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How to Use Affirmations for Weight Loss


By +Diane Petrella on Aug 02, 2012 10:00 AM in Dieting & You

By Diane Petrella, MSW

Have you noticed a connection between your thoughts and how you take care of your body? A confident mind-set makes the difference between reaching your weight loss goals and struggling year after year. Make your mind work for you, instead of against you, by using the power of positive affirmations.

What Are Affirmations?

An affirmation is simply anything you say or think. We affirm what we expect in life all the time with our thoughts and beliefs. For example, if you believe releasing weight is difficult and impossible, it will be. If you believe it is challenging at times but achievable, it will be.

Action follows thought. Deliberately take charge of your thoughts with positive affirmations so your actions support taking good care of your body.

Positive = Certain

Saying positive affirmations doesn’t mean you deny your true feelings. The word positive also means feeling certain and sure. When you affirm positive thoughts, you strengthen your confidence to feel certain about achieving your weight loss goals.

Notice what is affirmed in these common limiting beliefs about weight loss:

“I’ve tried before and nothing’s helped.”
“I’m afraid I’ll fail.”
“I’ll never stop having cravings.”

Do these words come from someone who will succeed or fail?

Let’s turn these around:

“It doesn’t matter what happened in the past. I reach my goals now."
“Even if it takes time, I am successful.”
“I desire healthy foods that nourish my body.”

See the difference?

Follow These Guiding Principles to Use Affirmations Effectively:

1. Monitor your thoughts.

Many people hold beliefs as to why they think they can’t lose weight. If you can relate to this, replace thoughts that limit you with affirmations that support you.

Use this quick check system to determine if your thoughts help or hurt you:

“Does this thought create fear or doubt?”
“Is this thought contrary to my goals?

If a thought doesn’t support you, change it. For example, “I’ll probably fail anyway, so why bother” becomes “Even if I slip sometimes, I successfully reach my goal weight.”

2. Create affirmations that feel natural.

The power of affirmations increases when you believe in them and they are meaningful to you. For example, if you say, “I release weight easily” but deep down you don’t believe that, create an affirmation that feels true such as, “I am open to releasing weight with greater ease”, or “Even though this feels difficult at times, I am capable of reaching my goals.”

3. Say affirmations in the present tense.

Create affirmations that serve you in the present moment and not some future date. For example, if you say, “I will lose weight” it keeps your progress stalled for some undetermined future. But if you say, “I am releasing weight” you affirm progress today.

4. Use affirmations when you feel relaxed.

Affirmations penetrate our subconscious mind more easily when we’re in a peaceful state. While it’s important to repeat affirmations throughout the day, take some quiet time as well to deepen their effects.

A Daily Practice

Create affirmations that inspire you and say them three to five times, or more, throughout the day. As a reminder, write them on 3X5 cards, add them to your computer screen or use post-it notes to place them in visible locations. Say your affirmations with deep feeling, as if you already possess the qualities you’re affirming.

Suggested Affirmations for Weight Loss

“I am patient with myself and my body.”
“I deserve and accept perfect health now.”
“I love and accept my body.”
“I am listening to what my body needs.”
“I am transforming my lifestyle to a healthy way of living.”


Your thoughts?

What will you affirm today to ensure your weight loss success?

Diane Petrella, MSW is a psychotherapist and life coach. She offers her clients a spiritual approach to weight release and helps them develop a loving, respectful relationship with their bodies. Receive a free copy of Diane’s Seven Easy & Effortless Weight Loss Secrets by signing up for her monthly e-newsletter, Living Lightly, for spiritual insights and tips to release weight with confidence and love. To contact Diane visit www.dianepetrella.com.



Comments


Hi, its really good to use positive thinking and affirmations to promote and increase weight loss. I help people using hypnotherapy and this has the same effect, by tapping into a relaxed subconscious mind with positive suggestions...it’s so good to give your mind positive thoughts to listen to as we spend so long telling ourselves how fat we are or what failures we are...so give it a go!

