We are resistant to change. Our subconscious mind is comfortable with the status quo, and resists change tenaciously. Changing damaging lifetime habits with better ones takes real effort.
Even when we know, logically, that making changes is greatly in our best interest, our subconscious mind will do its best to sabotage us, and bring us back to safety (same old, same old).
Anyone can lose weight. But keeping it off is another story. This report is aimed at helping you to develop the necessary mindset required to make a success of a weight loss program.
You will learn about mental and emotional preparation, and how to remain focused and motivated when the going gets tough. The start of any worthwhile endeavor is the most important and often the most difficult.
This guide will make getting started on your weight loss program a whole lot easier.
How to Mentally Prepare for Weight Loss
You can’t run a marathon unless you train for it. So, why do you think you can lose weight without preparing for it? A big part of the weight loss journey is the mental preparation that you need to do to prepare for the upcoming changes.
Call it a diet if you like, but you need to think of it as a dry-run for the rest of your life.
The change in your diet is your new way of living. Before you start changing your diet, you have to consider how you will maintain your motivation, avoid the emotional pitfalls or how you’ll manage them when they crop up. You need to think about your strategies to ensure your success.
Establish Realistic Expectations
You’re about to embark on a potentially life-changing journey. It’s incredibly important that you understand it isn’t going to happen overnight.
There are a lot of steps to take, a long road to walk, and many hoops to jump through. You will experience frustration, you may get angry at yourself for slipping up, but to manage that you can establish realistic expectations.
You want to lose 50 pounds, but you won’t see the change in your body that you want for a while. Understand that this is a process.
Experts suggest that a weight loss of one pound a week is the healthy way to do it, and you are more likely to keep the weight off that way. That means it will take you just over a year to achieve the 50-pound weight loss.
Create a Support System
You will run into a wall at various points in your weight loss journey. This has to be expected. When this does occur, you need a strong support system around you to help you continue on your journey.
You have a plan in place, but support is still important.
It’s easier to tackle a big challenge in your life when you think about the people in your life who will be there to support you as you walk through it.
Before you start your weight loss, think about the people you can turn to for support. Just knowing that there are people to lean on is enough to put the wind in your sails.
Build a Positive Attitude
If you feel positive about your journey, then you are more likely to be successful. Take the time now to build a positive attitude.
Before you even start your weight loss journey, you can start a gratitude journal that will help you groom that positive mindset that you will need to succeed.
Just think about how much you struggle to continue on when you lose motivation and feel negative about your chances. Now, think about how much different that could look if you have a positive attitude?
Know Your Goals
What do you want to achieve from your weight loss journey? In addition to losing x amount of pounds, what else do you expect to experience? You expect to feel better about yourself, physically and emotionally.
Think really long and hard about what you want to get out of this journey and use that to psych yourself up for the upcoming adventure.
It will be easier to push yourself to exercise, eat the right foods, and stick to your plan when you have a clear goal in mind.
Once you have mentally prepared for weight loss, you can begin your journey. This preparation will stand you in good stead for the path you are about to walk.
With your plan in place, your motivation high, and your mind prepared, you can only lose (weight, of course).
How to Stay Focused and Motivated to Lose Weight
Do you believe you have the motivation to carry you through your weight loss journey? Sometimes, people start their weight loss journey with a plan in place, but they give up when they run into trouble.
It might be due to external pressure; it could be stress or just a complete loss of motivation. Regardless of the cause, we all find this part of dieting difficult.
Set Your Goals & Track Your Progress
You can write your goals out in a notebook, create a fancy spreadsheet, just do whatever will work best for you. Use this to track your measurements, weight, or your BMI. It’s up to you to track the aspects of this that you value the most.
When you have a written record of your journey you can look back on what you have achieved.
You’re a lot less likely to slip back into old habits when you can look to this record of your progress. There is another benefit to keeping a record.
It will allow you to notice patterns in your slip-ups. This can help you avoid unchecked problems that spiral out of control.
Another important aspect of keeping a record is your portion sizes. This is one of our biggest issues – often, we choose healthy foods, but we may simply eat too much. Depending on the particular diet, long-term weight loss and maintenance may hinge on portion sizes.
Your food diary is an excellent way to track your progress and ensure success.
Rewards Boost Motivation
Rewards are important; they are an excellent tool for boosting motivation.
However, it’s so vitally important that you do not use food as a reward. Don’t get into that habit; it will be detrimental to your weight loss journey and creates an unhealthy relationship with food.
Your reward could be a new book, an afternoon at the golf course, a trip to the movies (or just a movie marathon in bed).
It should be something you enjoy, that makes you happy, and doesn’t involve food. This will be your reward as you reach a small goal.
The Best Defense is Offense
There are always going to be people in your life who encourage you to misbehave. “Go on; treat yourself!” It’s not a problem if it’s just one time, but it is when it occurs repeatedly.
If there’s one person who always causes you to deviate from your plan, then you need to avoid them or speak to them about it. It doesn’t matter how old you are, peer pressure will always exist.
You have to stand up to it, and the best defense is offense. When you are planning social events, try to avoid plans that revolve around meal times.
