We often know that eating that muffin won’t help our weight loss, but why do we do it?
Our psychology is incredibly important when it comes to weight loss. My name is Giulia Fiore, and I am a certified counsellor and coach living in Sydney, Australia. In this article, I will outline some of the best strategies to control your mind and help you achieve your health goals.
Start With Why
As Simon Sinek wrote in his book Start with Why, “Working hard for something we do not care about is called stress”. People often pursue goals that are not relevant to them, goals that have been pushed upon them by society, family members, or friends. And then they ask themselves why they don’t seem to achieve them.
When discussing goals with my coaching clients, I am interested in the reasons beneath the surface. For instance, a man’s reasons to make himself go to the gym after work every night could be the sense of pride that comes from discipline and the attention he gets from people admiring his physique. People are governed by their feelings more than they would ever admit or even acknowledge.
The Power Of Discipline And Emotional Regulation
We like to think that we are rational beings in charge of our behaviours, but most often than not, we react (instead of respond). We let our emotions and how we feel in the moment govern our behaviour.
Motivation feels great. When you have it, you feel like you can achieve desired outcomes while persisting despite the challenges. Yet motivation isn’t always there; it can’t appear on command. What we can rely on is discipline, which is a skill and can be trained.
Acknowledge your emotions, don’t suppress them; give them a voice but work with them. Emotions will talk you into why you deserve that piece of cake after a long day at work. Your negotiating voice can talk you into resisting the urge and prioritizing your ultimate health goals.
Spot Your Triggers And Prepare Alternative Rewards
As humans, we all move away from pain and towards pleasure. Your mind will seek instant gratification to sue any painful or unpleasant emotion you may feel, boredom, loneliness, sadness, anger, etc. These emotions are triggers. We can apply discipline only for so long until it crumbles and we give into pleasure.
That’s why it’s important to think about rewards that support or at least don’t jeopardize our health goals. Calling a friend, watching a movie, going for a massage are some examples. Make a list of these possible rewards and hang it somewhere visible, such as your fridge, so that you can be reminded of these rewards when needed.
Surround Yourself With The Right People
Quoting Jim Rohn, a famous motivational speaker, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. Our growth can make people around us scared and remind them of their insecurities if they are not also growing. Your friend who asks you to indulge in a night out of binge drinking when you told them you are trying to cut down on alcohol and be healthier isn’t your friend.
Loneliness is painful, and we often surround ourselves with the wrong crowd to have some company. Recognize the people who are holding you back and spend less time with them. The chances are that you might inspire some of them, and they will come to you for advice once your efforts start paying and showing off.
Remember, a clear purpose and vision will help behavioral change. So, let me know in the comments what losing weight would mean to you?
About The Author
Giulia Fiore is a certified counsellor and coach working in Sydney, Australia. Originally from Italy, Giulia lived in four different countries and has accumulated more than seven years of formal studies. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in counselling coaching and another in public relations. Passionate about learning more about human behaviour and helping people, she continues her professional development through her private practice and constant commitment to new learnings.
If you would like help to achieve emotional regulation and behavioural change, feel free to contact me. To do so, please visit my website: