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Mental Training

We train our bodies, but what about our minds? In this Vision PT article, we discuss the benefits of brain training and how it can help you.
Weight Loss Articles
Weight Loss Articles

By Andrew Isaac at North Sydney

Mental training focuses on setting goals and reprogramming your mind for success. This is so important because it will keep you focused, motivated, and stick with your program(s).

Mental training is generally skipped as part of a weight loss program as logic will tell you that the secrets to losing fat is in the meal plan and structured weights program, not in motivational talk. Unbeknownst to many people, the biggest secret to physical change is mental change!



The most important step you can take before you start a nutrition or exercise program is goal setting. According to the late Zig Ziglar, a goal-setting expert, only 3% of Americans have actually taken the time and effort necessary to put their goals on paper. This is unfortunate because the number one reason for failure in losing body fat (and in life) is the lack of clearly defined goals.

Goals, when properly planted into your subconscious mind, provide direction and stimulate action. Goals create energy and motivation. Goals get you out of bed early in the morning and into the gym. Goals keep you going when you feel like quitting. The secret to staying motivated all the time is to set emotionally charged goals, commit them to writing, and stay focused on those goals day and night. A goal with a purpose is the fuel that propels you forward.

You might think you're in total conscious control of your behaviour, but it's really your subconscious that's running the show. If you know what to do but you can't get yourself to do it, you've probably been giving negative or conflicting messages to your subconscious mind. Repeated behaviours produced by subconscious conditioning are more commonly referred to as habits. Fortunately, you can reprogram your subconscious mind with positive instructions and become a creature of positive habit, just as easily as you can become a victim of negative habits. It all begins with a conscious decision and written goals.



I myself am convinced that the most important part of getting in great shape is simply making up your mind to do it. You get in shape by setting goals and thinking about them all day long. However, you cannot just expect to "think yourself thin" without taking action. No amount of positive thinking will help without action. Obviously you have to exercise and eat the right foods in the right amounts. What I'm suggesting is that if you don't channel your mental energies properly, even the best nutrition or training program is useless because you will always sabotage yourself.

Have you ever wondered why you've had lapses in willpower? Or why some days you just couldn't drag yourself to the gym? Or why you fell off the diet wagon? Or why you couldn't say no to chocolate or that second serving of food? It's because negative programming in your subconscious mind was controlling your behaviour.



Your subconscious mind carries out every command it accepts from your conscious mind. Its sole purpose is to obey your orders, even if it gives ones like "I'll always be fat". Frequent repetition of thoughts is one certain way to penetrate the subconscious mind. By constantly repeating negative commands such as "I can't lose weight", your subconscious will see to it that you never lose weight because that's its job: to follow you're every command literally and without question. If you program your mind with negative suggestions often enough, it will lead you right into cheating on your diet, skipping workouts, or some other form of self-sabotage.



Because of how the subconscious operates, it's crucial to focus on what you want to achieve, not on what you want to avoid. Like the soil, your subconscious mind is totally impartial: it doesn't discriminate. In it will grow whatever seeds you plant there or allow to be planted there. Many people have perfectly good intentions, but they unwittingly allow their subconscious to work against themselves by thinking and talking about what they don't want. The more you dwell on what you don't want, the more of it you create. Others simply pay no attention to their thoughts whatsoever, and like a garden that's neglected, soon enough, weeds start growing. Eventually the weeds take over their garden.

The table below lists some negative statements and self-defeating questions and how you could change that negative self-talk to positive self-talk:             



I can't lose weight no matter what I do

How can I lose fat and enjoy the process?

Why can't I lose these last 5kg?

What can I do today to get me closer to my ideal weight?

Why is it so hard for me to lose weight?

What can I eat right now at this meal that will help me burn body fat?

I have a slow metabolism

My metabolism is getting faster everyday

I'll always be fat

I am getting leaner every day

It's not my fault I'm fat because I don't have good genetics

I am 100% responsible for my results

I don't want to be fat anymore

I love working out

It'll never work because I love food too much

I like eating healthy foods

I don't have the will power to get lean

I am doing whatever it takes

I would work out but I don't have the time

I have time for anything I'm committed to

I just can't get myself up that early to work out

Training early in the morning is exhilarating

I hate being fat

I like the way I look

I'm sick of being overweight

I am unstoppable

I'm tired of working out but getting nowhere

I like myself

I'm ready to give up

I'm the best

I hate cardio

How great am I going to feel after I finish my workout today?

I can't

I can

I'll try

I'll do it

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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