Jorge Cruise has helped thousands of women across the globe reach their weight-loss goals with his innovative low-sugar nutrition plans. But while the diet approach was clearly working, his clients kept bumping up against a mental hindrance that stalled their results: self-criticism. “That’s the secret saboteur that holds many of us back from reaching our health goals,” says Jorge. “We may be eating the right foods. We may be minimizing our time on the couch. But if we haven’t given a thought to our thoughts, we won’t get the best results.”
The problem isn’t just that self-criticism saps motivation. Jorge notes that negative thoughts also spur the release of cortisol—and this stress hormone increases appetite and promotes belly-fat storage. That’s why he set out to develop Think Fit, a program that changes your thinking along with your silhouette. “Optimistic thoughts raise levels of the hormone serotonin, which promotes feelings of calm and happiness,” Jorge shares. And this dials down levels of fat-packing cortisol, curbs cravings and fires up fat burn.
“All in all, when you change the words you say to yourself to be more positive, you’ll have an easier time sticking to your diet,” Jorge explains. “You’ll get better results—faster.” Indeed, University of Texas scientists found that dieters who learned self-affirmation strategies lost 3 times more weight than those who only received nutrition advice. Here, positivity boosters from Jorge’s new book Stubborn Fat Gone! (Hay House, 2015; Hardcover $25, Kindle $12, Nook $12) that will help you drop up to 12 pounds a week!
Take the small step to big success
“I am such a believer in setting small goals you can reach up front—something that will help you feel successful immediately,” says Jorge. If you want to run a 5K, for instance, commit to just putting your sneakers on after work. As Jorge explains, big abstract goals can trigger an anxiety and fear response in the brain, but small steps fuel confidence, which keeps you powering forward. The proof: In one study, women who focused on simply adding a serving of veggies to meals lost 20 percent more weight than those who tackled a full diet plan immediately.
The easiest way to shift into a self-affirming mind-set: “Act as if you’re already at your ideal weight,” advises Jorge. “And act as if you think you are the most amazing person on the planet—because you are.” That means patting yourself on the back when you make strides toward your goal. “When you take time to notice little things you do, you can see them build into bigger patterns of self-love,” he says. “When you respect yourself, you do things to take care of yourself, like eat well.”
Visualize your triumphs
“Imagine what you would do if you took failure out of the equation,” muses Jorge. “If you knew that you could not fail, the only possibility would be success. When you look at things that way, you cannot lose.” To outsmart lingering fears of failure, he advises thinking of a few situations when you thought you would fail but instead succeeded. Then visualize yourself triumphing in the same way over obstacles in the future. “If you set your focus on something, that will surely be the outcome,” he cheers. “So keep your focus on what you desire.”
Give yourself a pass
Setbacks do happen, acknowledges Jorge. The key to getting back on track is offering yourself the grace you would a friend. When you tell yourself that everyone slips up and you’ll do better tomorrow, you sidestep the failed feelings that lead to overeating and open yourself up to an opportunity for growth, he promises. “Think about what you can learn from your mistakes, then take steps so you’ll be less likely to falter next time around.”
Toss your inner critic
To nix nagging insecurities, jot them down on a piece of paper and throw them away, says Jorge, noting that the physical action will clear the thoughts from your mind. “Now get a clean piece of paper and write down a power label for yourself, like ‘Superwoman.’ Store it in the files of your brain and think about it daily. This can empower you to outstanding levels of confidence.”
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