Mindset Changes for Weight Loss
If you are searching for weight loss tips, they're not that difficult to find. There are countless websites, magazines and books devoted to the topic of losing weight. Each of these resources claims to hold the secret to losing weight fast and easy. You will come across phrases like "This is the best weight loss diet!".
Many experts will recommend a wide variety of diets (Mediterranean recipes, vegan, raw food, keto recipes, paleo, etc.) that you should adopt in order to achieve your desired results. However, you can adopt any weight loss diet under the sun, but chances are it will only work for a small period of time. In order to get permanent results from your weight loss efforts, you need to undertake certain behavioral changes. Addressing the mental, emotional and behavioral aspects of weight loss can make all the difference when it comes to achieving lasting results.
1. Establish Your Motivation
Why do you want to lose weight? This is a very important question that you should ask yourself before embarking on any weight loss journey. Do you want to lose weight because of an upcoming wedding or family reunion? Short-term weight loss goals can make your journey much more difficult because you are essentially working against time. This can lead you to become stressed which causes your body to release a hormone known as cortisol. This hormone contributes to weight gain and can thus be counterproductive to your efforts. So, instead of setting short-term goals to please a few people, why not shift back the focus to you. You can choose to lose weight so that you don't have a hard time climbing up the stairs or even to bring your blood pressure down. Establish what your motivation is before proceeding with your journey.
2. Get Rid of Your Scale
Owning a scale has its upsides and downsides. A scale can come in handy in tracking your progress. Measuring your body weight every once in a while can help you know whether you are making progress or stalling in your efforts. However, more frequent weighing (such as multiple times a day) can be problematic because your body weight may constantly fluctuate due to changing levels of glycogen and water retention in your body. Today you may be one pound down causing you to be happy and ecstatic, but tomorrow you may be one pound up causing you to feel hopeless and depressed. The number you see on the scale can easily affect your mood and overall mindset. A negative mindset can cause you to give up and go back to your unhealthy habits. The best thing you can do for yourself is to get rid of your scale and use other things like your clothes or even a waistband to track your progress.
3. Develop a Positive Mindset
Weight loss and dieting are often accompanied by negative attitudes such as fear, anxiety and insecurity. It's not uncommon for people who are dieting to talk a lot about the foods that they can't eat, and more often than not, this leads to them developing cravings and feelings of deprivation. If you have found yourself in such a predicament, you should not worry or drown yourself in sorrow as being on a diet is not all doom and gloom. Just think about all the delicious and nutritious food that you can eat. So, instead of focusing on what you CANNOT eat, why not focus on what you CAN eat. Avoid saying statements like "I can't have that" and say "I choose to have this." You need to develop a positive attitude and mindset towards your weight loss journey. Stay on course and focus on the small goals you have set for yourself like eating more fruits and veggies instead of fries. Achieving these small goals can boost your confidence and keep you motivated for the journey ahead. Also, you can avoid negative feelings and attitudes by surrounding yourself with positive minded individuals.
4. Develop Patience
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride and if people could lose 10 pounds overnight, no one would be overweight. Shows like the Extreme Makeover and The Biggest Loser glorify people who can lose a lot of weight in a really short period of time. However, these shows rarely address the root cause of obesity and being overweight. Losing weight quickly often leads to the reduction of fat, water and muscle tissues in the body. However, in normal circumstances, muscle tissues are not meant to be lost in this process. Slow and steady weight loss allows muscle tissues to remain in the body as fat tissues are eliminated. Basically, losing weight less quickly can have better and more permanent results. As the saying goes, slow but steady wins the race. So, avoid those weight loss programs that urge you to lose weight in the shortest period of time possible. They are dangerous and ineffective in the long run.
5. Have A Plan
If you want to lose weight without a plan, you might as well be setting yourself up to fail from the very beginning. As mentioned earlier, losing weight is a journey, and a long one by that. Before embarking on this journey, it's important that you have a plan on how you are going to get to your desired destination. Take a few minutes every day to plan your meals and exercise routine for the next day. Planning your meals ahead of time helps you to remain on course and avoid veering off the road by having unhealthy snacks or fast foods. When you have a healthy meal prepared in advance, you'll be less likely to visit the vending machine at work. As with any other journey, there are bound to be detours and hazards that may try to hinder you from getting to your desired destination. However, you need to overcome these challenges and learn from past mistakes and experiences. If you find yourself engaging in unhealthy eating habits due to friends, stress, insomnia or any other trigger, then come up with effective ways to deal with these situations. You can take a walk, listen to music, socialize or clean when you feel like eating something unhealthy. The key is to develop coping mechanisms to life struggles that do not involve eating.
6. Write It Down
A journal can be an invaluable tool in your weight loss journey. It can help you to document your meal plans, exercise routines and achieved goals. Writing down these things can help to track your day-to-day progress as well as identify the changes you need to make to improve your results. You can jot down anything you feel like from your eating patterns to your emotional state, and even hunger levels. Write down what makes you feel hungry often. Do you feel like eating when you're bored, stressed, lonely or sad? By taking note of all these things, you get to understand yourself better and how your body works.
To add onto this, it's important to always keep track of your hunger levels. You should train yourself to stop eating when you feel full or satisfied. Eating even when you are full is not healthy. The Japanese have an ancient practice that advocates eating until you are 80% full. You can avoid overeating by listening to your stomach after every few bites and assessing whether you are full.
7. Avoid Unhealthy Comparisons
Everyone's weight loss journey is unique. There's no single weight loss diet that fits everyone. If need be, you can look for a professional nutritionist or dietitian who can help you come up with a personalized weight loss plan for you. Avoid following the masses and doing what everyone claims to be working. Focus on your journey and you will get the results you want in no time.