To Your Health
October, 2018 (Vol. 12, Issue 10)
Weight Loss: If You Can See It, You Can Do It
By Editorial Staff
Have you been overweight for so long that the only way you can picture your thinner self is by looking at old pictures? Or perhaps you don't have any pictures because for whatever reason, you've always been fighting your weight. That "picture" of yourself, whether in your photo album or your mind, can actually play a key role in your weight-loss efforts.
But it goes beyond that. Visualizing not only what you want to look like – whether that's the "old" you or the "new" you – and also how losing the weight would change your life for the better, can dramatically increase your weight loss: up to five times more weight, suggests research.
Published in the Journal of Obesity, the study compared two groups of overweight adults who received one of two weight-loss therapies for six months. One group participated in "motivational interviewing," a weight-loss strategy in which participants were allowed to talk about what motivated them to lose weight. A second group participated in "functional imagery training," described as a therapy strategy in which dieters were taught to visualize achieving their weight-loss goal and how it would change their life in terms of doing / experiencing things their weight currently prohibited them from doing.
Overweight study subjects assigned to the visualization group lost 9 pounds, on average, over the course of six months, compared to only 1.6 pounds in the motivational group. What's more, members of the former group continued to lose weight in the six months after the study concluded, while members of the latter group tapered off, losing less weight than they did during the six-month study period.
What's your weight-loss goal? What will the "new" you look like and feel like? What will you do that you currently can't / won't do because of your weight? Try the power of visualization and "see" your weight-loss efforts multiply!