How To Get The Right Mindset For Weight Loss?
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We know that there are a couple of proven steps to lose weight. These are eating a healthy and balanced diet, drinking water, getting enough sleep, and exercising. But even if you follow these steps, do you sometimes feel like you struggle or lose motivation along the way?
Well, there’s an important part you’re missing out on while trying to lose weight. It’s the weight loss mindset. If you don’t have the right mindset to maintain a healthy lifestyle, losing weight can be challenging.
Thankfully, you can work on having this mindset for weight loss with a couple of small steps. Today, we are here to explain to you the ways to set your mindset for a successful weight loss.
How to get motivated to lose weight?
1. Changing Self-Image
First and foremost, you should start with loving yourself and your body. You need to change your self-image from a struggling, unsuccessful dieter to a healthy and balanced person.
Research shows that body image is associated with weight loss, and people who have self-image issues are less likely to lose and maintain their weight.
They are also more likely to avoid exercising even when they try to control their weight.
You should make healthier life choices not because someone says so but because you want to for your good. That way you’ll feel more confident, motivated, and proud of yourself.
2. Having Realistic Expectations
Many people tend to choose diets or diet products that claim quick and easy weight loss. Contrarily, clinical guidelines recommend that losing 0.5-1 kg per week is a healthy way to lose weight.
Setting realistic and achievable goals will make you feel more motivated along the way as you accomplish them. However, setting unattainable goals such as losing 5 kg per week will cause you to give up in a short time when you don’t see the expected result on the scale.
One study that investigated weight loss expectations in 1785 obese women found that the ones who expected to lose the most weight in a short time were the most likely to quit the program. Thus, it’s crucial to set realistic weight loss expectations at the beginning of your journey to prevent early burnout.
3. Labeling Food as Good or Bad
Labeling food as only good or bad is not a good way of following a healthy lifestyle. Because it means you’ll force yourself to eat only “good” foods and stay out of “bad” foods since they will end your weight loss game.
If you deprive yourself of the foods and drinks you love, you may give up soon. What you should do instead is to have that indulgence of yours whenever you need it, but in a balanced way.
If you want some wine go for a glass or two. If you’re craving some ice cream, don’t eat it straight from the tub, put a few scoops in a cup, and enjoy it.
Be careful not to overindulge because you know that your body won’t feel any better afterward. Remember that all foods fit and no food will make you a bad person just from eating it.
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4. They Say “Patience is a Virtue”
One major derail to your weight loss motivation is wanting too much in a short time. Don’t forget that it took years to gain weight, and it won’t take days to lose it off. You should be patient and follow the healthy steps to lose weight and keep it off.
When you step on the scale and see slow progress, you may get frustrated and quit the program. That happens a lot, unfortunately. But don’t forget that slow or not, it’s still progress.
Scale is not the only validator for your weight loss efforts. Flip the coin and look at what you’ve accomplished so far along the way.
Do your clothes fit better? Do you sleep better and have more energy during the day? Does your skin look clearer? These should be your weight loss motivations because that’s the real progress, not just the number on the scale.
5. Make Small Changes
One way that puts you in a negative mindset is setting unreasonable goals for yourself. A more effective way would be to establish new habits and routines slowly.
For example, if you decide to eliminate carbohydrates, commit to running every day, and set your weekly weight loss goal at an unattainable number at the same time, you’ll likely give up in no time.
Instead, aim to make one or two small changes at a time. For example, switch from putting sugar and cream in your coffee to black coffee or coffee with a splash of milk.
You can order your meals with a side of salad instead of fries. Or you can aim to get some form of physical activity 2-3 times per week instead of running and doing yoga every day.
Once you succeed at one, you’ll feel more encouraged to accomplish another goal in your weight loss journey. When you take things slowly, you’ll see that these changes become a lifestyle for you.
6. Shift Your Focus Towards Process Goals
When people decide to go on a weight loss program, they usually focus on their final target weight. That is called the outcome goal. However, focusing only on outcome goals may decrease your motivation to lose weight.
Instead, shift your focus toward process goals. These goals are “SMART” goals, meaning Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely goals.
For example, instead of “I want to be more active”, try “I will exercise for 30 minutes five days a week”. Or, instead of “I will never drink soda again”, try “I will drink only one soda per week”.
Setting small and smart goals like this will help you stay motivated and put you in a positive mindset for weight loss.
7. Be Aware of Challenges and Setbacks
When you start your weight loss journey, life around you goes on the same way it does. There are still birthdays, holidays, social events, and stress factors at work or home. You may not change them, but you can change your mindset towards them.
Many people use food for comfort, and it eventually pushes them to emotional eating.
Studies show that people who eat in response to negative emotions and stress are more likely to gain weight. On the contrary, people who are better at coping with everyday stressors are more successful in weight loss maintenance.
But how can you cope with these stressors? Whenever you feel overwhelmed or stressed, go outside and take a walk, engage in breathing exercises, take a warm bath, call a friend, or do whatever makes you happier at that moment.
You can also plan for upcoming holidays, birthday parties, and social events. Do not go to parties or events on an empty stomach, and try eating small portions while there.
If you are going to a restaurant, you can check the menu in advance and find a healthy option that fits your weight loss plan.
8. Don’t Allow Self-Defeating Thoughts to Beat You
You don’t have to be perfect to lose weight. Remember when you were first learning to walk? Did you walk just like that without falling down a couple of times? No, you fell, got back up, and tried again and again until you learned to walk.
You may face some defeats along your weight loss journey, but don’t give up. That is perfectly fine. Embrace the defeats, move on and try again.
9. No More “All or Nothing” Approach
If you had pizza for lunch, don’t blame yourself and go all the way in for another high-calorie, unhealthy option for dinner. Instead, enjoy the pizza at lunch and aim for a healthier dinner, like roasted vegetables or a bowl salad with beans.
Allow yourself some flexibility. Remember that one pizza will not ruin all your efforts along the way.
10. See This Journey as a Habit
The best way to lose weight is to follow a healthy eating plan and do an exercise you enjoy and can stick to. Don’t see food as a reward and exercise as a punishment; they both help you feel your best.
Exercise does not necessarily mean lifting weights at the gym or running miles on a treadmill. It can be dancing, going to a group fitness class, or working out in the comfort of your home.
You should see healthy eating and exercise as a lifestyle habit, not just a time plan to follow until you lose weight. Remember that keeping off the lost weight is harder than losing it.
If you cannot commit to a plan by yourself or don’t know where to start from, don’t be afraid to ask for help. We have a few options which might work perfectly for you! We run a vegetarian weight loss course which gives you ‘all you need to know’ to lose weight successfully and keep it off for good.
If you’re already confident you know what you’re doing but lack time or motivation for meals, why not try out our weekly weight loss meal plans? We bring you delicious meal plans with the right calories and macronutrients to help with weight loss as well as fresh new recipes to keep your motivation high.
In conclusion, before committing to a weight loss plan, you should first shift your mindset towards weight loss because long-term weight loss starts in your head.
Embrace the setbacks, give yourself flexibility, love your body, set small goals, and be patient. Changing your lifestyle to lose weight is not as hard as you think. Once you put on a positive mindset, healthy eating and exercise become a lifestyle.