November 01, 2021 3 min read

By Sharon Lehman, RD

Most people don’t know that you can lose weight on almost any diet. No matter which diet you’re following to lose weight, the secret is whether or not your head is in the right place. A positive mindset can make a weight-loss program easier to stick to, and help you stay motivated when you’re tempted to veer off course. 

If you’re telling yourself your weight-loss program is going to be difficult or boring or you’re going to feel deprived, you’re setting yourself up for failure right off the bat. 

Many people are motivated to lose weight for the following reasons:

  1. They’re unhappy with their body size/shape and believe losing weight will improve their appearance and how they feel about their body.
  2. They want to fit into an outfit for a special occasion or vacation.
  3. They are trying to improve their health, reduce pain or manage a health condition. 

The trouble is that the first two external motivations are often quick fixes rooted in negativity. This kind of motivation is short-lived and can leave you feeling worse than when you started.

Instead, focusing on how you feel as you make healthy choices that promote long-term health can be much more motivating. The best weight-loss plans incorporate healthy lifestyle choices that equate to sustainable improvements in health and weight loss. 

Following are some mindset tips to help support your weight loss journey:

  1. Set attainable goals. When it comes to lasting weight loss, it’s done one day at a time. Large goals, like “I want to lose 30 pounds in 2 months” can be too overwhelming. It’s more realistic, attainable and easier to create lasting habits when you focus on breaking down a large goal into smaller steps. You might start with cutting out all sugar-sweetened drinks and choosing water for a week before moving on to the next healthy habit.
  2. Have an attitude of gratitude. Whether you jot them down, say them aloud or simply reflect, taking a few minutes to make a list of things you’re thankful for can boost your mental health and mood. Try this technique at the start or end of each day or before a workout.
  3. Consider ditching the scale. Small day-to-day fluctuations in weight are normal, but it’s not healthy to obsess over the number on the scale. If the number on the scale makes you uncomfortable, there are other ways to track your progress, like paying attention to how your clothes fit and taking body circumference measurements.
  4. Practice positive visualization. It may sound woo-woo, but visualizing how you’ll look and feel when you achieve your weight-loss goals can help keep you motivated and remind you of why you started on days you’d rather skip a workout or indulge in a cheat meal. It can also help you overcome hurdles in the gym and the kitchen. Convinced you don’t like kale or can’t do a set of push-ups? Replace the negatives (I don’t, I can’t) with positivity and watch how your outcomes change!
  5. Celebrate your victories. Instead of rewarding yourself with treats and unhealthy foods, make a list of non-food activities you’d love to do when you meet your goals, big and small! Be proud of your accomplishments!

Your mindset is just as much a part of your weight-loss journey as diet and exercise. Pay attention to triggers, avoid negative self-talk and remember to praise yourself. With this sort of positive approach, you’ll find the pounds falling off with less effort.

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