weight loss and the law of attraction: a dialogue

yesterday, we had a guest post by david about using the law of attraction to lose weight. since david’s and my views are a bit different, i promised you a dialogue about it. so here we go. i will start with some of the ideas with which i agree:

i completely agree that our expectations are an important part of how we each create our own unique worlds. there is a lot of research that supports that, e.g. on self-fulfilling prophecies and other expectancy beliefs such as self-efficacy beliefs (the “i can do it” factor).

introducing more self-love into our lives and stopping harmful self-judgment are very important; personally i believe that they are a significant ingredient in not only improving our personal lives but also in improving the lives of those around us (hence my tagline: making lives better, making better lives).

appreciating and loving our bodies is a crucial element of this. currently, denise wilfley at washington university is working on finding out whether improved body image can have an effect on weight. it is well-known that a disturbed body image is connected to low self esteem.

lastly, i also agree that paying attention only to negative statements (“if i eat that, i’ll get fat”) is counterproductive. we shape our reality according to our attentional biases.

now let me point outwhere i don’t share david’s point of view.

we can’t deny that eating certain things on a consistent basis will make most people fat; that’s one of the main reasons for the obesity epidemic in north america. i doubt there was a big change to the negative in terms of body image in the last 60 years; but we know that the arrival of fast food and an insane amount of choice of overly fatty, sweet and salty food coincides with the rise of obesity.

also, research points to the fact that obesity does have a genetic component, and most people who’ve tried would say that “it’s hard to lose weight” is a statement of fact. i think it’s important to keep these things in mind (without dwelling on them) because they can help with weight loss. e.g. it’s useful to know that 2 cups of carrots have the caloric equivalent of one slice of bread.

david says, “when you love your body, then naturally your body will feel better and will become healthier. as this happens your body will naturally shift to fit the image that you are holding in your mind: a healthier, thinner body.” i am not sure how that mechanism is supposed to work. has it worked for you?

existing research does not show that a better relationship with one’s body results in weight loss (maybe ms. wilfley’s work will change that; we’ll have to see). also, the experience of fat acceptance people would refute the claim; people who are part of the fat acceptance movement often put much effort into having a positive, loving relationship with their body, without a resulting weight loss.

finally, david writes, “you will never lose weight while you judge yourself fat. that is rule number 1.” unfortunately, that is not true at all. the people who arguably have the worst problem with body image – people who struggle with anorexia or bulimia – do precisely that. so does just about every other person who diets.

summarizing all of this, i’d say that when aiming towards a healthy body weight, it’s useful to pay attention to how our minds shape our uniquely experienced version of reality, and to love our bodies. it is also important to keep in mind that a positive body image does not equal a weight that your doctor would be happy with; and that body weight is correlated with caloric intake, exercise, metabolic rate and genetics.

and of course, let’s not forget that much of this is very individual. i don’t doubt for a minute that improving one’s body image can be the solution to someone’s weight issues (which is different from saying that it is the solution for everyone).

it is interesting to note that a large-scale study on the effectiveness of various treatments for obesity recommends intensive counselling as the best approach. since the best counselling is counselling that is tailored to the individual’s need, i would hope that those for whom improved body image holds the most promise will receive exactly that type of intervention.

over to you, david and of course you, dear reader – what do you think? what’s your experience?

(this article was included in the 50 best blog posts on the law of attraction


  1. hi pickup of course it can help. anything can help. but i think it’s a big, big leap from saying “it CAN help” to “if you think about losing weight, then you will definitely succeed”. millions of people with weight issues think about losing weight all the time, to no avail. and yes, of course, thinking is a good first step to success (although not always). then what’s the next step?

  2. I just believe in controlling your thinking and keeping it constructive may be one of the most difficult challenges you have ever faced. Fortunately, writing goals and reading affirmations can help get you started. And with that all weight loss and other track part is easy. So for me yes for law of attractions.

    Andrew Murray
    The Marketing Couple

  3. “@andrew thanks for your comment. so – have you personally used the law of attraction to lose weight, and to successfully keep it off?”

    I did.

  4. Yes, I agree 100%.

    (And a little cheeeeze never hurt anything!)

    Also, we attract (or ‘create’ – as I like to see it) everyone else’s opinion.

    Or rather, we create the opinions we’re aware of.

    The other person creates their opinion. If we’re aware of it, then we’ve created it in our reality also.

    ‘Overlapping realities.’

