how well you follow them.
The year long study had 160 overweight adults split into four groups:
- Weight Watchers (low calorie)
- The Zone Diet (low glycemic index)
- The Ornish Diet (low fat)
- The Atkins Diet (low carb)
The findings were just what the docs' suspected -- each of the different
diets were effective at achieving weight loss when they were properly
followed-- but only 25% of participants were able to follow their
assigned diet for a year.
It was also found that "no single diet produced satisfactory adherence rates"-- every diet was a challenge to follow.
What does this study tell us? That we need to stop our search for
the best diet -- stop putting the onus on the diet, stop blaming the
quality of the diet, discard our high hopes that one diet will all of a
sudden make weight loss easy, and start focusing on how to STICK to the
You have to train your mind to feel good without food, you have to give your brain the energy and self control to stick to your plan. Whatever healthy plan you choose, it is likely that you are going to have to:
* Eat less high-fat and high-sugar foods
* Drink more water, as opposed to sodas and drinks that are high in sugar
* Reduce your overall caloric intake
* Exercise each week
* Track your results over time using a method from a professional
* Follow meal plan each day
* Think positively about your self-worth, and celebrate your progress along the way
To do all of these things, you can't just decide to follow the plan and commit with motivation. You've done this before, and you still failed, because you didn't fully manage your mind and the sway it has over your life.
The brain really is the key, but the reason isn't so obvious.
So why is your brain the limiting factor-- why does your mind cause you to veer of course when it comes to dieting?
It has to do with 3 primary factors. The first one is your thoughts-- what you think. Do you doubt yourself? Do you believe you can lose the weight? Chances are, you don't. This doubt and negative outlook causes your brain to want to eat those fatty, sugary foods that are't part of your diet.
Why? Because you hate being wrong, just like everyone else. If you believe something is true then you behave as if it were. If you think you are going to be over weight forever, if you believe that avoiding delicious and fatty foods is terribly stress creating and will make you feel miserable, than your brain will want to make decisions that support that, and the negative cycle of obesity will continue.
The bad news is, changing your outlook by thinking positively, practicing constructive self-talk or hypnotizing yourself into a change of thought isn't easy, nor is it entirely effective when done by itself, and this is simply because their are two other brain factors that are more core to the problem.
Your thoughts are more a symptom of a deeper problem-- and we've learned that it's always more effective to improve the core problem than to simply remedy the symptoms with band-aid approaches.
The core problem that you are facing, in your quest for that "Soap Opera Swimsuit Figure", is tied into the other two factors at work in your brain: your brain fitness and brain state.
What is Brain Fitness?
Your brains physical health and performance levels. Is your brain secreting optimized and balanced levels of neurotransmitters and biochemicals like serotonin, endorphins and dopamine? Does your brain have a healthy level of dendrites and glial cells? If your brain fitness is less than optimal, which is true for most people, than you will feel off center, slightly depressed, anxious, emotionally unhappy, moody and at the mercy to compulsions and addictive habits. Not only will you be more prone to binge eating and snacking to compensate for your lack of complete emotional satisfaction, but you will be just as careless when it comes to exercise.
What is Brain State?
Your brain state determines how you feel during the course of your day. Do you feel tired, scattered, erratic and disconnected for hours at a time, or do you feel energized, focused, sharp and clear? If you feel tired and fatigued during large (or even small) portions of your day, than you are going to be less likely to a) think positively charged thoughts and feel confident about your diet plans and b) have the energy and restrain to resist "foody" temptations, and have the discipline and drive to get yourself in gear for exercise.
It sounds pretty simple, doesn't it?
That's because it is. If you are always tired and often feel a little depressed, rigging yourself to think positively, follow an exercise plan and eat healthy will be the fight of your life. But if you take care of your energy levels, balance your brain and get yourself out of that negative funk by improving your brains core-- then you are on the right track, giving yourself a tremendous edge in the war against calorie . This article has been adapted from the iMusic WeightLoss product.