Updated: Jan 16
Now that we are coming into the warmer seasons, many people are focused on getting their body in better shape and aesthetics to account for more time with less clothes on. Of course this sparks many people to jump into new diets or health fads in search of quickly reaching those ripped or toned body goals. Unfortunately, healthy and proper weight loss or body recomposition takes more than a few months of hard work, and no matter what nutrition plan you choose, they all have their pros and cons.
The KEY component of weight loss is your mindset. Without changing the way one thinks, the less potential that an individual will stay on track and see the whole process through to the end goal. This challenge is not easy and takes a lot of discipline and consistency.
Many people jump into new diets and exercise plans while being very focused on instant results, which will set up anyone for failure. Some people who are beginners may see a quick jump in weight loss due to the body making rapid adaptations from drastic lifestyle changes, but eventually the curve will flatten and the incremental losses will decrease. A lot of people try to lose weight with the worst state of mind and trying to instantly "fix" themselves. Out of self-deprecation they have very negative self-talk calling themselves "fat" or "soft" and feeling depleted nonetheless. People get too obsessed with results, with the focus on quick fixes and no sight on sustainability or even proper health in general.
This overall thought process is destructive, and the reason majority of people fail at weight loss. Instead of seeing the benefits of a healthier quality of living, the potential for a longer life, and more opportunities of activities to partake in. Even reducing chronic health diseases like heart disease and diabetes. They still focus on the negative side of what they haven't achieved yet. Therefore a negative mindset is the ultimate downfall...
A mindset shift takes more than just feeling "good" about yourself, it takes results. The amazing power of our brain is that when we think or highly believe something is true, the more likely it will manifest in our lives. Studies have shown that people who are more dissatisfied with their body, are more likely to exercise less, as they feel it is unnecessary. As well, possibly just thinking you are overweight will lead to future weight gain. The mind must believe it before the body will achieve it.
Psychologist stress that how we see ourselves and our core identity, directly predicts our actions. Biology comes into play as well, as our genetics can lead to different body compositions because of hereditary traits, metabolic rates, and environmental conditioning. Research published in Psychosomatic Medicine even show that the stress hormone cortisol, which your adrenal glands secrete every time you get down on yourself or worry about the numbers on the scale, increases distribution of fat around the abdomen. So, changing your thoughts directly affects hormones released and the overall opportunity for forward progress.
Luckily, the mind is flexible . Follow these 13 expert-approved tips to change your mindset and make your weight-loss approach healthier, happier and way more effective:
Here are the 13 expert approved tips that will help your change:
1) Take a breath, Meditate
Taking a few minutes every day to meditate or reflect by just slowing down and simply focusing on being more in the moment and controlling your breathing, can help you set your daily intentions, connect with your body better and even lower your body's stress response. This will be very important for staying consistent, maximizing workouts, making the right food choices, and staying positive throughout the process.
2) Gravitate to Positivity
Surround yourself with positive individuals... Encouragement and constructive criticism are needed to create the best results. Having a few close friends to lean on and have that support or help, is proven to boost results and consistency.
3) Change your goals
Losing weight is the result of micro goals coming together. The focus needs to be on the actions that get you to the end result. For example, eating enough balanced meals, getting 8 hours of rest, staying hydrated, eating slower and more mindful, or even completing your daily workout. All of these are much more attainable and apart of the daily routine that adds up in the long run. Focus on tasks that create small wins and motivate you to stay on track.
4) Re-think rewards and punishment
Making healthy choices is a part of proper self-care. Having awareness of it does not need pain and suffering. Exercising is not punishment and eating healthy isn't a reward. Both of them are needed to properly care for the body, and you deserve both. When we see both aspects as just another task to be fit, we change our perspective of why we need it.
5) Focus on the attainable
It is great to have high ambition that drives one into tackling new challenges and kick starting the mindset shift for a healthier life. But, jumping into the deep end before one can swim is probably not the best or safest way to learn how to swim. Gradual steps towards bettering one's routine is necessary to prevent tough set backs and reality checks. For instance, if you've never been to a gym before, doing 30 mins on a elliptical may be overwhelming the next day when your body is very sore... Instead start with a 20-minute walk that is lighter intensity and has opportunity for room to grow. If you want to cook more, but have little experience with healthy recipes or are strapped for time, don't expect yourself to create new healthy recipes every night after work. Maybe consider using a meal prep service such as HelloFresh or Blue Apron in which pre-portioned ingredients and recipes are sent to your door, helping you to get familiar with new ingredients, try out new recipes and build fundamental cooking skills. Start where you are and build from there.
6) Positive self-talk
We all deserve to respect ourselves just as we would for a friend. But, sometimes because of our ideals about body image and beauty we are hard on ourselves and make it harder to be happy with what we see in the mirror. Usually we set higher standards on ourselves than others, and because of it we need to remember to have self-compassion. How we talk to ourselves should be boosting our psyche up instead of tearing it down. We are all beautiful people, stay focused on the process and enjoy the journey.
