9 clever mental tricks to help you lose weight

When you want to lose weight, it’s often said that you have to truly commit and be in the right mindset. It can be hard with all of your daily pressures and activities to truly get in a pattern of eating healthily or exercising.

Luckily there are alternatives to lose weight if you’re struggling.

Here’s how to train your brain to shed the kilos.


1. Don’t be tempted by free food

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It’s easy to convince ourselves to eat food if it’s free but if we truly want to stop gaining weight, we need to be strict with ourselves. Ask yourself: would I eat this if it wasn’t free? If the answer is no then you should step away from the plate.

2. Visualise a pause button

This little trick can help you to think before you eat. Simply picture a pause button in your brain before you put that cake or soft drink to your lips. Consider your decision for 5 or so minutes and decide whether it’ll be helpful for your weightloss goal to indulge.

3. Substitute junk food for healthy foods that look bad for you

Healthy food can look unappealing, which is why we prefer to eat junk food sometimes. A trick is to find a healthy alternative has some good qualities of the food you crave. Say if you like crunchy chips, why not bake some kale chips with olive oil? Same goes for yoghurt over ice cream or brown rice over white rice.

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4. Break the cycle of excuses

We all like to reward ourselves for good behaviour, but that doesn’t mean we should in every circumstance. If we say to ourselves we’ve eaten healthily all day so we deserve that chocolate, this is not going to improve our health. Reward yourself with activities and fun experiences instead of food and bad habits.

5. Motivate yourself with a photo

If you desperately want to shed the weight and keep it off, have a photo of yourself at your lightest and look at it every day. Smile when you think of that person, instead of mourning them. When you’re struggling to stick to your new healthy lifestyle, think of what you’re doing it for.

6. Use smaller, blue plates

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One of the age old tricks to weight loss is to eat off a blue plate. Blue is visually unappealing when paired with food (think about it, how many foods are blue?), meaning you’ll eat less. And the smaller the plate, the less you’ll give yourself to eat and you won’t feel guilty for having leftovers.

7. Set small goals

Losing weight doesn’t just happen overnight. And while having a long term goal to lose weight is great, achieving small milestones will give you more of a sense of accomplishment.

8. Imagine yourself eating

If you want some chocolate, wine or lollies, try to think about yourself eating it instead of actually eating it. A study from Carnegie Mellon University showed that those who visualised eating 30 M&Ms before indulging in a bowl of the candies ate fewer M&Ms than those who didn’t imagine anything beforehand.

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9. Use the “apple trick”

Next time you want something to eat, you could actually be thirsty. Ask yourself, do I want an apple? And if the answer is yes, have a snack, but if you don’t really want an apple, chances are you’re just thirsty.


Do you have any other tricks to add?