    AcaiBerry’s last blog post..Welcome To Acai Berry Lab

  5. I believe that if we have the right reason to lose weight and we treat our body rightly. Get more exercise to make our body healthier we can get shape as a bonus. Take more fiber or take the right way to eat will make our body and health better. Great oaks grow from little acorns.

  6. I can tell you from exerience with my wife that weight loss is an emotional experience. There are many variables that go into her experience trying to lose the weight. Genetics does not help her efforts, that is for sure. But outside influences, like my attitude, and the support of her friends is what allows her to succeed or not. She knows that to lead a healthy life she has to exercise but she doesn’t care for the activity. She eats healthy. But she has to b e validated with her efforts. As her spouse it’s exhausting to at times to be her support system. But nonetheless necessary.

  7. I believe that if you visualize how you would like to look, the universe will guide you and lead you wherever you need to be to get that result, that happened to me. I wanted to be a certain weight, and I was given the direction on where to get the proper information to get me to that NEW ME I was desiring to be.

  8. Очень хороший и занимательный блог! Постоянный житель моего ридера 🙂

  9. As a former horseracing jockey (during 23 years) I never struggled with my weight by applying the following balanced food intake formula;

    15% fats, 35% sugars, 50% proteins.

    If your physical activity is low, don’t exceed 1200 calories a day, with a high activity you can go up till 2200 calories a day always implementing the above formula.

    Overweight will melt away week after week.

  10. I found that the low carb diet works wonders.. I lost about 25 pounds very fast. Also, exercise is very important for your health in general. I don’t think exercise necessarily is as effective as diet for losing weight, but exercise keeps you healthy in both mind and body and makes you toned 🙂
    .-= Starcraft´s last blog ..StarCraft 2 is Feature Complete =-.

  11. I’ve always been fascinated about the different ways people have created to achieve one goal, the goal of weight loss. For me, it all starts with the food you eat. I filled out this survey to help out in weight loss program research — about the dieting and nutrition habits of people. For the love of weight loss, check this survey out! http://bit.ly/4TttX

  12. I’ve always been fascinated about the different ways people have created to achieve one goal, the goal of weight loss. For me, it all starts with the food you eat. I filled out this survey to help out in weight loss program research — about the dieting and nutrition habits of people. For the love of weight loss, check this survey out! http://bit.ly/4TttX.

  13. I use visualization in every area of my life. I started with the Law of Attraction craze an now it’s a habit. I use it before doing anything. I wouldn’t say it works as well as it does for the people who use it to find parking spaces but it does work. I use it to visualize a thin and fit me. I use it to visualize myself working out. It really does seem to help me.
    .-= tom@fat burner supplement´s last blog ..Do Follow Blog, Comment Luv Keyword Luv =-.

  14. I’m really trying to focus on my weight for multiple reasons, but the biggest one is because I don’t feel attractive. I know that I am, but sometimes it feels like I can’t get a girlfriend because of my weight, and it severely lowers my self-esteem.

  15. To begin with your weight loss project, have a strategy for slimming. If you do not, you may be tempted to start off your weight loss “tomorrow, ” and for a number of men and women, tomorrow never quite gets to today. Get going by setting objectives that you’ll be able to really accomplish with a little work, yet which are not too simplistic to complete. Consult your general practitioner or an expert trainer to determine the way to satisfy your fat loss desires. Affirmations are positive sentences written in the present tense meant to be used repeatedly to create a habit of thought. Everything you experience has to do with the way you think, and the more you observe what you think the more you turn that thought into a habit.

  16. weight loss i don’t think is a dialogue because we need a lot of effort in loosing some weight stop eating less , go for an exercise. thats all hard work not a dialogue. law of attraction seems to happen to every creature so its not a dialogue at all

  17. Motivation is important, but I agree that a positive attitude toward your body will not result in weight loss.

    What is also true though, if a person battle with emotional eating, feeling better about yourself may well result in you eating less and then weight loss may follow.

    I think what we have to keep in mind here is that each person is different and what works for one is not necesssarily going to work for the other.

    What is indisputable, though is that you will have to make an effort to eat right and do some moderate exercise, no matter how much you love yourself!
    .-= Magriet@´s last blog ..How To Identify Fad Diet Plans #2 – You Are Not Allowed To Do Any Exercise =-.

  18. Well said and I do agree. Weight loss is yes about self love but so much more. One aspect I would like to add is the effects of toxins and the lack of nutrients in our foods.

  19. I am really starting to think that this whole “weight loss” focus is wrong. We need to be focused on “healthy living” and then everything else will follow…(like natural weight loss, longer life, cleaner arteries (heart health), better skin, and generally happier life) That, to me, makes a whole lot more sense! Thank you so much, Kristen K.

