Author: Amanda Cofer, MPH
You probably read this title and thought, “Duh, the stomach!” Well the answer isn’t that obvious. Think about it this way, what tells the stomach what to do? What tells you that your stomach is full or empty? What tells you how you’re feeling and then lead you to act in certain ways? The answer is your brain! Your thoughts and how to train your brain to react in instances of stress, emotions, social settings, or even just a regular meal are some of the most important components of any weight loss journey. You have to start here to change your thinking and Noom helps you do exactly this, but how?
First, the Noom approach goes beyond simply exercising and counting calories and dives deeper into the thoughts that drive your health behaviors. The psychology-based curriculum gets your gears turning in a totally different way. Thinking about the why behind the actions you are working to change and the reasons is incredibly important. Noom uses your brain as a tool that you constantly have access to (and if that’s not the case you have bigger fish to fry) to help you unlock your own potential with a little support of course. How is this helpful you may ask? Well, forming new habits is a result of forming new neural pathways which are the result of practiced thoughts and actions over time! Sounds fancy, doesn’t it?
Forming these new pathways is hard though and at Noom, we get that. Which is another area where your brain comes into play. Starting with your brain is one of the best ways to lose weight because you have to work on your mindset first. Changing your thinking can help you go from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Shifting your thinking this way helps you when it comes to your intentions, positivity, and is fuel for the motivation fire. Research has shown that this can lead to more positive thinking and more positive results. For example, a study published in Psychosomatic Medicine showed that negative thoughts and mindset correlated with increased stress and decreased confidence in body image and ability to make healthy changes, leading to increased abdominal fat in participants. While this doesn’t sound so great, there is hope! Our brains are flexible and old dogs can learn new tricks.
Second, your actions can’t exist without your thoughts. Noom’s psychology-based approach is more holistic and understands that your habits sometimes come from a deeper place and don’t exist in a vacuum. By gaining more understanding of your own brain, thoughts, and how they work you’ll better understand your current actions as well as what you’ll need to do to change these actions to reach your weight loss goals. This also takes the focus off of the “diet” and puts it into more a lifestyle perspective. This is one of the best ways to lose weight because it increases the likelihood of long-term weight loss success!
Working through the mess that can sometimes be our own thoughts and relating them back to our habits (which may be equally as messy), helps to reshape relationships with food, exercise, rewards, and coping with stress. This leads to looking at weight loss differently and losing the “health food” and “junk food” labels (#PsychTricks), gaining confidence in your ability to be healthy and balanced, as well as your body. This is cool and all but what about the weight loss? Ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? The more you retrain your brain for healthy habits, the more likely weight loss success is to follow.
Your Brain and Weight Loss: The Bottom Line
In the end, we know that weight loss is not always easy and that changing your thoughts to change your habits can take time (like a lot of it). But by not working to retrain our own brains, we are getting in our own way when it comes to weight loss success and long-term weight control. Starting with your thoughts surrounding the process will help you better understand yourself and the behaviors you’re wanting to change and how to take action on them. Unlocking your own potential by hacking your thoughts is one of the best ways to lose weight, because you’ll truly be building new habits to achieve your weight loss goals.