Does thinking about weight loss help me lose weight?

Weight loss is about a lifelong new approach to food -- one that involves using food for nutrition and listening to your body and mind in all areas of your life. When you reflect on how to eat, you need to start with why you eat. And when you are faced with those whys, be able to stop, look, listen and then act. Eating less, exercising more, eating healthier and not eating junk food will only get you so far. You also need to be mindful of how you are treating your body.
You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life

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You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life

An intelligent, timely, and prescriptive book that shows how your attitude towards food often reflects your attitude towards other areas in your life--jobs, relationships, money--and how you can...
Robert DeVito
Thoughts turn into actions. Actions turn into habits. Habits turn into results.

I believe that the biggest aid to changing your thoughts is to change your perspective. If you view food as something you do to satisfy your emotions then inherently you will encounter challenges. If you can view food as an aid and a tool to improving your health and longevity, to aid you in achieving a healthy weight or to provide energy to live your best life then you will have achieved a different level of consciousness.

Here are a few questions to align your thoughts and actions:
  • How do I view myself? Healthy, Unhealthy, or "In Process"?
  • When it comes to food do I eat with a plan or base my food choices on hunger, convenience and feelings?
  • When it comes to my food choices, I consistently tell myself that "I will do better tomorrow?"
The best and most powerful tool I can give to you to make better food choices is to SLOW DOWN.

In order to let yourself slow down you will need to ask yourself questions to avoid reactionary choices and make planned choices.
  • What am I eating?
  • What time will I eat it?
  • Why will I eat this?
  • What will eating this do for my body and mind?
Do this exercise to begin your day (or the night before). Do it consistently to begin changing your thought patterns and your relationship with food. Expect to have setbacks and remember that setbacks are just part of the change process. Setbacks do not mean you are failing; they simply challenge you to get back on track.
Laura Katleman-Prue
Nutrition & Dietetics
How do you think about food? How often do you think about it? When do you think about it? Do you think more about food when you're tired, bored, sad, lonely, or stressed out? What is your personal relationship with food? What are your mental representations of it? What does food mean to you beyond nutrition and fuel? It's important to get very clear about this because if you're thinking about food as anything other than nice-tasting fuel, you need to change your thinking in order to heal your relationship with it.
Skinny Thinking: Five Revolutionary Steps to Permanently Heal Your Relationship With Food, Weight, and Your Body

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READY TO END YOUR FOOD and WEIGHT WORRIES? If so, Skinny Thinking is for you. The only way to create a healthy relationship with food and stop battling with your weight is to change the way you think...
Ruth Frechman
Nutrition & Dietetics
Usually, if you are focused on losing weight, you will be successful. If you don't remind yourself that you are cutting back then you may overindulge because a co-worker brought cupcakes to work or buy chocolate from a neighbor for a fundraiser. On the other hand if you become too focused, you may only think about food and eating. For the most part, be positive, stay focused and be goal oriented. 
Ellen Whitehurst
Health Education

YES! But it's HOW you think about it that makes all the difference.

Let’s say that you want to lose weight and love your healthier body more than you do right now. So, you would ask yourself the question, as if you are ALREADY In the desired state, “why am I in such perfect and healthy shape?”  That immediately sets the brain in motion to try and answer that question sending signals to the rest of your body that you are ALREADY in perfectly healthy shape. Now, say that is too big a leap of faith for you to take at the moment, then, while creating your intention using this ancient and ages old recipe for success you might want to ask yourself, “what do I need to do to shift myself to release fear, resistance, judgement, excess baggage, extra weight”…etc., etc. That will also set energies in motion.

At this stage you are now seeking resolution from within and therefore will actually and absolutely INTEGRATE the changes in your brain and, then, into your being. Once you have asked yourself the appropriate question regards the INTERNAL state, the one that you you wish to shift, the one that will then also attract an appropriate external response as well, THEN and ONLY THEN are you allowed and even encouraged to go ahead and create YOUR intention.

According to Yoga Nidra (and most of the other empowering traditions that I have studied as well) an intention is a timeless intangible and is always, ALWAYS written in your own hand in order to ground and solidify the energies. In Feng Shui we say to write your intention (and then recite it aloud) nine times, three times a day. Once in the morning, once again at the midday and, then, once again in the nighttime. Write it nine times. IN RED. Say it nine times. Aloud. And always, always, always, in the present tense as if the desired state is ALREADY manifested:

“I completely and totally and unconditionally love every part of my body.” 

“Why am I so filled with joy and happiness right now?”  “I am filled with joy and happiness right now.”  Set the question, set the brain in motion, affirm or ground the intention. Get it?  Great right?

Your turn.

“What you think about, talk about, and do something about is what comes about.” -Larry Winget

I think that says it all.