  20. i agree with you, kristen. when we reflect on what makes truly feel good, we’ll automatically start to do things that are good for us. e.g. overeating to the point of stupor never feels good. so a question like, “what can i do to make sure i stop when i feel really full?” can be a great start.

  21. Great site!

    Ever wonder why you start panting after climbing even only 10 steps of the stairs? Tired of looking for the right size of clothing to fit your body? Or worse, do you always get people to notice you, yet at the same time discriminate you?

    Terrible as they may seem, but these are just some of the countless bad effects of obesity.

    It’s true…

    Take it from me because I have been there. And it wasn’t fun – even just bringing it back to mind can be so frustrating.

    But I didn’t lose hope. I made an extra effort to study what causes obesity and how it can be treated. Thus, I alloted enough time to perform what I have learned.

    And now, I have achieved the perfect body weight and figure I have always wanted.

    Like me, I’m sure you can do it.

  22. hi jason and others … jason, i like how you say “i made an extra effort … i allotted enough time …” i think consciously putting in time and effort to deal with any mental health issue (i certainly see this as a mental health issue) is very important. and also HOW we spend that time and effort. hmmm – that’s something to write some more about in another blog post …

    “like me, i’m sure you can do it.” i’ve always seen this as a two-edged sword. on the one hand, the message i hear is, “it was really hard for me and at times i didn’t want to do it but in the end i did; because i was so thick-headed i think anyone can do it.” on the other hand, the message that often arrives is “come on, it’s not so hard, i managed to do it, don’t be so lazy/boneheaded.” in the latter, the person often does not feel heard.

    what do you guys think?

  23. First of all I like to thanks you for sharing this information, because this is one of the best postings I read on the internet. And yes… I think it starts all in your mind. Be positive… Take the time to make it visual in your mind and start. Positive state of mind and taking action are the key to success and loss that weight… Cheers
    .-= Pieterdeb @ Acai Berry Loss Weight´s last blog ..This Is A Do Follow Blog – Comment Luv =-.

  24. Great information. I have been using the law of attraction in my life for over a year now and have loved what it has done for my health. I believe that we control so much of our physical appearance from our habitual way of thinking. Weight loss is something that needs to move from the conscious to the sub-conscious mind for it to become effective.

  25. I have to agree with Bi Sadong, if you can picture the end result and know that it is going to happen then you will lose the weight. But if you are feeling negative about everthing and thinking that it is impossible then the chances are you will probably give up.

  26. Have you heard of the new upcoming movie “How Thoughts Become Things?” I just saw the trailer at http://www.HowThoughtsBecomeThings.com It is a question I have had since seeing the Secret, but it really hasn’t been answered very well. I hope this film will do a better job. It claims it will tie the Law of Attraction to modern Neuroscience in a way that will be applicable for everyone. I think that if they can provide these answers it will be wonderful!

  27. I agree that weight loss/gain has a lot to do with your emotional state. If you are using LOA to achieve this it is important to do it for the right reasons, otherwise you are just fooling yourself. And that doesn’t work.

  28. I agree with both actually. I do think the law of attraction applies to weight loss, but it isn’t as simple as just thinking about something. It’s been pointed out in the comments already, but those who use attraction and actively involved in chaging their lifestyle. That is part of the law of attraction. Get obsessed, develop a plan, work the plan. It’s a powerful force that works.

  29. Dissatisfaction with body image becomes obsessive, together with continuing concerns about what is eaten or swallowed. So every person should know the individual factors that sustain the conflict. Each person must know what changes may occur in your body, and seek to achieve. otherwise any treatment is doomed to failure.

  30. I just saw the trailer on the film “How Thoughts become Things” and thought it was worth talking about here. I think this will be a great movie. The website talks about deeper lessons into The Law of Attraction, using Neuroscience and modern Psychology. The film is being made by Douglas Vermeeren who did The Opus. I am interested to know everyones thoughts. Since Rhonda Byrne has put out her book “The Power” and has apparently has no intention of doing another movie like “The Secret” is this movie the next step for all of humanity?

    Here’s the website http://www.Howthoughtsbecomethings.com

  31. I agree. If you’re satisfied with your body image and have an improved self-esteem it will hep in losing weight and getting in shape, since you’ll be much more motivated to go the extra miles to reach your goals.

    Losing weight does need patience too and if you’re satisfied with your body image it will be easier to have that needed patience to get where you want to be, not just with losing weight but with everything in live.

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