Sue - Karuna aspire



Great article... I practice this on a daily basis.

I hope you have planted a seed in those doubters...and I hope it grows.



I started doing this this time around.  After too many starts, and stops, and giving up completely, I decided this was the absolute one thing in my life that I had total control over.  I control what goes in my mouth (and therefore, on my hips :))

So when I get hunger pains, and its not time to eat yet, I just say, I now eat like a thin person, I do not over-indulge, and I do not over-eat ( I actually say it like over and over, until the mood passes) so far its working! 



I have found this to be absolutely true.



Original Post by: dondo747

I have found this to be absolutely true.


Me too

 



Thank you for the reminder.  I have used this off and on, but sometimes things seem to slide back to the old mind tapes.  I lost all but about 3 pounds of my weight and have been excited by getting to buy new clothes, but lately, the old tapes have been playing and the weight is starting to slide back up.  The old fears and doubts are trying to cloud my thoughts.  I will start today, this very moment, to switch back to the positive mind thoughts that support the healthy way of living that I thought I had achieved. Oh, yes..."I eat healthy and light to maintain my new, svelte figure and to feel my best!"  Thanks!  :-) 



I do something similar.  Everynight before bed I tell my body what I want it to do while I sleep.  Example "Okay body ... you did a great job today while I sleep can you heal those sore muscles in my thighs and turn some fat into energy.  And I would like to wake up feeling well rested and capable of a good work day.... Thanks body"

This makes more sense to me then the other type of affirmation ... I used to do "I am a happy healthy beautiful woman.  I am capable of completing all my daily task in a time efficient manner"  I find the talking to my body works better for me...



I believe your body responds to what it HEARS you saying about it... if you speak lovingly to it, it responds accordingly... Have you ever noticed that people who gripe and complain alot, generally have stuff to gripe and complain about?!? That's because the words you speak draw those things to you. So speak wonderful things and see how your outlook... and your situation... changes for the better! : )

Choose to be blessed!!  : )



I am in eating disorder recovery and use affirmations for weight gain and to work with food phobia they are a wonderful tool that subtly empowers you from the inside, I'm also using hypnotherapy, both have been essential in my journey to health and I would encourage anyone to use these safe effective tools


I like the affirmation: I am releasing weight.  I can close my eyes and imagine my



Your message is rich in meaning and merit.  We need to think of little else today. Thank you for sharing!



The body follows the mind. If the mind chooses to go to a positive place, the body will surely follow.

 



I totally believe in affirmation and practice regularly.... "I am slim!".   My suggestion is to anchor the affirmation in the heart by remembering a time when I was slim and doing some activity that made me happy and feel that feeling along with it. If you've never been what you would call "slim", just imagine a really fun activity that you would like to do and what you would look like. As you generate the feeling, make your affirmation and let go. It's a powerful combo.



Thank you all for your comments! You offered some wonderful suggestions that expand upon my article. As many of you mentioned, our bodies hear and respond physiologically to what we say to it with our thoughts and spoken words. It's so important to talk to our bodies in a loving, gentle way and to offer gratitude for all our bodies do for us.

When old, negative messages emerge try this:  Tell yourself, "Stop." Then take a deep breath and say something like, "This thought no longer serves me and I let it go" or "I bless this thought and let it go." Then, re-affirm your health and weight loss progress with an uplifting affirmation from either the list above or plan in advance several affirmations to use when those negative messages enter your mind.

To your health and happiness.

Warmly,
Diane



Doanr, I have a question not covered by your article. What happens when you have all the positive thoughts and feel all good and positive and certain you will succeed this time because you are doing things right and... five weeks later you have gained 1kg instead of losing? It's happened to me before and that really knocked me down. That's why I'd rather not think about it at all. I don't do the negative thoughts when I overeat, I just think tfat's ok I'll do better tomorrow. But I don't do the over hyped approach either cause the disappointment when things don't work out is just too much and makes things worse... Has anyone else had this problem? And how do you deal with it when all the positive thinking turns out to look like false hope?




