Many individuals struggle with controlling their weight. Weight loss is usually even more difficult. Researchers continuously study this problem. And recently, a group of individuals practicing FIT (functional imagery training) lost more than 4 times the weight than the individuals who didn’t. Researchers are showing, the brain is a very powerful aid in weight loss.
A study in the International Journal of Obesity was published showing participants lost almost 5 times as much weight when they utilized the FIT method. Over 140 individuals were in the study. One group underwent MI (motivational interviewing) and the other group had a new kind of therapy, FIT or functional imagery training.
Not only did the FIT group lose more than 4 times as much weight in the six months, they lost huge numbers around the waist AND continued to lose after the study vs the MI group that had numbers that dropped off significantly.
Eating less and exercising more is the goal for weight loss. But the study was conducted to take a look into the first step of weight loss…motivation.
Each participant in the MI and FIT groups received two therapy sessions, one over the phone and one in person with a therapist. There were follow ups every couple of weeks for three months, then once per month for the final 3 months.
While Motivational Interviewing is a talking therapy discussing motivation, FIT goes further with training the brain to envision the weight loss. Examples of the imagery the individuals were to focus on is what they could do once they lost weight and what they were unable to do with the extra weight. They were to imagine the feeling of being slimmer, even the tastes and sounds. So, while the MI group spoke about how they wanted to lose weight, the FIT group used imagery for that motivation.
How To Incorporate
FIT is best conducted by a trained therapist specializing in the program, but there are ways to add this practice into our routines.
The first habit to add to your life is taking 20 minutes and thinking about how weight loss will improve your life.
To help with progress and with imagery, a journal can be created. Record the reasons for the weight loss and how you imagine feeling after the weight loss. Write down milestones achieved and how it felt to achieve them.
Remember to set aside at least 15 minutes at the same time, each day, to think and journal with the imagery. This set time, each day, helps to train the brain with the motivational training.
The success in weight loss depends on your behavior with eating healthy and exercising, but using this motivational imagery could improve that success.