3 Mindset Changes for Weight Loss
Weight loss tips are not hard to find. There are countless books, magazines, and websites devoted to weight loss, each claiming that it's "the one!" While the approaches differ (paleo, raw food, vegan, keto, etc.), the common thread is that they address dietary changes.
Regardless of the diet, chances are it will work short term. But to improved the long-term chances of success, behavioral changes are essential and increase the number of tools at your disposal. Addressing the behavioral, emotional, and mental aspects of weight loss will make all the difference.
- Know WHY you want to lose weight
What’s the source of your motivation? Do you want to lose weight for a special event or vacation? Contrary to many thoughts, short-term goals can make losing weight harder because of the added stress of time.
The constant state of stress triggers an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, which makes it harder to lose weight and can actually increase the number on the scale.
Instead of losing weight for someone else or an event, shift the focus to you and what will inspire you. Do you want to lose the weight to improve your health? Or maybe you want to have more fun playing with your kids. Figure out your WHY.
- Put your scale in time-out
Repeat after us. “I am not a number.” Owning a scale can be good and bad. It's beneficial because it provides feedback. Weekly (at the most) weigh-ins lets you know if you're losing weight or weight loss has stalled.
More frequent weigh-ins (daily or even multiple times a day) can be demotivating because your weight fluctuates daily due to water retention and levels of glycogen stores, etc. People get so wound up in the number on the scale that it dictates their mood for the day.
Does this sound familiar? Down a pound? Yay! It’s going to be a great day! Up a pound? What’s the point of even trying? I’m just going to go eat some cookies. Ditch the scale and let other measures be a better indicator of how you’re doing (clothes fitting, energy, sleeping, etc). After about two weeks of healthful eating, you should notice changes and that's real progress!
- Develop a positive attitude
Dieting and weight loss often go hand-in-hand with negative feelings and a fear of failure. When people are on a diet, they tend to focus on the foods they can’t have - feelings of deprivation and starvation use far too much mental energy.
If this pattern sounds familiar, practice shifting your perspective - seeing the glass as half-full!
Look at all of the nutritious and delicious food that you can have. Instead of saying, “I can’t eat that,” say, “I choose to eat this.” Practice an “I can do it!” attitude and mantra and watch how much easier living a healthy lifestyle becomes.
Start with smaller, more easily achievable goals, like ordering fruit instead of fries, and work your way up to more ambitious goals. Smaller “wins” build confidence and motivation to continue the journey. Also, surround yourself with people who uplift and motivate you.
Photo by javi_indy
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