Losing weight all starts by thinking yourself thin. Keeping that motivation going, however, is sometimes harder to maintain once you realize there’s no going around regular exercise and eating right.
Nevertheless, long-term weight loss begins with the right attitude and a positive mindset. This starts by getting rid of negative thought patterns, self-sabotage, and unhealthy habits.
Whether it’s because of pressure at work, home, or something else, you have bad days where you feel stressed and on edge. That’s when you’re most vulnerable to negative self-talk that lowers your self-esteem and makes you reach for the nearest calorie-laden snack you can find.
To help you break this cycle, experts recommend you start by identifying your triggers. Then, learn to deal with what’s bothering you instead of taking it out on food. That’s when you can make real progress and succeed at enhancing your health.
So, is your brain keeping you from losing weight? Here’s how you can change your mindset to help you lose weight.
1. Set Realistic Goals
When most people decide to lose weight, they’re in a hurry to see some quick changes in how they look. Yet, long-term weight loss takes time. So, your number one objective should be learning to be patient and setting SMART goals.
Here are a few goals to help you get started:
- Eat a high-fiber, protein-rich breakfast
- Drink 6–8 glasses of water
- Get 15–30 minutes of physical activity
- Eat four servings of fruits and vegetables
- Sleep for 7–8 hours
2. Never Admit Defeat
It took us more than a handful of tries to learn how to walk. No one ever fell down on their third or fourth try and said, “Well, that’s it for me. I’m not doing that again.”
No. We got up and fell back down probably a dozen more times. But then, we eventually learned how to walk, run, and do all sorts of amazing things!
So, the next time you slip up and eat that donut you know you shouldn’t, stop feeling defeated. Instead, own up to what happened, hold yourself accountable, and vow to make better choices the next time.
3. Take it One Day at a Time
This is not a race. It’s your life, and you only get one chance at it. So, make sure you’re living to your full potential.
Stop getting frustrated with your slow progress at losing weight. Then, start looking for the little things that make you feel content and joyful. These are the things that can help you become the best version of yourself.
Things like how good you look in a certain outfit or how blessed you are to have close family and friends that support and encourage you. How about the fact that you’re healthy and that you’re alive?
4. Improve Your Relationship with Food
You have to stop thinking of food as either a reward or punishment. It’s so satisfying to come home after a long day at work and enjoy some warm, delicious comfort food.
Sure, it’ll boost your ‘feel-good’ hormones for about 15 minutes. After all, comfort food is jam-packed with sugar and fat that spike your blood sugar level and make you feel good.
But then, it comes crashing down, and you’re left with nothing but remorse and guilt.
Breaking this hold food has over us is one of the vital steps to changing your mindset when it comes to losing weight.
The best way to do that is to see food in its most basic form: fuel. You need food to nourish your body and mind. You also need it because it gives you the energy you need to go about your day.
5. Don’t Deprive Yourself
Dieting is often associated with deprivation, if not full-on starvation. However, experts say it can lead to binging, constant cravings, mood swings, and overeating. This will sabotage any attempt at leading a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
In other words, there’s nothing wrong with occasionally indulging in a brownie. Just make sure you balance your calories the next day because it’s all about moderation.
6. Become More Self-Disciplined
Building discipline is like building a muscle. The more you lift those weights, the stronger it becomes. The same thing applies to strengthening your resolve and control.
Yet sometimes this is easier said than done. So, when faced with a difficult situation and you need a push in the right direction, tap into the power of self-motivation and positive affirmations.
Studies show that repeating certain uplifting phrases reduces the effect of negative self-talk. Plus, it boosts your confidence and makes you kinder toward yourself.
7. Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress offers many benefits. It can hold you accountable when you slip up, so you’re motivated to do better the following day.
Self-monitoring your weight loss is also a great way to see how far you’ve come and be proud of all your hard work.
There are two ways to do this, and they’re both just as effective. One, you can go the old-fashioned way and use a pen and paper. Or you can take the best technology offers and jot down notes via an app on your smartphone or a website.
8. Take a Picture of Every Meal
This ties in heavily with the ‘you are what you eat’ saying. It’s amazing how much junk we consume without actually realizing it.
When you start documenting your meals, you’ll be able to see them from a different perspective. You‘ll come face to face with the realization that everything you eat is what your body will become. Facing this startling realization can jolt you into making smarter food choices.
9. Cut Up Your Food
Here’s a nifty little hack: cut up your food into small, bite-sized pieces at the start of each meal. This tricks your brain into thinking that your plate is way too full and that there’s no way you could possibly finish it all.
Not only that, but once you eat a good portion of it, you’ll start to believe that you’ve consumed more than you should, and you’ll call it a day. Best of all, you’ll feel full for hours afterward. So, no more mid-meal cravings!
10. Tap Away
We have to say we were a bit skeptical about this one. So, we decided to try it for ourselves, and we were pleasantly surprised to find out it actually works!
But you have to try it for yourself to believe it. So, the next time you get a craving, and you can’t stop thinking about potato chips or chocolate mint ice cream, here’s what you’re going to do:
First, set a timer for 30 seconds. Next, tap on your desk until the timer goes off.
The science behind it is that the tapping is supposed to keep your mind off your cravings, so you eat less!