In order to be successful at losing weight you need to have a goal. In fact, just the act of thinking about a goal and formulating a plan of action will excite you.  Who wouldn’t be excited about losing weight and feeling great?

The goal setting process is very powerful. This is the time for planning your course of action and getting that mental picture of what you want the end result to be, how you want to look and how you want to feel when you reach your goal. The author Stephen Covey refers to this as, “beginning with the end in mind.”  Think about it, write it ALL down, how much you want to weigh, what you want to see in the mirror, what clothes you want to wear, where you will exercise, what food you will prepare, and whose help will you need. That is day one, thinking about it and talking about it. Day two is when you need to do something about it.

So yes, thinking about weight loss is important at the beginning however, if you do not execute the plan, if you do not take action, then nothing will occur.

If you set a goal (losing x amount of pounds) and then affirm in your mind constantly the benefits you will get from reaching your goal (losing weight) then

Yes thinking about losing weight can help you reach your goal.

Remember that where your mind goes your body will follow...if you focus on it.

So see yourself as having already lost the pounds.

See yourself with the body you want.

Think about weight loss in a good light and it will help you to reach your goal.

It depends on what capacity you are thinking about weight loss. I believe strongly in how our thoughts play a role in dictating the world we live in. If you are constantly worrying about your weight and becoming anxious each time these thoughts enter your mind then you are doing more harm than good. However, I think a positive mind set regarding weight loss can definitely help. If you focus your thoughts on staying motivated and pushing through the obstacles, you are going to be more likely to succeed. If you let each small setback snowball into thoughts like, "I can't do this anymore" and "It's just too hard, I give up", then you are destined to fall short of your goals. Don’t allow yourself to succumb to excuses. Although a positive mind set plays an important part in meeting your goals, it is by no means a comprehensive approach. A positive mind set should complement the actions you take each day to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. The bottom line: Complement your workouts with a determined, positive outlook and focus on weight loss one day at a time!

Sometime between 560 and 480 BC, Buddha said "The mind is everything, what you think you become".  If you think about weight loss from a positive perspective then it can be extremely effective.  For example, if you look at yourself every morning and repeat that you can and you will lose weight that is simply positive self talk.  In addition, practice seeing yourself at the weight you wish you be. This visionary process has also been proven time and time again to be effective.  As simple as this may sound we are surrounded by negativity, whether it is people who do not believe in us or the challange to believe in ourselves. In this case, seek the help of like minded individuals or groups.  Hiring a personal trainer may not only help create a clear path to your goal, but it could also give you the mental and emotional support you need to stay positive and reach your goals in a timely manner!!
Dominique Adair

That's an interesting question.  If you are thinking proactively and positively about changing behaviors that will help you achieve a healthy weight, then thinking about weight loss can help you lose weight.  If you are rehashing diet failures and feeling negative about your potential to eat healthfully, then I would say no, it will not help you lose weight.  Bottom line -- if thinking about weight loss moves you in a positive way toward adopting healthful eating behaviors, then spending a limited amount of time thinking about weight loss will help.  No one should spend a lot of time thinking about weight loss, because you will end up missing opportunities to think and participate in all that life has to offer.

Kat Barefield, MS, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Yes, if it causes you to take action. In today’s environment, we are surrounded by endless amounts of tempting foods. To make matters worse, most make a living by being sedentary and do not get regular physical activity. Therefore, if you’re not conscious about your weight, you will likely experience slow weight gain over time.
Use your thoughts to identify a few positive steps you can take towards a healthy body weight and then commit to taking action for at least 21 consecutive days. This time period makes it more likely that you’ll establish a healthy habit. Repeat that process several times and you’ll find yourself moving closer to a healthy body weight.
Pam Grout
Alternative & Complementary Medicine

Thinking about your weight and your diet is not exactly a productive way to spend your time - at least not more than say an hour a month. Next time you're starting to wonder how many fat grams are in that box of Twinkies or Hi-Ho’s, stop, breathe, and try something else. From now on, your only responsibility is to enjoy life. Get a hobby. Fall in love with yourself. Write a screenplay. "Skip to my Lou." I don't care what you do. Just do not think about weight or food or calories or fat grams or cellulite or Let it go. Trust the universe.

You've probably heard that old Bible verse about man not living on bread alone. For those of us on a diet, this really doesn't compute. Pretty much everything in life as we know it revolves around the next meal - what it's going to be, what time we're going to eat it, how many calories it's going to have.

Unfortunately, this is not a very good life strategy. One of the ways I "feed myself" is to go on adventures. They don't have to be big ones - I mean how many times can you climb Pikes Peak in the course of the average lifetime - but something that shakes me out of my normal rut, some little activity that reminds me that life is more than a piece of cherry cheesecake. If you're one of these people who thinks of little else but food and all its possibilities, then you need to - how can I say this politely - "get a life."

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.