7) Let go of "good vs bad" foods
Many people get caught into feeling proud or guilty about everything they eat, but realistically it's about calories in vs. calories out. Now, of course minimally processed organic foods are going to be most nutritiously dense choices, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a cookie or have a glass of wine. If you're crunched for time maybe frozen veggies or a super smoothie can help get the needed nutrients for the day, it's all about balance and discipline. Adopt the 80/15/5 rule, that 80% of your food intake is as healthy and packed with nutrients, 15% is o.k or slightly not the best option but something you enjoy and know too much of isn't good, and 5% that is a treat, but definitely need to limit the portion size, could be pizza, fried foods, ice cream or whatever is your kryptonite. The brain has a hard time changing if we go cold turkey. So having a little room for growth and leeway in your diet is important for keeping a positive mindset.
8) Stay away from the scale
The scale is not intrinsically bad, but most times seeing an unfavorable number can create destructive thoughts and actions to the weight loss process. It's best to stay off the scale until you get mentally to a place in which the number on the scale doesn't define your worth. It may be helpful and the very beginning to jump on just for number tracking down the road, but if it bothers you at any point, put it away and just focus on the process.
9) Let go of your calendar (patience)
Patience is very important in the weight loss process, as it does take some time to properly change your body composition. Seeing a calendar can make it feel as if time has stood still and it's going to take forever to achieve this goal. But, if you focus on the present moment and try to complete daily mini goals, your focus switches to completing the task of today, and not worrying about tomorrow. Every 24 hours is a new opportunity to grow, focus on making the most of today and tomorrow will take care of it self.
10) Have a plan and write it down.
Without some form of plan and preparation, it is very hard to execute accordingly for whatever results you are desiring. Writing down your daily schedule and routine will be very helpful is making it come true. Why? because you wrote it down... It becomes more engraved in your brain. This is why writing notes is the best way to study anything. The action of writing actually is proven to enhance possibilities of something manifesting. Since you are seeing and envisioning the words. Plus, you can see your whole day/week/month/year clearly laid out, so as unexpected circumstance come, you can adjust smoothly and still stay on track. It is also helpful for reducing procrastination and binging work. Having a balanced plan and schedule is key for maintaining a positive mindset.
11) Focus on your "why"
When you define your why, you will create intrinsic motivation and inspiration to tackle everyday with your best effort. Anything intrinsic is much more powerful that extrinsic, because it has deeper willpower and internal drive to push through adversity. When we create our own energy to fuel off, it's a lot easier to keeping pushing. If we don't have any reason to do something, eventually the difficulty of the process will push us away from completing the goal. Along the journey, some days are harder than others, maybe to eat properly due to a busy schedule, or get your daily workout because of already feeling tired. But, having that defined reason of why you want to achieve this goal, is valuable for staying on track. Make sure everyday in your journal, you write down your deep why and read it out loud.
12) Stay away from comparing to others
Everyone is on their own path and journey, and some may be ahead or behind you in the process. There is no one-size-fits-all plan for everyone. And what works for one might not work for another. It may be helpful to have a close friend or co-worker competing with who can lose the most weight by a certain date. But, for a healthy mindset, it's better not to compare with others and use your own numbers and self-awareness of your growth to compare with. This is why we as coaches will never tell you someone else's success, but always yours and only yours. Everyone's body is different and their lifestyles are as well, so unless there is an exact copy cat of yourself out there, there is no need to compare to anyone at all.
13) Identify Your 'Trouble Thoughts'
Identify the thoughts that get you into trouble and work to stop and change them. Maybe it's your internal dialogue when you look into the mirror. Or cravings when you get stressed. It is possible to tell yourself "stop" out loud or count from 0-100, and then possibly the thought will subside and pass. But, the key is self-restraint and acknowledging negative thoughts that lead you away from your goals. It won't come over night, but slowly reducing the temptations and negative reactions to them will ultimately lead to better results in a quicker time period.
Weight loss is a challenging process, but it doesn't have to be any harder than it already is. Developing the proper mindset will definitely improve your results and overall enjoyment during the process. It takes time and hard work, but if you focus on what you can control, and use some of these tips to develop a better routine, we are sure you will crush your goals. Take pride in investing in yourself, because without a healthy body and mind, you can't do anything with all that money saved up if you're stuck in a hospital, or hindered because of taking medication for the rest of your life. Take control of your complete health and well-being so that your quality of living is at its highest potential for as long as possible. Our mindset is connected to everything in our life, so if you want to succeed at anything, take pride at consistently managing and improving this tool, so every other aspect can flourish and become easier. work smarter not harder.
Stay Strong...Stay Consistent...Stay Healthy... & Keep developing yourself