Non-food activities are the way forward when you know you struggle with resisting temptation.
Dealing with Food
Always have healthy snacks handy. You should keep them in the car, in your bag, in your desk, and obviously in your home.
It’s easier to make the right decisions when you set yourself up to succeed. For foods that you find tempting, don’t keep them in your home.
If it’s tempting to you, why keep them somewhere you can too easily get them?
Now, if you share a home and it belongs to someone else, then you should keep them in a high cabinet so they’re out of sight.
Address Emotional Issues
A lot of us have emotional eating issues, and it’s important to deal with those because those can impact your motivation. What emotions drive your unhealthy eating? Is it sadness, anger, stress, or frustration?
Know what emotional issues drive your unhealthy habits and find a way to deal with them head-on.
When you fall prey to your emotions, be sure to note that in your journal.
This is something you can use to find patterns in your behavior, allowing you to address them and make changes.
Habits to Change Your Weight Loss Mindset
All you need to do to get the body that you’ve always dreamed of is eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise. Of course, there is another vitally important piece of the puzzle that you need in order to succeed — the right attitude.
Your mindset will be the difference between success and months (or years) of weight fluctuations.
If you want to lose weight for good, then you need a strict set of habits that will help you change your mindset. Weight loss is all about mindset, what is your weight loss mindset?
Switch Up Your Goals
Your goals shouldn’t revolve around weight loss, that is simply the result of your actions. Your goals should be small bites of sustainable achievements that you have full control over. For example, you plan to get seven hours of sleep every night.
Or, you will always eat the correct portion sizes, including your fruit and vegetables. You’ll commit to hydrate properly. Don’t make it all about the weight loss, even if that’s what you want to achieve. It’s easier to quantify the actions that you plan to take in order to lose weight.
If you want to be a more positive person, which you will need to do in order to lose weight most easily and effectively, then you should surround yourself with other positive people.
You need a healthy environment; it requires emotional support and encouragement. That’s how you will succeed, so, identify those people in your life and know where to turn when you hit times of trouble.
Pleasure & Pain
When you lay out a set of goals for anything, it’s common to reward as well as punish yourself. The thing is, we often view these pleasures and pains incorrectly.
For example, you probably see certain food as a reward. Yet, you look at physical activity and exercise as a punishment.
This is the wrong mindset. Exercise is rewarding. Food can be, too, when you make the right choices.
Busting Common Mindset Excuses
We all make excuses, but you can overcome them to maintain your motivation.
Exercise is boring. If you find it boring, do something to change things up.
Choose activities that you really enjoy, go to a class, exercise with friends or, go dancing. You have to try until you find an activity and exercise that you enjoy.
I’m too busy. You have to change the way you have been thinking about exercise. It’s something else for your to-do list, it’s non-negotiable.
However, as you get started in your habit making, break it down into separate sessions. Go for a 10-minute power walk, mow the lawn, run up the stairs.
You can carve out 10-minute increments for your workout and work up to something bigger.
I’m exhausted. Unless you’re sick, you can find the energy to work out. You may feel exhausted before your workout, but your body will be pulsing with energy once you push yourself to do it.
Generally, within the first five minutes or so of your exercise, you will feel a bit more energized. If you don’t, then you can walk away and go again tomorrow.
Forget Your Calendar
Have a little patience. It’s an important trait in your weight loss journey. You don’t need to worry about a timeline if you are focused on the attainable and meeting your goals.
Did you commit to 15,000 steps daily? If you’re meeting it, then you don’t need to worry about an exact timeline. You can’t rush it.
As you start on your journey, beware of setting your immediate goals too high. You can’t hop on an elliptical on the first day and do a full 30 minutes.
Instead, you should aim to go for a 20-minute walk. When you focus on the attainable, you pave the road for success. If you struggle to put together a healthy meal, consider using a delivery service that drops recipes and exact ingredients right at your door.
Can a Psychologist Help with Your Weight Loss Mindset?
A majority of people who make an attempt to lose weight fail to do so. If a million people passed through the DMV and 700,000 of them failed to secure their driving license, it’s fair to say we’d ask questions about the test.
We wouldn’t think it was down to laziness, a lack of willpower or disinterest in achieving their goal. So, why do we take that attitude when it comes to people and weight loss?
America has a weight problem. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, just over 70% of us are classified as obese or overweight. With so many of us struggling to control and manage our weight, we have to ask the question – what is causing this failure?
The majority of us place the blame squarely on ourselves when we fail a test or blow a diet. We never consider the method we choose to facilitate our weight loss. It’s a billion dollar industry, after all, so there should be something that will work for us.
Born To Eat
Why is it so hard to lose weight? Well, according to Jim Keller, an obesity psychologist who serves as the Director of Behavioral Health for a bariatric program in Oklahoma, the brain and body are born to eat. Well, designed to eat anyway.
This is why it’s so difficult for many of us to shift those extra pounds. His assertion is backed by science. A study from Penn State shows how powerful a reward our brain sees food as, which makes it difficult to step away from that bag of chips once you have opened it. In Keller’s work, he has found that there are many causes of obesity.
