We all know that there are several factors that affect our ability to maintain a healthy weight. Not all of them are things we can completely control. There have been a lot of studies into the connection between obesity and dementia in recent years. Some have suggested that we might be more at risk of such conditions if we can’t bring our BMI into the ‘normal’ bracket. But does the mind itself have a bigger part to play in this? Just how much brain power does it take to lose weight?
Motivation and Willpower
Motivation and willpower are, of course, a major requirement for any healthy eating, exercise, or lifestyle change program. But where do these essential components come from? What does it take to inspire or change your mind about things? We all know someone that has been through the difficulties of quitting bad habits like smoking. This involves overcoming an addiction to the ingredients in a cigarette. There has been some scientific evidence to prove we can become addicted to certain foods that are bad for us. We certainly know that eating them can become habitual.
If successful dieting really is just a case of mind over matter, then surely it would mean it was easier than it is for many of us to lose weight. What about all those cravings for sweet things? What about that rumble in the tummy when we’re still feeling so hungry?
There has also been a lot of studies conducted on the connection between sleep and weight management. There has been some evidence to suggest that sleep plays an enormous part in managing our metabolism. Therefore, it does affect our ability to lose weight. If you don’t sleep very well, you probably find you are hungry more often the next day. You feel like you need to eat more to give you the energy you are lacking.
Sleep also helps reset various other functions in the body and brain. It helps you to digest your food more effectively. It also helps you to heal and feel regenerated and refreshed. Perhaps the biggest part sleep has to play is in the mind, though. Good quality sleep prepares the mind for the day ahead and effectively ‘files away’ all that you experienced the day before. Most importantly, you can wake feeling energized, focused and full of that all-important motivation. This might include managing your diet and exercise.
Education and Misinformation
There has been a lot of reporting in the news about the link between education and obesity. It has been claimed that families with parents that have college degrees are less likely to raise obese children. This suggestion doesn’t clearly define why that may be.
Perhaps it is more about money than education? After all, a college degree offers you more opportunities to earn a higher salary. Those without might have to work two jobs or have fewer choices when it comes to food purchases due to a lower salary. There are many more potential explanations for the causes of obesity.
Consider there is often a lack of information or misinformation about correct portion sizes. And the misleading contents of some snacks or cereals might be a contributing factor. It is not clear how much a growing child really needs to eat. It’s not that easy to determine for adults, as we are all different sizes with different lifestyles!
Hormones, Moods, and Mental Flatness
It’s not just women that suffer significant fluctuations in hormones through the course of a month! Everybody has hormone cycles, and some of those hormones will inevitably affect mood. Others will affect the body. We’ve all experienced a touch of fluid retention and bloatedness. That’s not always down to the meal you just ate. Hormones and body chemicals can make us crave sweet things, carby things, and even fatty things that negatively affect our body’s ability to lose weight.
Did you know that your brain is powered by glucose? That’s tough to manage when you’re trying to maintain one of the strict diets that are trending right now. Glucose is found in sugary snacks and energy drinks. No wonder we want more when we need a mental boost! But there might be healthier options here. Research has suggested that products like the KetoMCT c8 oil might be a better choice than hitting the snack food aisle of your supermarket. Because it is easy to add to any meal, you might feel satiated and mentally focused for longer. Lots of people on the weight loss Keto Diet Facebook groups are raving about the benefits of MCT Oil.
Boredom and Distractions
Many of us are guilty of snacking in front of the TV at home. When you consider how long a typical TV show or movie lasts, that is quite a large portion of our waking hours spent eating! Worse still, we’re not moving. That means that digestion isn’t kick started or efficient, and we have no chance of burning off that food until we get up and exercise. Eating while distracted might also be responsible for that lack of satiation we can all feel after a meal sometimes.
Eating is as much a mental process as a physical one. Engaging with the activity of eating means you are more aware and connected with the taste and texture of what you are eating. You can focus your attention to the signals that you’re full and stop eating more quickly. You’ll also pay more attention to the difference between hunger and thirst. They can feel remarkably similar sometimes! Just drinking a cup of water before and after eating can help you feel full.
Many people also eat out of boredom. We don’t have a lot of downtime from mentally challenging tasks at work. When we’re not there, the brain doesn’t know what to do with itself! Keeping your body or mind busy can distract it from food. You might find that a walk around the park staves off hunger for quite a while. This might be because all of your senses are working. You can hear the birds singing, feel the breeze on your skin, and see the pleasant colors of the flowers. Hobbies can be very helpful when you’re trying to lose weight!
Set Your Mind to Lose Weight
Is weight loss really a case of mind over matter? At the very least we can agree that the mind plays an integral role in losing weight and maintaining that weight loss. And for some, it really may be possible to think yourself thin.
In good health,
Content is the opinion of the author and does not constitute or is a replacement for medical advice.