It’s no secret that a positive attitude is instrumental for successful weight management. This fact is underscored by a study that found people who have more confidence in affecting positive outcomes with their own actions lead healthier lifestyles The research suggests that understanding the psychology behind your eating patterns and exercise habits is a major step toward achieving your weight loss goals.
Personality types for success
According to Australian researchers, if you believe in yourself as you set out to achieve your weight loss goals, chances are you will be successful. This suggestion is based on an analysis of data on the diet, exercise and personality types of more than 7000 people who participated in the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey.
Lead researcher Deborah Cobb-Clark, director of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, said the analysis revealed a direct link between the type of personality a person has and whether they lead a healthy lifestyle. Those who strongly believe their lives can be changed by their own actions ate healthier food, exercised more, smoked less and avoided binge drinking.
On the other hand, those who have a greater faith in luck or fate are more likely to lead an unhealthy lifestyle.
The researchers also found that men and women perceive the benefits of a healthy lifestyle in different ways. Men expect physical results from a healthy lifestyle. Women are more in tune with the everyday satisfaction of making healthy choices.
Building your self confidence
To successfully manage your weight, you must set yourself up mentally to succeed. Instead of regarding dieting and exercise for weight loss as a hardship, focus on how your actions will make your life better because it’s more interesting.
Dr. Donald Hensrud of the Mayo Clinic suggests looking at a diet as changing the way you eat, instead of just trying to eat less. Focus on how that change creates opportunities to enjoy different foods you may have never tried, instead of what foods you need to eat less of or eliminate entirely from your diet.
A culinary adventure
According to Hensrud, changing the way you eat can be a culinary adventure around the world instead of a restrictive “diet.” For example, you can explore traditional, healthy, ethnic food, such as Mediterranean (Greek salad, tabouli, pasta primavera) and Asian (stir fried vegetables, sushi).
Diet and exercise combined
For best results, aspire toward an overall healthy lifestyle, not just a healthy diet. Activity affects your positive attitude as well as the right foods. Regular exercise has been proven to improve mood and boost energy levels—extra motivation for making healthy choices.
Patience is a virture
One of the best virtues critical to maintaining a positive attitude is patience. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 70 percent of Americans assume healthy eating is too complicated. That’s why the best weight management strategies involve gradual changes in diet and exercise patterns, not radical adjustments. Incremental change toward healthy choices will encourage progress and lead to better results.