Health Is Wealth

Does The Mind Control The Body – A Key To Successful Dieting

Bad habits are easy to create, but extremely hard to break. You would think that if someone made a decision lose weight, it would be as simple as making up their mind to do so. Once their mind is made up, each day should be a progressive journey forward until they’ve reached their desired weight. But we know it isn’t this simple. So what prevents our bodies from following decisions that we’ve already made up in our minds? What convinces us to go against these decisions after we’ve made them?  Does the mind control the body?

NEW YEAR, STILL OLD ME!

The end of each year we create a New Years resolution of all the things we desire to change for the upcoming year. At the top of these resolutions are usually goals revolving around health. We say things like; I’m going on a diet, I’m going to start working out, I’m going to lose 30 lbs, I’m going to go vegan etc. If you feel you have to wait until the new year to create change, chances are those changes will only be temporary.

For about the first 8 to 12 weeks of the year, everyone is motivated working diligently on their goals. Every gym around the world seems to be packed to capacity during this time frame. This is the time of the year when the regular members become angry because they have to alter their workouts due to lack of equipment being open. Around March, the crowd begins to taper off and you start seeing less of the new members around. Why does this happen? Why does it seem like we create the same resolutions each year that we can never seem to accomplish?

Does The Body Have A Mind Of Its Own?

I once read somewhere that the intestines were the BRAIN of the body. From a visual standpoint, the intestines definitely resembles the brain. Supposedly, that’s where those “gut feelings” comes from. I’m not saying whether that statement is true or not, but we all know having a gut feeling is some type of warning sign or intuition system that the body gives off to alert us in important situations.

The body may or may not have its own brain, but what it does have is its own intelligence that we can program to benefit us or to work against us. When you drive your car, are you consciously thinking about the process of driving? Or is your mind focused on more important things while your body automatically drives for you?

When you first learned how to drive, your mind was super focused on every little step of the process. But as time went on, driving became 2nd nature and now you’re able to drive without thinking about the process at all. You simply get in the car and let your body handle the rest. This same concept applies to anything that we do in a repetitious manner.

The Mind Teaches The Body Through Repetition

When a professional basketball player goes to the gym, he practices shooting from various places on the floor for hours on end. This repetition creates a natural rhythm that takes the mind out of the equation so that the body can operate without the mind instructing it to do so.

When you drop something, your mind doesn’t first think “catch it.” Instead, your body’s reflex mechanism automatically engages and before you know it, you’ve caught whatever you dropped by the time the mind realizes what just happened.  Anything that you do repetitiously is simply the mind teaching the body how to do it on its’ own.

That’s why in time, you are able to do things without consciously thinking about them. Your body has gone through a process so many times that it no longer needs the minds’ assistance in order to operate. In fact, the body can actually function better and faster than the mind after its been programmed.

Practice Makes Perfect  

There’s a huge difference between a good basketball player vs a great one, especially in clutch situations. Those players who actually practice and prepare for those moments, are usually the ones that end up with the ball in their hands. Damian Lillards’s buzzer beater vs the Oklahoma City Thunder is a perfect example of how the body performs with little to no influence of the mind.

In the post game interview, Damien mentioned how confident he was in taking that shot . Because he practiced it several times, the body was able to perform and nail that shot in such a big moment without him thinking about it. The body automatically did what it was programmed to do.

Boxing

Let’s use boxing to drive the point home. The primary adjective of boxing is to hit your opponent as many times as possible while taking the least amount of hits. Due to the way boxers train, the body develops a reactionary mechanism that tries to prevent it from getting hit at all costs.

If you’ve ever watched a boxing match, you will notice how boxers have a super-natural ability to dodge and block punches in split seconds. When the opposing fighter throws a punch, do you think the other boxer first “thinks” before he reacts? No, the body  automatically counteracts based on of the way it was programmed through a boxers training regimen! If a boxer has to think before he makes a move, he will surely get hit!

Take a look at Gervonta Davis’s training video below. You will see how quickly the body responds without the absence of thought. There’s no way his mind is commanding him to move after each swipe from his trainer.

No Days Off!

