Visualization is being increasingly used in many fields and especially in sports. Sports psychologists rely heavily on the process on visualization when coaching their clients to achieve success. Athletes use this technique to train their mind in a way so that the body automatically behaves as asked, to achieve success without effort. It is similar to when you are so used to driving to work in the morning that you actually get there without a conscious effort. Visualization is also used by highly successful people and recommended by every self-help book in the 21st century.

So what is visualization?

When you close your eyes and think of something, let’s say your car or your house, although you are only thinking, you can actually visualize the car or the house. Visualization is the use of a positive suggestion through mental imagery to change a mental and/or physiological state. When you create a mental picture, because your subconscious is unable to differentiate between fantasy and reality, your body can actually respond to the visualization as if it was a real experience. It believes whatever pictures you create in your mind. You can trick your subconscious into believing this ‘reality’ and elicit specific emotions and feelings just like it was actually true. Visualization can help bring about desired changes in your behavior because your subconscious tries to make your behavior consistent with your mental images and thoughts.

So how can you visualize satiety?

If you want to use visualization to achieve satiety you have to focus on the concept of bypass surgery for a minute. During normal digestion, food passes from the stomach to the small intestine where most of the nutrients and calories are absorbed. Then food goes through to the large intestine or the colon and the remaining waste is later excreted. In gastric bypass surgery, surgeons make the stomach smaller by creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach with surgical staples. This pouch which is able to hold 2 to 3 ounces of volume is then connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine and bypasses the rest of the larger original stomach and part of the small intestine. The goal of this procedure is to allow the person to feel full more quickly than when the stomach is at its full size. This results in reducing the amount of consumed food leading to a decrease in the number of calories consumed and initiating weight loss. Food also bypasses part of the small intestine causing fewer calories to be absorbed.

So why not apply the process of visualization to your stomach in the form of a mental gastric bypass to feel satiated with less food consumption? What you need to do is visualize your stomach, not at its full size of 10 inches and not at its full capacity to hold a gallon of food and water, but at capacity of 1 to 1.5 cups. Since this is all imaginary, you can choose the new measurement of your stomach. Ideally, you should do this visualization every day, in a calm and relaxing place. I suggest you take 15 minutes every day before you get up of bed to visualize your new stomach. Or what you can do is that, throughout each day and especially during meal time, visualize your stomach cavity as only able to hold the amount of food you want. The more often you engage in the process of visualization, the more your brain can help keep your eating behavior consistent with your mental image.

As Albert Einstein said, “Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.”  Your conscious mind can be the gateway to any reality you wish to have. It can hold one thought at a time and you get to choose what that thought it is. Whether you use this technique to calm your mind or eat less food, if you do it repeatedly and with enough determination, these thoughts will eventually attract this reality into your life.

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