Since we launched our new talkweight forum and weight is in the forefront of my mind, we’ve been having some interesting discussions in the office about being overweight, obesity and will power. The TV also seems to be full of programmes about losing weight – from The Biggest Loser to Saving my Life and last night’s 74 Stone Woman.
The common theme throughout our discussions, and on these TV programmes, is that losing weight is almost more about what’s in your mind than what you put in your mouth. At first I was flabbergasted when I watched, Mayra Rosales – the 74 Stone Woman, aged only 28, on TV last night. I asked myself how on earth she could allow herself to get into such a state. Not only could she not move, but her husband had to do everything for her to the point that once she’s passed a motion on a nappy like mat, he had to roll her over, clean her up and dispose of the waste. Watching him even wash her oozing, sore body was humiliating enough but having to wipe her backside was even worse. Yet, despite all this she continued to eat consuming over 18,000 calories each day!!! I kept asking myself why her mind had not kicked into gear to tell her to stop! What was so different about her mind from my mind where being 2 stone overweight was more than enough to make me stop eating and start to do something positive about losing weight, yet being over 60 stone overweight for her wasn’t enough to make her eat less food.
Our minds are a completely complex organ yet I firmly believe that slimming and losing weight starts in the mind. You have to really change the way you think in order to lose weight. Planned diets and exercise are clearly important elements for losing weight, but if your mindset is not right you are bound to fail.
A study focussing on the power of the mind was carried was out early in 2011 at Carnegie Mellon University headed up by Carey Morewedge. Researchers believe they’ve found a way to help you eat less with the power of the mind. The study followed two groups of people asked to imagine eating either cheese cubes or M&Ms, one a time. The first group was asked to imagine eating just three whilst the other group to imagine eating 30 – then they were given the opportunity to eat those foods.
“People who imagined eating 30 units of the food one at a time ate between 40-50% less than people who imagined eating three units of the food,” said Morewedge.
Some researchers have a theory that just imagining eating something bite by bite results in your brain releasing a chemical called dopamine, which can affect how hungry or satisfied you feel.
As you will know from reading my blog, I want to lose between 2 and 2.5 stone. I lost 6 pounds in November/December last year and then stopped losing weight. Christmas and other excuses got in the way but with a new year I am getting back on track. I have already made changes and feel like I’m both eating less and my mind is focussed. But I think I will have a go at implementing this ‘imagining’ technique and let you know how I get on.
The mind is a powerful thing and I’m sure being in tune with our minds would result in less people being overweight, obese or morbidly obese.
Would you agree?