Can weight loss affirmations help with weight loss? Yes they can in as much as they can keep you focused on your goal of losing weight. But there are some important things you have to bear in mind and put into practise when making them up and using them. So, following the basic rules below can increase your likelihood of success.
Align Them to Your Goal.
It may seem silly or obvious, but this is important. First, make sure it is your goal and not somebody else’s. You have to want to do it. You have to be prepared to make the changes necessary for losing weight. Just repeating a few affirmations on their own is unlikely to achieve much. See my post ‘Goal Setting for Weight Loss.’
Following on from above, your affirmation must include the “I” word. So saying something like “the weight is dropping off me” isn’t really going to do a lot. Similarly, it can’t rely on other people doing things. The situation must affect you, involve you and be under your control.
Be Stated in the Positive.
Our subconscious minds cannot process a negative, so “I am not overweight” is no good, because your subconscious only recognises the ‘overweight’ bit. Neither should you say what you want, because that is what you will get more of – the wanting. Instead, focus on what you are aiming to achieve.
Be Stated in the Present Tense.
This fits with the ‘Time bound’ part of Goal Setting. If there is only a vague statement of what will be the desired outcome some time in the future, there is no urgency for your subconscious mind to start today, some day or ever. It will be very much a case of mañana, which technically means NOT today.
It Must Be Believable.
This is very important, because when you state and write your affirmations, it must not just be a mechanical process like repeating something parrot fashion. You must say it as you believe it to be true. To this end is the ‘believable bit. If you are say 20 stones and you want to be 12 stones, simply saying something like “I weigh 12 stones” on its own is unlikely to have a great impact on your weight, because the subconscious mind will not believe it. You could though say “I choose to be 12 stones.”
The other part of belief is how you communicate with your subconscious. It is your conscious mind that deals with words and logic, etc. Your subconscious works on emotion and imagery, so if you are using words, use ones that convey emotion, such as enjoying, happy, pleased. Alternatively, and a very good way is to use images and the imagination.You may have heard of vision boards, or even used them.
How to Use a Vision Board.
Find pictures that convey what you want to happen, e.g. a special dress, swimsuit on holiday beaches, slimmer people, healthy, happy people, etc. Cut them out and pin them to your vision board, scrap book or just post them on the fridge door. Then spend time every day looking at them and while doing so, use as many senses as you can to visualise yourself in that situation or wearing that dress. Feel the fabric on your skin, see how it moves when you walk, or feel how you will feel, see what you will see and so on for taste, smell and hearing. Be there in the moment experiencing it.
Finally under this heading, it helps to include the word ‘easily’ into your affirmation. This helps reduce a conflict and introduces a sense of calm and acceptance into the affirmation. So “I am following a healthy lifestyle” becomes “I am easily following a healthy lifestyle.”
An important note about using affirmations, because just reciting them ‘parrot fashion’ isn’t really using them to advantage. My three key tips are:
- Write them out. Fill a page with them, but as you write, really think about each one and what it means to you. Be conscious while doing it.
- When repeating your affirmations, either silently to yourself or out loud, say them as you really believe them. It’s a fact that if you behave as if you had already achieved your goal, you increase the likelihood of success (often called The Law of Attraction).
- Employ all of your senses, or as many as possible. Imagination is a powerful tool for training the subconscious as stated above. See yourself in the mirror, slim, healthy, eyes bright. See yourself wearing that dress or suit; feel how the fabric feels on you, how your skin feels, associate sounds, smells or tastes with it if an event like say a wedding is involved. Hear compliments. See and feel how you move, how light and easy you feel, how the clothes move as you move. Really immerse yourself in the experience. If you have one, use your vision board and give it your full attention while doing this.
- Yes, I’ve sneaked in a bonus. Don’t give up just because things don’t seem to be working. Build momentum. Know you’re going to be successful.
Just sitting repeating affirmations and hoping, will not of itself get results. You have to do something. There is a saying from Scandinavia that goes something like “God gives every bird its worm, but He doesn’t throw it in the nest for it.”
It wouldn’t be fair of me to lay out the main do’s and don’ts without giving you a few clues. Here are some ideas for you to try as they are or modify to your own needs and circumstances.
- “I choose to eat healthily and exercise as I achieve my target weight of 11 stones.””I am living a healthy lifestyle and am on course to achieve my target weight of 11 stones by 1st September 20XX.”
- “I easily control my eating as part of a healthy diet and enjoy [exercising] to maintain a healthy body weight.”.
- “I am happy to be taking positive action to achieve my goal of wearing the dress I want for my daughter’s wedding on 1st September 20XX.”
- “I see myself lying on the beach on holiday in August and can feel the warm sun on me, smell the palm trees and hear the sea and feel totally happy with my new weight.”
- “I feel really pleased when my friends remark on my new slim figure.”
See what you can come up with yourselves and please post your suggestions in the comments box below.
Why not set yourself up for success with my 4 Cornerstone of Successful Weight Loss Guide and Check List by clicking on the picture below, and if you want help, Hypnotherapy and NLP can be very effective for reprogramming the subconscious mind. Why not check out the Weight Loss page on my website.
Meanwhile, Happy Slimming.
Mike Rogers, Clinical Hypnotherapist,
Step2Change Hypnotherapy, Edinburgh