When I interviewed Martina Navratilova and five-time Olympian Anne Kursinski, they attributed their record-breaking achievements to an essential practice: visualizing success. It’s a powerful tool that has been used by athletes for years and according to a new study, it is also the key to weight loss.
That’s right…if you imagine losing pounds and regularly use all your senses to experience a thinner you, it will happen! Seriously, this is not about depriving your body of necessary food or joining the latest fitness craze. It’s not a diet, it’s a mindset shift.
The technique is called functional imagery training, or FIT and it combines motivational interviewing with vivid imagery practices to tap into inspiration and imagination. Researchers at the University of Plymouth designed and evaluated FIT for weight loss and discovered that not only did it work, but it proved to be the most effective weight loss study ever conducted. The only program to come close was Weight Watchers where results were shorter lived. In the Plymouth study, the average person lost 10 pounds in 6 months and continued to lose weight and get in better shape months even after the intervention.
I am honored to announce being the first independent contractor in the world certified in FIT for weight loss. FIT’s principals align with how I practice in four fundamental ways:
1. Begin with assessing your motivation to change
2. Imagine your future self
3. Determine the best course of action
4. Stay positive
“FIT shows that mental imagery is more strongly emotionally charged than other types of thought. It uses imagery to strengthen people’s motivation and confidence to achieve their goals and teaches people how to do this for themselves, so they can stay motivated even when faced with challenges. This is all based on two decades of research,” wrote Jackie Andrade, University of Plymouth psychology professor and FIT co-founder.
FIT can be utilized for behavioral changes from sports performance to addiction. If you have a behavior that you want to positively impact, this may be just the solution to tap into your desire.