Weight loss, are you thinking about it? Most likely, yes. 70% of Americans are overweight and a recent poll says over 50% of all people want to lose weight. This means you’re not alone if you want to shed pounds too. But are you, and all these others, in the right weight loss mindset? A focused weight loss mindset is a game changer and one of the most common things successful people share. Learn the steps to get in the right mindset today.
“Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.” – Chinese proverb, author unknown
Steps to Right Weight Loss Mindset
It doesn’t matter if you want to lose 20lbs or 200lbs. Instead, it matters how to get in the right weight loss mindset and here’s how in 3 steps.
Step 1- Recognize the excuses
Your excuses- or reasons- are valid, real, and sometimes hard to overcome. But they’re mental barriers for carrying out your goals. Acknowledging them as excuses which you control will get you closer to the right mindset. Sometimes excuses come up accidentally. For example, your coach or trainer asks you what you’re doing for the weekend and your response is, “I’m going to a culinary festival so Monday’s weigh in isn’t going to look so good”. Especially relevant is the excuse of a food festival to make unhealthy food choices and an expectation permission to do so.
Step 2- Realize the importance of your thoughts on your behaviors
What if you could reframe your reasons from negative predictions to positive outcomes? The difference it makes will surprise you! Cognitive restructuring is the technique to transform negative thought patterns into more positive outlooks. For over 50 years, counselors have used this technique with clients. Ongoing thoughts (your internal dialogue) create an emotional response for actions to follow suit. So, cognitive restructuring focuses on tackling the cycle by starting with your thoughts. Being in the right weight loss mindset means creating your thoughts carefully and producing positive momentum.
Step 3- Reconstruct self-defeating thoughts
Call them irrational thoughts, self-defeating thoughts, reasons, or excuses. You can change them because they’re your thoughts. You own them. So, rework the earlier thought (in #1) to, “I’m going to the festival, but I’m going to have a snack before so I’m not as likely to be hungry. And I’m only going to try 3 tastings- all on the healthy side of the spectrum”.
If you think, “No kidding- everyone knows about overspent affirmations” or “I already do that and it doesn’t work”, then those self-defeating thoughts will influence you to not even try. Instead, you should emphasize the importance for cognitive restructuring. This will help you feel more in control and willing to act. All things considered, weight loss is SIMPLE. But weight loss mindset is HARD. Yet it’s the quickest thing you can change on your weight loss journey- even if you don’t want to work out today. But you can listen to your thoughts and turn them into opportunities for success.
Ask 5 people who are trying to lose weight how it’s going. Get them to talk. Then, listen to every reason for why it’s not going as well as it could. You can use it as a chance to practice cognitive restructuring. Think of ways they can more positively reframe their thoughts and help them dispute their reasons.
Weight Loss Mindset Examples
Below are 6 common negative thoughts with examples to move your weight loss mindset in the right direction.
You can adjust, “I travel too much so working out just doesn’t fit into my schedule” to “I travel too much so I’m creative to find ways to fit my workout in”. This will motivate you to look up different workouts for people on the go.
“I hit a plateau, so I guess this is just where my body wants to feel comfortable” can transform to “The numbers on the scale aren’t changing, I need to look more into what I can do to get this ship to turn”. Then learn more about the reality of plateaus and what you can do about them.
You can change, “I’m going out to eat tonight- I can’t eat right and log my calories” to “I know how to order when I go out to dinner tonight, so it’s going to be easy”. This will help you start planning for the evening and look up some of the food choices at the restaurant.
“I’d rather be spending time with my kids than running off to the gym all the time” is easy to change to “I need to find a way to be active with my kids so we can do it together. I’m the master of efficiency!” Kids want to be active, so research creative ways to be active with them.
“I have no motivation right now” turns into “results motivate me, so I need to see progress fast”. Research shows that successful experiences always fuel motivation. Take the time to consider what you can start doing right away to generate momentum.
Meal plan problem
“I can’t stick to my meal plan” restructured to “I’m going to track all my foods for two weeks straight before I decide a meal plan is too hard to follow”. Food logging is one of the best things you can start doing and there are so many effortless ways to do it. Feel out a couple and commit yourself to one.
Tell us about some of the defeating thoughts you experience and how you reframe them to get you in the right mindset.