Science says you need to shift your mindset for diet success. Weight loss starts in your mind. It’s more than just diet and exercise. Positive thoughts can increase our motivation and energy levels, propelling us toward our weight loss goals. In fact, when it comes to losing weight, our mind can be an extremely powerful and effective tool.
- Have Realistic Expectations. Sustainable weight loss amounts to 1-2 pounds per month, which is totally doable, and manageable in the context of career and family. Suggest reevaluating your weight goal after six months or so.
- Set Small Goals and Celebrate Small Joys. If setting smaller goals is more helpful than big ones, then you should focus on setting small achievable goals. We’re all prone to ‘big’ moments – like stop eating all carbs or working out at the gym seven days a week. Remember to reflect on the wonderful little things that are already happening right now. Celebrate the wins, no matter how small they seem. You said no to a second slice of pizza, you skipped the donut staring at you in the break room. YES!! We need to give ourselves the credit we deserve.
- Get Support. We all need support, especially during tough times. Find a friend, family member, or support group you can connect with on a regular basis. Studies show people who are connected with others, whether it’s in person or online, do better than dieters who try to go it alone. But, if you are all you got don’t let it stop you. I started out exercising alone because I was tired of waiting on others to join me. I was ready!
- Strive For Progress, Not Perfection. Stop looking at the weight scale for validation that your healthy habits are working. Look for the “non-scale” victories in your life: You have more energy; your clothing feels and looks better on you; you are more optimistic; your skin is clearer; you think clearer. That’s real progress.
- Explore Your Why. When attempting to make meaningful and lasting changes to habits, including those that you’ll need to shift to become successful with dieting, you need to examine your motivation. “Be real with yourself” and accepting that success will require making habit changes to your lifestyle. Are you ready to make these changes and do what’s necessary to achieve healthy and sustainable weight loss?”
- Put In The Work. Practice mindful decision-making. Monitoring food choices will help you create a conscious connection between your thoughts and decisions with food choices. Plan and prepare ahead of time for meals so that you are not eating only what is available.
- Remove Clutter and Chaos. You may have moments when you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, with things, people, friends, family a partner, and have no idea that the clutter and chaos in your life are preventing you from losing weight. However, once you put routines in place to clean up the clutter, and control the chaos, it becomes easier to focus on goals. Surround yourself with people who have a positive influence.
- Take A Breath. Taking a few minutes at the beginning of your workout, or even at the beginning of your day, to slow down and simply focus on the act of breathing can help you set your intentions, connect with your body and even lower your body’s stress response.
- Envision A Better Life. What would life be like if you put in place healthy habits? Would you have more energy? Would you sleep better? Be happier? Would you be a better parent, friend, lover, partner, spouse? Try to get as specific and detailed as possible? How would life improve if you change your lifestyle?
- Don’t Give Up! This is so important. There’s no point in putting in all this effort if you don’t believe it can become reality. You have to believe with everything that you can make this happen. That you can change your habits, lose weight, and a better life is waiting.
Losing weight is not easy when it’s done properly. If losing weight were easy, there wouldn’t be so many diets and approaches to choose from. Every diet and weight loss strategy has it’s pros and cons, but for any to really work and last, you’ve got to get your mind right.