He has conducted well over 10,000 psychological interviews with patients who were considering bariatric surgery. While there are plenty of biological and genetic factors at play, they interact with environmental factors as well.
Can a Psychologist Help?
What a psychologist can do for you goes beyond helping with your weight loss mindset. Changing your eating habits is challenging, but it may be easier when you understand what is driving those bad habits you can’t shake.
You may have decided to change your bad habits, but you constantly slip back into them.
Why can’t you call it a day and move on with it?
You don’t have as much control over your behavior as you’ve convinced yourself you do. Addiction, stress, and anxiety all impact that control.
That’s where a psychologist can help. It’s all about getting to the root of your problems and finding an effective course of action to overcome them.
What drives your behavior? Although we usually kid ourselves otherwise, it’s not logic. It’s your habits, your addictions, your biochemistry, and even the actions of the people around you.
Which makes sense, considering we know that positivity breeds positivity.
We tend to rationalize our actions. When you feel stressed out, you are less likely to take good advice and instead do what you want to, or feel compelled to do. So, you have to learn how to resolve your stress, to deal with an addiction, to manage your depression.
Resolve isn’t constant. Like the tide, it ebbs and flows. You can motivate yourself into mindfulness of diet and seconds later, you’re eating a slice of cherry pie.
This is something that you have to gain control over, as best you can, and that’s something that a psychologist can indeed help you with. Change isn’t easy.
If it was possible to bottle self-discipline and motivation and sell it on the open market, then you would be rich beyond your wildest dreams.
You can’t do that, but what you can do is gain insights about yourself and learn how to put that knowledge into action to change your behavior.
Develop a Healthy Eating Mindset to Lose Weight
It’s been two and a half hours since you sat down to lunch. Your energy is waning and your stomach is rumbling. Your body has slipped into starvation mode and all you can think about is the vending machine that stores your favorite candy bar.
You are faced with temptation and you are ready to give in and you do. It was easy. Why isn’t it just as easy to choose a handful of almonds and an apple instead of the candy bar?
Before we help you develop a healthy eating mindset to lose weight, there are a few important points to touch on. First of all, it’s important that you learn to accept yourself as you are.
You are a work in progress. That’s what life is. You’re not the finished article and that’s okay. Embrace what you love, don’t restrict yourself from your favorite food, and look at every experience as an opportunity to learn.
It goes without saying that you should eat healthily. How can you develop a healthy eating mindset to ensure that is always the case?
It might sound like a cliché now, but your why really matters. Why is it that you want to eat healthily? To lose weight? Why else?
Do you want to improve your standard of living or relieve pain? There is always more to it than meets the eye. You need to recognize your reasons, what is behind your want to lose weight and eat well?
One of the biggest reasons we eat poorly is because there’s an area of discontent within our lives. We eat to fill that void, whether it’s loneliness, emptiness or something else.
Understanding your fundamental reasons for wanting to lose weight will help you shift your mindset.
Acknowledge the Past
Don’t just visit the past, be honest about it. How often have you dieted in the past? Have you ever had true, as in enduring, success? Did you heavily restrict yourself and then cave under the pressure?
The early stages are easy. It’s not always nice, but you feel motivated to succeed.
Then the pressure starts and as it gets more difficult you find yourself sneaking treats. Then you overeat. You swear it’s the last diet, and that it’s forever, but temptation comes knocking again and you give in.
Look at the patterns that trap you, you can overcome them.
Food is Fuel
You have to stop viewing food as a reward, it’s fuel. You should eat to satisfy your dietary needs, not your taste buds.
Don’t totally deprive yourself of chips or sweets (we all know some of us prefer pretzels over chocolate). You have to learn to allow yourself treats. Don’t ban cake when everyone around you is enjoying it.
Simply have a small sliver of cake. Learn what your body needs to nourish it, when you learn to tap into yourself you are eating from a different place. Instead of being driven by your compulsive mind, you are now eating mindfully.
Trust Your Body
If you learn to tap into your body and listen to it, then it will tell you what you need. Do you pour a cup of coffee when you’re tired when what you really need is a good night’s sleep?
Instead of enjoying a glass of water do you grab a snack? Your body is sending signals to you constantly throughout the day, every day, and you can give it what it needs if you really listen.
This is what you need to make your dieting mentality fade to gray. Once you can do this, you are in the right mindset to lose weight. You have to shift from strict dieting regimens and embrace a calmer, kinder way to eat.
As humans, one of our greatest faults is our belief, our knowledge, that so much of what we do is based on logic, and not emotion. Yet every day, that belief is proven untrue again and again.
Nowhere is this more obvious than when it comes to weight management. The rules to good health are basic and fairly simple. They could be laid out in a single page of text, but thousands of books have been written, and more each day, on the subject.
However, following them is far from easy, and that is where emotion trumps logic once more. This is why books continue to be written, and videos made, all trying to make an emotional connection.
Because in spite of the logic, unless we are emotionally prepared, any attempt to reduce our weight will almost certainly fail, especially in the long term.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you to prepare for making your health and diet goals a SUCCESS!