Now that we’ve explained how the mind trains the body, we can now tie all of this into dieting. Any and everything that you do, you’re literally programming your body to respond. Doing nothing at all programs the body to DO NOTHING AT ALL! There are no days off! 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you are programming your body to operate a certain way in the absence of your mind.

If you constantly eat fast food, then that’s what you’re programming your body to want. When it comes time to eat something healthy or change your diet for the better, the body will lead you right back to those places you go to get fast food. Even after you’ve told yourself you won’t!

Why Healthy Diets Fail?

Healthy diets fail because the mind and the body are on 2 different pages. It’s called Mind & Body Opposition. In laymen’s terms, the body wants one thing while the mind wants another. If your diet mostly consists of unhealthy food choices, then when the time comes for a healthy change, the body will attempt to convince the mind to give it the junk it’s used to receiving.

Remember the intelligence that I mentioned earlier? That’s how the body is able to convince the mind. When you begin to say things like; I’ll start my diet tomorrow, I want something sweet, I’ll cheat today and get back on my diet tomorrow, or make any excuse to not stick to your diet, these are all things the body does to convince the mind to give it what it wants. Another tale-tell sign that the body has convinced the mind is if you meal prep healthy foods, but then end up throwing a few meals away because you just didn’t want to eat that anymore.

Break the Body!

In order to stick to a healthy diet, you must first break the body. It’s imperative to break the habits of eating bad foods by substituting them for healthier ones. The reason most of us break our diet is because we allow the body to convince the mind into giving it unhealthy foods before were able to create the new healthy habit.

When you continuously choose healthy food options, even in the midst of intense cravings, the body eventually breaks and gives in to the mind. The body stops trying to convince the mind and now they both operate on one accord.

You Can Do it!

 It’s imperative that you get the mind and the body to work in unison. Continue to choose healthy food choices no matter how intense those cravings get. By doing that, you will replace those bad habits(cravings) and create a new habit. In time, those craving will go away.

Remember how I said that the body can act on its own? When you finally create those good habits, the body will continue to find its way to foods and things that compliment your diet, instead of things that work against it. But first you must use your mind to program the body by continuously choosing healthy food options. NO MATTER WHAT!

Create the change you desire today! Good luck on your journey!!!

Please feel free to share your thoughts & opinions below.

Peace & Blessings!

 

 

32 Comments

  • Dor Danino

    Amazing article! I really think that the mind had a big factor in everything. Especially with things attached to motivation\drive, and If you can control your brain you can do everything!
    For me, Dieting is not easy and you need to train your brain. Thank you for this information , it helped me a lot!

  • karli parker

    Great post! I have been learning how powerful our mind really is. This make so much sense. I have been there, I said I will start tomorrow, I was a major procrastinator. I have since learned what was best for my health and I eat healthy and lost a lot of weight. I do not deprive myself either, just watch what I eat, meditate and stay busy. Thanks for the excellent article. It was interesting!

  • Hans

    I do agree when we start to feast on junk food, our body will crave for it in the next few days or even weeks. This is where you must really be disciplined and say NO to it.

    I am doing a healthy diet and occasionally goes to Mac/KFC because of my friends’ diet. I do realised a struggle for the next few days craving for the fries and fried chicken….

    I would say that discipline (which is also the mind) is really the key to dieting.

    Cheers.

  • Ashley

    Great article! I have heard that the guts are the brain of the body. I haven’t heard of it described in this way… But it seems so true! If they impact your reaction to stress and anxiety, it makes sense that they would also respond to learned behaviors and chronic choices. Pushing through this and focusing on the brain is vital to being successful with healthy eating habits. One thing I wonder is what time frame would we be looking at for the gut to start craving these healthy choices instead of the fast foods… I am sure it varies significantly… But in a world where we like to see immediate results, it’s hard to push through without knowing exactly what to expect!

    • Sergio A.

      You’re right, we want things right here and now. Instant gratification! But theres so much power to being patient and seeing things through! The other side is sooo much better !

