How To Change Your Brain To Lose Weight

How To Change Your Brain To Lose Weight

Everyone Want to Know How To Change Their Brain to Lose Weight.  And no wonder.  I watched a really interesting YouTube video the other day that really reminded me about how much your brain can affect your weight loss – for good and for bad.


The video was by an engineer called Deslin who runs a website called Smarter Every Day, and it was all about a so-called backwards bicycle. Deslin got his hands on a bike that operated in an opposite way to a regular bike – so when you turned the handlebars left, the front wheel would turn right, and when you turned the handlebars right, the front wheel would turn left. Deslin couldn’t ride this bike no matter how hard he tried, and it accompanied him around the world on various speaking tours – none of his audience members could ride it, either.


Eventually, after eight solid months of practice, something ‘clicked’ and Deslin finally got the hang of riding the backwards bike. Of course, when he went back to riding a ‘normal’ bike, his brain didn’t catch on right away – it took him about 20 minutes before he could ride ‘normally’ again. But he did it.


So what does this have to do with weight loss? Well, as Deslin pointed out in his clip, the bike example is a really effective way of illustrating what happens to our brains and our thought patterns over time. We get stuck in a mental rut – our brain gets used to doing things a particular way (like riding a bike), and then when we try to shake that up, it can be surprisingly difficult – even if you know the benefits of changing your habits.


For example, anyone trying to ride the backward bike can see how it differs from a normal bike and what has to be done in order to ride it – you basically just have to turn the handlebars in the opposite way you want the bike to go. But in practice, this is so much harder – because over the years, your brain has developed a well-worn ‘bike riding’ groove, and it takes a lot of time and effort to create a new one.


But, as Deslin himself proved with eight months of bike practice, creating those new grooves – those new habits – can be done with time and perseverance. What you’re essentially doing is chipping away at years of thinking or doing in a particular way, and resetting some of those neural pathways – a process known as neuroplasticity, which suggests that parts of your brain are kind of like plasticine that can be moulded and made into different shapes.


When it comes to how to lose weight, there are so many parallels with this bike story. You probably know that eating well and exercising is the path to successful weight loss – you have that knowledge. But putting it into practice is another thing altogether, and diets that throw you overnight into a dramatic lifestyle change are too extreme – they give you no time to adjust. Your knowledge of healthy living and your actual habits and routine might differ wildly – you might eat a lot of junk, you might eat too much, or not enough of the good stuff like vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains; you might get little to no exercise. Changing that does take time and effort, and you can’t do it overnight – just like Deslin couldn’t just hop onto that backwards bike for the first time and ride it like a pro.

Reclaim Your Weight Loss Motivation Now!

Take the Challenge Now!


But you can change your habits to do anything, including to lose weight!

Take the Deslin approach, and ‘practise’ a little every day. You might want to start by making a list of things in your life that you think you can or should change – anything related to your health and lifestyle, particularly your diet and activity levels, that you think needs to change. Now, tell yourself that you’re going to tackle those things step by step.


Imagine your brain: all your habits are like well-travelled pathways through a thick jungle. Your job is to create new pathways – to find a new way through all that foliage. You can do this by travelling that new path again and again – you’ll be creating a clearer path every time.


This is why the ‘step-by-step’ approach works so well if you want to lose weight.  A little bit at a time, a few minutes every day – swapping something unhealthy for something better, lifting some weights in front of the TV, whatever you can fit into your day – you’re taking steps along that new neural path and forging yourself some shiny (and healthy) new habits. The backwards bike of your healthy life and your best, healthiest self is something you know how to achieve – and actually achieving it, like anything else in life worth doing, just takes practice. So get on that bike!


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Sally Symonds

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