How to Shift Your Mindset for Better Weight Loss
How you think and feel about yourself and your weight loss journey plays a crucial role in your ability to lose weight successfully. For the majority of people (especially as you get older), losing weight is a significant challenge. But, let’s face it, if it were an easy task, there wouldn’t be so many diets and strategies to choose from.
However, for anything to work and take hold, you must have the right mindset. Without it, your weight loss journey will be more difficult to start, and goals will be harder to achieve. You’ll be “white-knuckling” it the whole way, and no one wants that type of discomfort.
Shifting your mindset is actually the most significant factor in losing weight. You cannot change what the outside looks like until you address what’s on the inside.
A mindset involves a set of beliefs, attitudes, and values that shape how we perceive and respond to situations and challenges. It is a mental framework or perspective that influences our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.
Our mindset will either limit us or empower us, depending on our beliefs and attitudes. There are several different types of mindsets, including:
This is the belief that our abilities and traits cannot be changed and are fixed. Someone with a fixed mindset may avoid challenges, give up quickly, and view failure as a reflection of ability.
A belief that our abilities and traits can be developed through effort and learning. People with a growth mindset embrace challenges, persist through setbacks, and view failure as an opportunity to learn and grow.
The belief there are plenty of opportunities and resources available. People with this mindset focus on possibilities and solutions rather than limitations.
A scarcity mindset refers to the belief there is a limited amount of resources and opportunities available to you. Individuals with a scarcity mindset typically feel stressed and anxious about not having enough, may be reluctant to take risks, and avoid trying new things.
How you think has a powerful impact on your life, including the ability to achieve goals, relationships with others, and your overall well-being. By developing a positive and growth-oriented mindset, people can overcome limiting beliefs, achieve greater success in weight loss, and obtain fulfillment in life.
Believing in yourself and your ability to achieve weight loss goals is the key to success. If you have a negative mindset and believe you cannot lose weight, making the necessary lifestyle changes will be a struggle.
Losing weight is not always a smooth journey. Sometimes it can be a rollercoaster. But, a positive and “can do” attitude helps you bounce back from setbacks and keep moving forward.
Mindest is essential when it comes to your level of motivation. People with a determined and positive mindset are more likely to stay motivated and committed to weight loss goals, even when they face major obstacles.
Mindset will affect your level of self-discipline and willpower. A positive and strong attitude helps a person make healthier choices. They can resist temptation when faced with unhealthy choices or a lack of motivation to exercise.
Mindset will affect your emotional well-being, which will have a direct impact on weight loss. An optimistic perspective helps to reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. Unfortunately, this can contribute to unhealthy behaviors like emotional eating (overeating and not eating enough).
Now that you know how powerful changing your mindset can be, what are the best ways to do it? Here are a few ideas:
Many people sabotage themselves by thinking or telling others, “I’m on a diet.” Even the word “diet” can elicit negative thoughts about restriction. It’s much more positive to swap the phrase for something like “I’m changing to a healthier lifestyle.”
That simple change in words can greatly impact how you view weight loss in general. So rather than focusing on a scale, or how your pants fit, start thinking long-term about your overall health and well-being.
It’s incredibly useful to fully understand how various foods impact your body and how different exercises shape you as well. Adapt a mindset that is directed toward learning more about your physical wellness.
Try this experiment: remove all processed foods and sugar from your diet for a few days. Then, note how your body feels. Do you feel lighter? More tired? Better? Worse? All that feedback will help you learn what works for your specific body and the activity level you need.
If you need to speak with a professional, seek the help of a dietician or doctor who can help ground your weight loss journey in solid, evidence-based data tailored to your specific needs.
Losing weight should always be the result rather than the goal. Goals are smaller, sustainable things over which you have total control.
For example, a realistic and reasonable goal might be to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Another might be to get eight hours of sleep every night.
Although big goals are great, tackling them can get overwhelming, and people may give up. This is the opposite purpose of setting a goal. Instead, break your goals down into small, achievable tasks.
Another prime example of this is running. If your goal is to get up and jog every single morning, but you haven’t done so in a long time, start with a smaller goal, like simply waking up early or taking a short walk.
Work your way up to the running so you don’t burn out a week into achieving your goals. Instead, make smart and achievable plans to keep you going. Small steps lead to big changes.
Answer the “why” you are losing weight. There should be a purpose in everything you do. Attempting to make meaningful and everlasting changes to behaviors and habits requires a deeper examination of your motivation. You have to start changing the way that you think and align it with your goals.
Get very honest and real with yourself. Success requires making habit changes to your lifestyle, but are you ready to make those changes? Losing weight in a healthy way is so much more than simply “going on a diet.” It might mean a complete overhaul of how you approach long-term, maintainable goals.
Behavioral change starts with knowing exactly what you want and committing to that path. These healthier choices require preparation, practice, and anticipation of obstacles. Succumbing to different forms of sabotage can lead dieters into a dangerous cycle. This is one of the main reasons why diets fail.
Your mindset is critical to successful weight loss because it impacts various facets of your life, like self-esteem, resilience, willpower, motivation, and emotional well-being.
Developing a positive and determined mindset will not only help you achieve your short-term weight loss goals, it will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle for the long term. And that’s what will keep you around the ones you love much longer!