Visualize Yourself at Your Goal Weight

Article posted in: Lifestyle

When you think of yourself, what do you see? Do you picture the person you want to be, at the conclusion of your weight loss program? Or do you think of yourself at the start? Recent research has shown that visualizing yourself succeeding at a task—any task, be it losing weight or lifting weights—can be an important tool to help you reach your goals.

A study conducted at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio showed that people who visualize themselves going to the gym increased their strength by 13.5%, while people who went to the gym showed gains of 30%. Those who only imagined themselves lifting kept their gains for three months. This isn’t to suggest that you skip exercise and only think about it while you lie in a chair; the same study found that doing both is more beneficial than doing either alone. In other words, picture yourself doing something, then do it, and improvements will come. You’re training your brain, which will bring the body along for the ride.

How can this work for people on a weight loss program? Sit up straight in a comfortable chair. Close your eyes and visualize your goal. Let’s say it’s to lose 30 pounds in four months. Picture yourself at that target weight and engage as many of your senses on that target as you can. How do you look? Who are you with? What does it sound like? Do you hear the splashing of water as you return to a pool, or the sounds of the music playing as you dance the night away in a little black dress? Does it smell like summer, or like a Christmas tree? Do this four or five times a week, and if you ever feel any doubt creeping in, push it away as you visualize your success.

Remember, Muhammad Ali didn’t tell himself he was the second greatest. He said he was the greatest, believed it, and became it. You can, too.