Updated: Oct 1
If you're looking for weight loss tips, you've probably noticed "diet" advice is not hard to find.
There are countless books, magazines, and websites devoted to weight loss, each one telling you, “This is how you do it.” And while their approaches may differ (paleo, keto, plant based, etc.), the common theme is the same -- change your food choices and you'll get results.
And chances are, any “diet” you choose will give you some results in the short term. But if you want to achieve weight loss, and make it last, then you have to address your mindset.
Because the truth is if your mindset is the hot mess express, you're going to feel challenged to achieve weight loss and make it last. In fact, studies show you improve your chances of success drastically simply by having a a few mindset strategies in your toolbox.
In other words, when you have a healthy mindset AND make better food choices, you have a winning combination for lasting weight loss.
Here are 5 simple mindset tips that will supercharge your weight loss and strengthen your ability to keep the pounds off, for good.
Know your WHY
Why you want to lose weight makes a big difference. If your reasons are based on wanting to be happier or look a certain way, studies show you're actually more likely to fail. That's because weight loss is not a magic bullet to happiness. Imagine a horrible day at work, a fight with your partner or just a bad day... will life suddenly feel so much better simply because you fit into your favorite pair of skinny jeans? Nope. While achieving your goal will boost happiness for a short while, that euphoria will eventually wear off and you're left with, you guessed it, your mindset.
So let's dig a little deeper. Think of your weight loss as part of a journey to becoming the best version of you. What is waiting for you on the other side of your goal. What will your life look like and how will it improve. Working toward weight loss presents a great opportunity to introduce a variety of healthy habits into your life, such as eating better, exercise, mindfulness, and more. And these types of habits set the tone for improving your health, wellness and overall life as well as helping you achieve healthy weight loss.
Don’t Go For Broke
Trying to do all the things, all at once, actually sets you up for frustration, burnout and failure. In fact, it's one of the big reasons so many diets fail. They ask you to drastically reduce your daily calories, cut out fun foods, ramp up the exercise and basically overhaul your entire life.
If the path you take for weight loss feels impossible, your results will be impossible to maintain. Sure, you might find some success initially, but chances are you'll quickly lose momentum and find it difficult to maintain these unrealistic standards day-to-day. And this does a number on your mindset. Sending you down a path of yo-yo dieting, convinced you're the problem, when really it's the diet.
When it comes to weight loss, slow and steady progress is better for long term success. And that's great news! Because you only need to take it one small, simple step at a time.
You’re more likely to succeed when you focus on making small improvements you can practice consistently. Think of weight loss as a result of improving your total health and fitness and know that while you may not see dramatic results right away, the effects of improving your daily habits a little at a time will offer you a better chance of not only achieving your weight loss goal but sustaining it, by building a healthy foundation of habits to support you.
Breaking the Emotional Eating Cycle
One of the factors that can make weight loss feel so darn challenging is emotional eating. That's because so many of us have learned how to soothe our thoughts and feelings with food. Breaking the link between your food habits and your emotions is an important mindset shift to master if you want to lose weight and keep it off.
And moving away from emotional eating will help you recognize and respond better to your hunger cues, build trust with your body and reduce food cravings. Mindful eating is a great way to get back in touch with your body’s hunger signals. Look for new ways to respond to your thoughts and feelings that don’t involve food, such as going for a walk or journaling. These types of actions will help you improve your relationship with food and make a big difference in your ability to lose weight, without bouncing from deprivation and restriction to overeating and binging.
Visualizing Your Success
Visualization is a powerful technique for weight loss, especially when combined with positive self-talk. Science shows when practiced regularly it actually helps rewire pathways in the brain, which is key for breaking old habit patterns and creating healthier new ones.
Start by visualizing yourself at your ideal weight, notice how you look, feel, think, act, and who up in your life. Keep this mental image in mind as much as possible.
Use positive affirmations and self-talk together to raise awareness and describe how you want to feel when you reach your goal. Focus on how you feel in your health, fitness and overall well-being, not just how you look or how much better you imagine life will be when you're get there.
Although visualization takes you on a journey into the future, you want to keep your self-talk in the present tense in order for visualization to be most effective. I AM statements instead of I WILL statements are a great way to stay in the present and boost your confidence. And if you believe, you are much more likely to achieve!
Doing a visualization practice every day is more effective than you might think. If you have ever visualized your dream job, relationship, or even a destination vacation then you understand the power of mindset. All of that positive energy you put into your goal keeps it in the forefront of your mind, and your brain naturally looks for opportunities to help make it happen.
You can love your body and want to change or improve it too. It's important to recognize all the wonderful things about your body now as you work toward your goal. Focus on your strengths, skills, and abilities. Appreciate what you do well as you begin to implement new habits. Recognize all your body does for you each day!
One of reasons it's so important to focus on body positivity while working toward your goal is to reduce the negative impacts that poor body image has on your mental health. Creating a more positive relationship with yourself and your body plays a role in how you feel about your appearance at any size. It's reflected in how you show up, treat yourself and perceive your self-worth.
Studies show a negative body image is often associated with an increased risk for health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Take a few moments each day to highlight those things you love about yourself. If you feel challenged in the beginning, try seeing yourself how others see you. How are you as a friend, partner, daughter, parent, etc. These same qualities that you so easily share with others can be used toward loving yourself too.
Are you tired of starting over every Monday, hopping from diet to diet, wondering if you'll ever get it "right" so that you can lose the weight and become the best version of you? I’ve got you friend! Come join me inside my FREE women’s-only Facebook community: Eat Better with Coach Mindy. It's for busy women like you who are ready to lose weight, gain energy, get healthy and fit -- without restrictive diets or punishing food rules.