Before we start I have something I’m SO excited about 🙂 I’ve revamped my #simplesanesuccessful Fat Loss Nutrition Guide! Now it includes more info on letting go of guilt, how to incorporate treats into your diet without derailing your fat loss progress, a food tracker and a whole lot more detail on all the foods included in the plan! Now I can say with absolute confidence that this WILL be the LAST fat loss manual you will ever need! Click here to get your copy!
Ok! Now onto today’s blog 🙂
A little while ago I asked my Facebook peeps what words came to mind when they heard “weight loss.” The responses were as follows:
Restrictive and hangry
The struggle is real
Stop eating candy
Chocolate deprivation and exercising everyday
My yearly struggle to fit into my bikini
Ugh. Doesn’t just reading that stress you out?! Ha!
It’s pretty clear that a lot of people look at weight loss to mean food deprivation and drastic restrictions and I can’t blame them for that. Look at some of the most popular diets out there and that’s exactly what we see. Forget sugar, that’s poison. Forget pizza, all that gluten and dairy will kill you. Some diets will even restrict Brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes because of the carbs….ummm what?? In the mainstream, dieting and weight loss looks exactly what like what was described above.
So if someone’s goal is weight loss, what do they do? They pick a diet and are ready to go all in, all the while keeping in the back of your mind that the diet is going to be a struggle, no fun and a battle that requires a whole lot of self-control and discipline. They start thinking of all the foods they’re going to miss and what they can’t have because of their new plan. This means that when they begin their new diet, they begin with mentality of struggle and suffering. They’re go in half defeated before they even start.
So what’s one thing we can do to make weight loss seem a little less…scary? Stressful? Sad? Insert your own word here _____? We can work to change our mentality surround weight loss. We can go in very well expecting to put in the hard work and plan to rise to the occasion without looking at weight loss in such a negative light.
In this article I’m highlighting the top three mental shifts we need to make before we even make an attempt at weight loss. If you get your mind right, your body will follow and I’m going to teach you exactly how to do that here.
Lose the all or nothing mentality
Being all or nothing when it comes to nutrition and weight loss is not at all conducive to real life, yet we all try so hard to make it work. How many times have you given up alcohol for a month or so only to go straight back to your normal drinking habits on day 31? How many times have you sworn off sugar or sworn off bread, only to find yourself running to CVS for bags of candy and diving headfirst into a bread basket at dinner at your first chance?
The all or nothing mentality can’t possibly set us up for successful weight loss. Now remember, failure isn’t always a bad thing, we can learn a lot from things that we don’t succeed at, but what happens most often is people turn around and put the blame on themselves. They think they didn’t try hard enough or their willpower wasn’t strong enough so they vow to try again only this time they’ll try harder, somehow develop stronger willpower and do better. What we often fail to realize is that the diet didn’t work due to lack of effort or willpower, the diet didn’t work because it’s not sustainable. In other words, all or nothing is not sustainable.
With all of the quick-fix low calorie, low-carb, low-everything diets out there, it’s no wonder why people tend to think that this all or nothing mentality is the only way to lose weight, but it clearly just does not work. A better option is sticking with a plan that is realistic for you which includes loads of healthy stuff and also some fun foods that you really enjoy.
Beware of negative thought patterns about weight loss
“I have such a long way to go”
“This is going to be too hard”
“I’m just going to fail just like every other time so why even bother?”
When we go into anything with a negative mindset we’re pretty much guaranteed to have a big struggle. If you’re unhappy with how your body looks and/or feels, guess what? You’re in total control of it! Not only do the majority of us have control over our physical appearance, but we’re ALL in COMPLETE CONTROL of how we think about ourselves.
So let’s flip the thoughts above to make them a little more…kind J
“I have a ways to go” can turn into “I have a ways to go so I’ll get started now. I might as well start instead of just sitting here being unhappy with how I look and feel.”
“This is going to be too hard” can turn into “This is going to be hard and there will be days where I’ll struggle but I’ll never know what I can do if I don’t try.”
“I’m just going to fail so why even bother?” can turn into “I’ve failed so many times on diets. This time I’m going to do my research before just jumping into a diet. I’m going to find something that works for me.”
Change that negative inner dialogue to something more positive. Even on days where I feel bad about myself I’ve gotten really good (after a SHIT TON OF PRACTICE) at flipping it and focusing on my strengths. I might not feel great that day but I also make a point to get in a killer workout, eat something green or drink some water. Action always trumps inaction and positivity always trumps negativity.
Getting down on yourself-especially before you even begin a new program- does more harm than good when it comes to weight loss. Being a Negative Nancy isn’t going to help you achieve your goals. Focus on keeping a positive attitude (Positive Polly 😉 ) and celebrating yours wins.
Beware of using food as a reward
After a really tough workout do you feel like you deserve that bowl of ice cream?
After a couple days of eating well, do you feel like you’ve earned those nachos and margaritas?
These kind of “rewards” would make sense if your exercise and nutrition regimen was something awful that you were forced to do for no real reason. However, since I’m sure we can all think of really good reasons to eat healthier and get moving, why would you reward yourself with food? Couldn’t you just fit it ice cream or margaritas your diet sensibly instead of going all out on your “reward?” Having ice cream, nachos and margaritas occasionally and when you really want them and they look yummy is one thing, but bribing yourself to eat your protein and veggies with the promise of some Ben & Jerry’s isn’t going help you sustain healthy habits.
So then what’s the payoff for eating well and exercising? For one, eating well and exercising in a way that feels good for your body feels incredible. Energy goes up, sleep gets better, stress levels start coming down, we’re more focused…I could go on. If those rewards don’t feel like enough, think about a few things you’ve been wanting for a long time and set yourself up to obtain them. New clothes, new shoes, concert tickets, a spa day, whatever tickles your fancy. Just make sure it’s something really special that you can’t just get at any time so it feels like a true reward.
Just getting started with this stuff and practicing it A LOT along your weight loss journey will pay off BIG TIME. We simply cannot succeed at lasting weight loss with a negative mindset and constantly restricting foods then rewarding (aka overeating/bingeing) with the same foods we told ourselves we couldn’t have. Instead of starting off your weight loss journey with the mindset of struggle, no fun and a battle that requires a whole lot of self-control, try flipping it. Know that yes, there will be struggles and it will take some adjustments but as long as you’re allowing yourself treats and staying positive, your journey will be a whole lot easier.