When I first embarked on the lemonade diet, I thought I would have no problem getting through the cleanse. And I was so wrong.. It was rigorous and physically demanding – I often felt weak and the days of abstinence from food gave me hunger pangs. In fact, I met with multiple setbacks and wasn’t able to complete The Lemonade Diet successfully.
During my first few attempts, I failed because I was not able to control my hunger and I started eating some foods before my cleanse ends.
But here is what I have learned – there are ways to help us control our food cravings and succeed. The lemonade diet is more than just abstaining from food and sticking through the pain and pangs.
At that time, I was lucky enough to read about Anthony Robbins’ books which inspired me to use visualization techniques to control my cravings. I later went on to become a Neuro Lingusitic Programming (NLP) practitioner. In short, NLP helps people to “re-program” their minds using visualization techniques and also change the way they think about things. By doing this, you can change your behaviour and your habits.
So here are some visualization techniques I’ve learned to control my hunger cravings.
Creative visualization helps in improving your actual performance by imagination. Sports stars do it all the time. Think of Roger Federer running through his service in his head in a crucial match. The underlying basis is both biological and mental – your thoughts and feelings affect your body profoundly. When you feel anger, your heart beats faster. Creative visualization is used to ready your body and mind when you go through something physically demanding like The Lemonade Diet.
Sit in a quiet spot and focus on the following for a few minutes at the start of each day, or whenever the need arises:
- Imagine you have achieved your post-diet goal. Imagine yourself slimmer, healthier and happier. Imagine how you feel, and having those feelings run through you.
- Think of your family and friends noticing a difference in you, and complimenting on how great you look.
- Visualize yourself fitting into the clothes you have always wanted to wear. The blouse on display in that shop you have been eyeing for a month. Visualize yourself putting it on, having it fit snugly, and strutting down the street, attracting the admiration of onlookers.
There can be many variations to the above visualization practice – you could be at the beach, or at a party.
The key is that, like all goals, it has to be realistic. Take small, manageable steps, and you would have walked a mile in the long run. It helps to be as detailed as possible in your visualization – imagine what your friends will say exactly to you. Visualize the nitty-gritty details of the blouse in that shop display.
Making your visualization as real and close as possible will make it all the more attainable, and your determination to achieve your goal will be stronger. It tells yourself – “You can smell it. You can almost touch it. Now reach forward and go get it.”
Hypnotherapy / Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP)
Before you dismiss the above as hocus pocus, these therapies are actually medically recognized as especially effective for dealing with food cravings in weight treatments.
Hypnotherapy works by having an external voice induce you into a relaxed state, and helps converge your attention and energy singularly into your particular weight goal, such that you will find yourself more focused and clear-minded towards it.
Its effectiveness is best channeled for people who are self-motivated, who know and are able to visualize exactly what they want. Thus, it is extremely useful to combine hypnotherapy with the above creative visualization.
We are our worst enemies. Sometimes, the only person preventing us from succeeding is our issues. This is when NLP also comes in. It allows us to speak to this person that continuously blocks our way from success – ourselves.
Below is one of the techniques that I used on the lemonade diet.
Core Transformation Technique
This is just some brief process of the core transformation technique that you can use it on yourself. You would need to ask yourself questions and imagine the process with me. You will read my own experience practicing the NLP technique as well.
If you have done the lemonade diet before, remember the time when you were hungry and trying to look for food to eat. What emotions do you experience?
I remembered when I was doing the lemonade diet, my stomach had this urge to eat food. I tried to focus on the time I was looking for food. There was a mixed feeling of to eat or not to eat – one part of me feels the urge of wanting to eat and the other controlling myself because I want to complete the cleanse. I tried to separate the 2 emotions in me and imagining stepping out of my body.
You can try asking the part of you with this urge, “What do you want?”
Rather than forcing a coherent answer, it may come out as something that is an image, a mood, or even something that is hard to describe. The key here is allowing the answer come out by it’s own and don’t try to force it.
For myself, I did not really have any feelings in the beginning, but as I empty my mind and concentrate on the emotion, I felt that deep down inside I had the hunger cravings is because I wanted to feel happy. I can vividly see the picture of my parents quarreling with each other because of the lack of food (because we are poor), and whenever we have no food to eat, my parents would quarrel.
The next step is to imagine that you have the experience of food in your stomach now, and feeling the emotions earlier, what do you want more that there is something more important?
As I totally immersed myself with the answer, I started to feel happiness inside me. So next, now that I felt happy, what do I want more that is of more important? Suddenly, “to be free” just appear in my mind. So what is it like to be free? I felt wanting to be free of all the quarrels and unhappiness in my life.
After that, I asked myself again, “What is even more important than to be free?”
Now I can feel a sense of warmth and love that fills my body. And it dawned on to me that “to be loved is what I want, not the food.”
As I returned to the daily lemonade diet, I did not feel the need to eat everyday just to be loved. During the first time I did this exercise, I could feel that the cravings for food is tremendously reduced. There was still a little cravings but it was much much lesser than before. Everyday in the lemonade diet, I would perform this diet and the cravings get lesser and lesser and eventually, I don’t feel the need to eat food anymore.
Let us know whether these techniques have helped you in the lemonade diet. You can also share with us your experience while doing the visualization technique.