Sorry, not sure why autocorrect turned Diane into Doanr!!! Lol


Original Post by: milka5000

Doanr, I have a question not covered by your article. What happens when you have all the positive thoughts and feel all good and positive and certain you will succeed this time because you are doing things right and... five weeks later you have gained 1kg instead of losing? It's happened to me before and that really knocked me down. That's why I'd rather not think about it at all. I don't do the negative thoughts when I overeat, I just think tfat's ok I'll do better tomorrow. But I don't do the over hyped approach either cause the disappointment when things don't work out is just too much and makes things worse... Has anyone else had this problem? And how do you deal with it when all the positive thinking turns out to look like false hope?

Hi milka5000,

Thank you for writing. This is a great question and a common experience for many. I'll do my best to answer in this brief response.

Sometimes our fear based mind (or saboteur, gremlin, inner critic, etc.), which is that part of us that may not feel we're deserving of succeeding, is always looking for reasons to "prove" that we won't reach our goals. When you believe you see "evidence" why something isn't working, you have a choice. You can either let disappointment consume you or you can allow yourself to simply feel the disappointment and then refocus to a place of steadfast commitment to what you want.

If you've been feeling good and certain you'll succeed, don't allow evidence to the contrary to derail you. Maybe it's an opportunity to re-examine your nutritional or exercise needs or maybe it means you need to stay the course anyway even if short-term results seem to challenge your belief in your progress.

Success doesn't mean everything always goes as planned. It means staying focused on success even when short-term disappointments appear.

I agree with you that an "over-hyped" approach doesn't work. That's why affirmations must feel natural and meaningful. But no matter what we're thinking, our thinking is always working, in one direction or the other, so it's important our thinking support us and not hurt us.

I also agree that "false hope" in the form of inauthentic affirmations isn't helpful. Positive affirmations must reflect an inner trust that we are deserving and capable of reaching our desires.

In my brief article, I did not address subconscious limiting beliefs that hold us back. In that case, affirmations are still useful, but the underlying fears or doubts must be addressed for the affirmations to "take hold." For more information on that you may find my article, Let Go of Limiting Beliefs useful.

I hope this answered your question. Please let me know if you have other questions or want me to clarify anything.

I wish you the best.

Warmly,
Diane



I really need to start doing this. I've been overweight my entire life and even though I've tried probably hundreds of times throughout the years to become thinner and healthier I always give up because deep down I don't believe I'll ever acheive my goal. This negativity no doubt is what's keeping me from reaching my goal and this seems like such an easy way to work on changing that negativity. Thank you for this article :)



I really need to start doing this. I've been overweight my entire life and even though I've tried probably hundreds of times throughout the years to become thinner and healthier I always give up because deep down I don't believe I'll ever acheive my goal. This negativity no doubt is what's keeping me from reaching my goal and this seems like such an easy way to work on changing that negativity. Thank you for this article :)



Ancient wisdom, but wisdom nonetheless. 

As a man thinketh in his heart so is he . . . Proverbs 23:7

I don't have time to think up descriptive affirmations for everything I want or do, however I DO try to maintain a positive 'CAN DO' attitude and being grateful for what I do have (even when I feel that it isn't enough).  

And when I fail, I pick myself up and keep on going.  

Good ideas!  I love reading what works for different people and how I can learn from them.




Affirmation is not enough without actually taking action. Affirmation only just conditions the mind so to condition ourselves physically we must also take actions in doing this through taking light exercise first and then up the next level.



Thank you, this is a wonderful article that I think I needed to hear. I am trying to learn to be more assertive too in my life. I feel that I am very nice, some people tell me that I dont belong in this world. So I think Affirmation and assertiveness go together in a way.

if you have any good books or magazines on either one or any resources would be great. I read a nice book by Dr. Amen called Change your brain change your body. It was a very good book, but I am looking for something less scientific and more into the process of how to become assertive/affirmative.

For some people this might be easy but really for me this is not easy.



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