  • Andrey

    Dear Sergio
    Thank you very much for your fantastic website. It is amazing that you show people where to start and what steps to take towards their healthy living and perfect body. I hope more people will know about your website and follow your guidance.
    Kind regards,
    Andrey

  • The Family Explorers

    I like how you open up with questions. It sets a good tone and expectation for your answers, and a brief outline for the article. I like the idea of programming the body with new “reflex mechanisms”…the genius behind this would be figuring out how to exaggerate this into routine activities. However, this is likely different for each person. As the article flows along, I agree: In those high pressure/clutch situations, we don’t naturally think about our confidence level when it’s already there…only when the confidence is still developing.

    • Sergio A.

      Thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it. Asking questions makes the brain pause for a moment so that the reader can associate what was previously read to their own personal experiences.
      Thanks again for the comment! Best wishes!!

  • Kathy

    You are so right that the mind and body are closely connected. I believe it takes 30 days to form a new habit, so if you create dieting goals no matter what time of year and stick with them you’ve a high chance of achieving them. Once your past 30 days that is!

  • Renea

    Wow, never thought about my body like this. I can see how the mind and body battle against each other now after reading your article. This helps me understand what I have been doing wrong in my own life and how to correct it. Thank you for sharing!

  • Viviana Munoz

    It’s interesting to see other perspectives on how the body and the brain can work together or against each other. I recently read an article that was described by a neuroscientist that our focuses become shifted because of stress.

    Stress causes us to think about the past and the future instead of focusing on our daily activities and our goals “present”. I wonder if that would work the same in this situation. If we just focus on what is in front of us would it give us positive results in creating a healthier lifestyle?

  • Michelle Otuke

    Hi Sergio, I found your article to be extremely useful in that you mentioned that in order to get the mind and body to work together, you must convince your mind to work in one accord. I think it’s a difficult thing to do, however I can give you an example, this year I decided to read more for my own self-improvement, I had about 4 books to work with. Getting the time to read generally was difficult and the best solution for me was to get audio books as I normally commute a long way to work, let’s just say I read more books than I expected, but I had to timetable a time in order to get that into a habit, I think with food, it’s a little different and depending on an individual’s self-discipline it’s something that I believe can take some time to adjust to, I also think that external influence has a part to play because the people around you can have an impact on what you are eating, so getting others to support in a way can assist in the process, do you think it’s necessary?

  • Sergio A.

    First off, congrats on crushing your goals! And yes others can play a big part in influencing your decisions. If you have people around you who don’t have a healthy diet, the body will use that to convince you to eat what they eat.

    I don’t think that support is necessary but it definitely helps those who may need it.

  • Cathy Allen

    Hello! I absolutely believe that the brain and mind act as a boss for the body. It takes a lot of self-control and discipline at first, but just like with the athletes, your body turns the training into instinct. The early stages of training your body are more difficult and take a huge amount of resolve. Great article!

  • Angel Cabayacruz

    Hi Sergio, this is a very interesting article that you posted and it helps a lot to many who come across your article. As you said that when the body has been programmed by the mind, as an example when we are walking and in an instant, we happen to slide or trip immediately without thinking in just a split second automatically we put our hands in the directions of fall to prevent us from hitting the ground.

  • Thabo Khoza

    I love this post about the mind and body because I have been reading about it lately.
    Great to learn the gut considerably being the mind, You know anything is possible and well explained.

    Your points were all good. Thanx

  • Jeffrey

    Hi Sergio,

    This is an interesting Concept, that the Body has it’s own mind. I never really thought of that before. I’m not sure if I really think it’s true, but it’s an interesting concept.

    You have definitely given enough reasons to believe it though. From my own experiences, something is definitely telling me to keep having the “Bad”, or “Less-Healthy” Foods. I would have to say it’s my mind, since I find myself contemplating if I’m going to eat something. It’s usually an inner struggle with myself.

    Over the last 2 Years, I have lost about 120lbs., and I still have the struggle everyday, to avoid the “Less-Healthy” options.

    Regards,
    J.

  • Enrique

    Hi, Sergio,

    Oh my God, your post hit me hard! I have been neglecting my diet and workout routine since New Year’s. I’ve been trying to get back on track to no avail.

    It’s all about habits like you said. However, it’s sadly easier said than done. I’ve tried so hard to change my habits. I hate having to analyze what I eat. I hate going to the gym. I need to find a way to at least tolerate it.

    Thanks for sharing. Time to start again!

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