OK, so you’ve set a goal to lose a specific amount of weight. You keep dreaming about your scale hitting that goal number.
Two recent research studies each say that you shouldn’t focus too much on your goal of losing weight.
Instead, you should stay focused on your day-to-day process.
As a recovered over-eater (aka: emotional eater) and founder of my bestselling video course “Stop Emotional Eating” , I’m passionate about reading studies on weight loss success. When I first heard about these research studies I was shocked. But then I thought about it, and it made perfect sense.
Here’s the story…
A 2013 study in Applied Psychology measured the weight loss of 126 dieting women.
The first group of dieters focused solely on the desired outcome of losing a specific amount of weight. They wound up losing less weight.
The second group of dieters simply focused on what they could control: improving their daily eating habits. They lost more weight.
Why Does Being Process-Oriented = Achieving Better Progress?
- If you focus on the outcome of weight loss, and that outcome does not happen quickly enough, you become more likely to give up.
- In contrast, when you focus on the process of eating healthier on a daily basis, then you feel proud and confident, and are more apt to keep going.
- People who are process-oriented are people who are able to stay in the present moment. And there’s a lot of power in living in the present. When you’re fully in the NOW, you’re better able to overcome fear of failure and the stress of impatience. Why? Because you’re mindfully and peacefully enjoying the beauty of the present.
- People who over-attach to outcomes often wind up stopping themselves from even starting in the first place. They become overwhelmed by the long journey ahead of them.
- In contrast, people who are process-oriented just simply focus on taking the journey one step at a time – and that feels more do-able.
Another great study…
The University of Chicago monitored over 100 students at a gym. Prior to their workouts, one group was asked what their goals were for working out. The other group was asked to describe their process of exercising.
Students from the goal-oriented group said they planned to run farther than the process-oriented group. But in the end they wound up exercising ten minutes less than the process-oriented group.
When you’re focused on the process of exercise, then you wind up doing a better job at the process of exercise – because that’s your top priority.
The lessons to be learned?
If you want to lose weight….
- Try to pay attention to HOW you will get to your goal, rather than WHEN you will get there.
- Stay connected to the steps you need to take to achieve your goal, rather than viewing the journey as something you need to rush through.
- Practice daily mindfulness – and appreciate the daily steps you are taking to become healthier and more fit.
- Recognize energy flows where attention goes. So stay focused on each action you need to take to lose weight – and have FUN with it!
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