While some people seem to lose weight effortlessly, others fight stubbornly to lose every gram. According to experts, mindset could be a decisive factor. But what is behind it and how can you train your psyche to be “slim”?

Body and psyche go hand in hand, as popular saying goes: crisis situations “hit us in the stomach,” heartbreak “breaks our hearts,” and when we are frightened, “the words get stuck in our throats.” So far so good. But what does losing weight have to do with it? Quite a lot, more and more experts are coming to this conclusion. The idea: Our brains are pre-programmed regarding our past behaviors and beliefs. The key to success in losing weight is to work on your own attitude towards the topic of losing weight.

Losing weight is the goal of many people. Many people want to eat healthier, at least that is their top priority, shows a survey by the statistics portal “Statista”. And they want to lose weight, this resolution is number five.

However, according to consumption and media analysis, only 20 to 30 percent of those who want to lose weight manage to reduce their body weight permanently. So why is it that some people are condemned to lifelong diets while others seem to stay slim effortlessly?

In addition to genetic aspects such as metabolism, mental attitude in particular seems to have an impact on individual weight loss success. As Stefanie Schroeder, research associate at the Chair of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the University of Barmberg, emphasizes, psychological factors such as self-control, motivation or dealing with emotional stress have a significant influence on “whether we gain weight and how well we manage to do so, successfully to decrease”.

As the expert explains, our inner attitude towards losing weight and ourselves influences what and how much we eat and also determines our exercise behavior. Jacob Drachenberg, psychologist and stress expert, is also convinced: “Success in losing weight largely has to do with the image we have of ourselves,” explains the expert in an interview with “Bild”. It is based on the following basic pillars:

As Drachenberg explains, these factors create a kind of “self-fulfilling prophecy.” Since people tend to have patterns and habits that appear to them to be the “only truth,” they tend to identify with them. For example, many people are convinced that they are overweight, unathletic and lazy and, in accordance with their beliefs, stick to their behavior in order to steadily restore the state they know.

The result: a constant vicious circle. If your own “losing weight” plan fails again and again, every setback would be punished with anger and further devaluation of yourself, explains Drachenberg. You give up on yourself again and fall back into old behavior. “True to the motto: I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it,” said the expert.

Another problem: Most people put losing weight under stress. The fear of failing and thus “revealing” one’s supposed indiscipline puts pressure on and usually ends in two scenarios:

Cortisol is also known as the “stress hormone” and, together with other messenger substances, regulates carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. If its concentration is too high, the hormone causes the breakdown of protein in the blood and the release of glucose. As a result, the body is on alert – ready for action at any time in order to react quickly to perceived dangers.

The problem: Nowadays we usually sit at home on the sofa or in the office. The excess energy provided is not broken down and weight gain is promoted as a result. In addition, the body craves a quick supply of energy in times of stress. Craving attacks are inevitable – a constant vicious circle of restriction and binge eating can be the result.

To escape the constant cycle of self-sabotage, Drachenberg recommends eight steps that can help you lose weight:

Don’t always think about what others might think about you. “Most people don’t care what you look like,” emphasizes Drachenberg. “Don’t give anyone the power to influence your self-image” – you are your own biggest critic and can also be your biggest motivator.

Stop blaming yourself and look to the future with optimism. Finish with what was. “You didn’t intentionally sabotage yourself. If you could do it better, you would have done it. What counts is what you can and want to do today.”

Feel within yourself: How do you talk to yourself? How does your inner critic express itself? Create awareness of your own negative thoughts and reprogram yourself. Try to look at your body neutrally and appreciate it for what it is – a miracle of nature. Focus on positive aspects: “Your health, a beautiful smile, a full head of hair, a well-shaped butt – there are so many things that are good about you. They are not a flawed specimen that is full and nothing else,” emphasizes Drachenberg. What do you value about yourself?

Try to combine your current everyday life with new positive routines. Examples of this are:

“Think about an initial, feasible goal. This is your business. “After that, you can integrate more healthy routines,” recommends the expert.

Gradually integrate more and more exercise into your everyday life. Take the stairs, get off the train one stop early and walk the rest of the way, go for a walk every evening. Make a game of it by looking for more and more ways to incorporate more exercise into daily life.

A simple but even more valuable tip: have fun with what you do. Don’t force yourself to do activities that you don’t feel like doing in the first place. Combine unfamiliar, new activities with positive, existing habits. Instead of reading on the couch, you can listen to the book as a radio play while taking a walk. While you train on the exercise bike, reward yourself with your favorite series. Do your own thing and feel within yourself what is good for you.

“It’s easier in a community, it’s more stimulating and more fun. “You don’t have to be a lone fighter,” says Drachenberg. Whether in a club or just as a couple: motivate each other and stay true to your activities. This brings you together and binds you to your activities.

Finally, the most important keyword is: routine. Set specific days or times when you do your activities. “Try out beforehand when you have the most energy and desire,” says Drachenberg. And then stay tuned.

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