Most of us go through life believing that we can’t stick to a diet because we lack a significant amount of willpower. We feel as if there is an inborn force keeping us from resisting food temptations and allowing any weight to come off of our body. However, this doesn’t stop our chronic cycle of dieting. In fact, each new weight-loss attempt is initiated with more determination and will then the last, with the hope that this diet will be different, this time “I will be good”.
The truth is that the ability to stick to a weight loss diet has little to do with will — and everything to do with changing the way we think about food and our body. We can have all the information in the world about how to lose weight but without the right mindset to apply it, its useless.
For the past few years, I have diligently observed the difference between those people who are most successful in reaching their fitness and weight-loss goals, and those that continue to ride the struggle bus year after year. What I have discovered is that those that practice these five essential shifts in mindset, will almost always attain weight-loss for life.
THE DIET MENTALITY:
Get rid of it. Every statistic in the books shows that traditional diets do not provide long-term results so why do we always fail prey to another ‘eat less’ fad diet? Don’t fall into that trap again—be smarter. Let go of the dieting myths and ‘off limit’ mentality by creating a new healthy pattern of thought. Think about weight loss as a permanent lifestyle change—a commitment to your health for life because YOU deserve it. When you start to eat to nourish your body and feel good, it becomes so much more than just weight-loss. The thriving energy that a healthy whole food diet will give you will be enough motivation for you to continue down the right path. Also, when you start filling up your body with nutrient dense food, I guarantee the weight will fall off faster than you ever imagined.
Willingness to change. Are you honestly ready to take this journey? True change in body composition requires not only a willingness to commit to new actions, but also the willingness to simply identify and accept your personal weaknesses. It is through self experimentation where you will find out what works for your body. If you need guidance on the right foods to choose or transitioning into a healthier lifestyle there are plenty of professional coaches like myself that can help you find a plan that works for YOU. My advice is, instead of changing all of your habits overnight, start replacing some of the not so good ones with healthy alternatives that you enjoy. The bottom line is, the actions that got you to where you are standing right now are probably are not going to lead you to your goals. Ask yourself if you are truly ready to gain control and take this journey.
Eating and taste is one of life’s greatest pleasures. To take this away for even one day of a stinking unhealthy diet is bananas. One of biggest reasons most of us can’t stick to a diet or a workout plan is because we are forcing ourselves to do something we don’t actually enjoy. When we choose things we like doing, we’re much more likely to stick with them. Also, don’t underestimate the power of positive thoughts on your physiology. The hormones your body releases when you are enjoying yourself are different from the hormones when you’re not enjoying yourself – and the effect that they have on your body does make a difference. If you don’t know how to make healthy food taste delicious yet then you are in some serious luck. You live in an era where you have access to the Internet, containing millions of FREE mouth-watering healthy recipes. Check out my fitness and nutrition Pinterest page for some starters.
Take back the power from the scale. This is usually the largest roadblock in achieving success. Some people are so focused on the number on the scale that it interferes with their ability to be consistent with a program and the progress that they are making. Start to focus on more of your non-scale achievements that have come from your healthier behaviors. These include having more energy, noticing changes in how your clothes fit, sleeping better, being noticeably more tone, and being able to do your daily tasks with less exertion. Don’t let a number define your headway.
The truth is you are only human. Your diet and physical activity schedule will never be perfect and you will probably give into temptation more than a few times. This is ok! Every decision in your day is already eating away at your willpower so is it really worth it to stress over the small stuff? If decision-making is a part of your daily work, take the stress out of smaller decisions in your life by scheduling out your healthy choices. Plan out your meals in advance, schedule workouts with a friend or partner, and get the junk out of your house so that you won’t have to make those harder choices at the end of the day.
So to recap the five essential mindset changes needed for sustainable weight-loss…Ditch the negative diet mentality and eat to nourish your body; be ready and willing to make slow but steady healthy changes; get out your creative hat in the kitchen and find ways to make healthier foods delicious; get off of the stupid scale and tune in to the positive changes in how you feel; and take the pressure off of yourself by planning your healthy choices ahead of time. Give these a try and let me know how much more enjoyable your journey becomes!