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by Patty Morell Bilhartz, M.D., M.P.H.


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How to Lose Weight but Never Go Hungry Again, pt. 5 (Betcha Never Thought of This!)


This is the 5th Wellness Tip in our 8-part weight loss series that began 4 weeks ago and will continue for the next 4 weeks. These tips confirm you don’t have to be hungry in order to lose weight. And this week’s tip may be the most amazing idea that I share with you in this series. Likely one you have never even considered!

Years ago I decided to give up sugar. That is, foods and drinks with added sugars.

I also gradually moved to plant-based eating.

Sounds extremely radical, but if you want more juicy details about the whys and whats of my food lifestyle changes, see my book Love Trumps Fear: 8 Medical Insights to Heal Your Heart and Transform Your Health.

I found that plant-based eating actually wasn’t so difficult, but giving up added sugars was.

I learned quickly how addictive sugar is. It’s the main reason why we continue to overeat sugary foods even when we know it’s not our highest choice. In fact, studies have shown that when we eat sugar, the same areas in our brain become active that are activated with heroin and cocaine use!

I continued to crave sweets, especially cookies.

One day it occurred to me that I could “eat” a cookie. In my mind. With my imagination.

Wellness Tip #5: A cookie in the mind is a cookie eaten.

Miraculously, I realized that I got the good feeling as if I had eaten the cookie, but without the calories. Without spending the money. And without wishing that I hadn’t eaten it. The benefit of satisfying my craving without the downsides.

Now, that’s pretty awesome!

The Experiment: The next time you crave something sweet (or any food that is not your best choice), stop. Take a deep breath. Visualize in your mind that you are buying it. Then imagine that you are slowly eating it while savoring every bite. “Smell” and “taste” it. “Eat” the whole thing. Even “have” another. Then, go on about your day as if you had eaten it. But the good news is that you didn’t!

Betcha never thought of this! A cookie in the mind is a cookie eaten. >

Silence Your Inner Critic: You can’t believe that this visualization will work. Your thoughts will try to convince you that a cookie in the mind cannot possibly be a cookie eaten. Just try the experiment anyway. After all, it’s free. And, with practice, you may find—as I did—that you can calm your cravings and satisfy your addictions in a healthy way.

Rock Our World with Your Comments: How were you able to make this experiment work for you? Write your thoughts in a personal journal, discuss with a friend or family member, or post a comment below. We thrive and grow with your input!

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