Importance of Mindset for Weight Loss

Thursday, May 30, 2024

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Since starting Katrina’s Family Nutrition, I have helped numerous clients improve their health through weight loss. Fundamental to their success, in addition to simple and sustainable changes to their diet, is mindset.

If we approach a change to our eating habits as “just until I reach my goal weight” – we are already setting ourselves up for possible rebound weight gain.

If we approach it as a long-term lifestyle change, to ensure ongoing health and vitality, we are setting ourselves up for success.

What’s the difference here?

Mindset.

How can we cultivate a healthy weight-loss mindset?

One of the first steps is to understand your “why”.

What will it mean to you to lose weight? What’s your underlying driver? Is it to feel good in your clothes? To have more energy? To reduce joint pain?

Your underlying driver, your intrinsic motivator, will fuel your commitment to change. If you want to lose weight because you think you should, or because someone hinted that you could do with dropping a few kilos, or even if you think all your problems will be solved if you could just lose weight – you’re not getting to the heart of what’s important for you.

Once you know what’s most important to you about losing weight, you can focus on what you’re moving towards – which helps to keep you moving forward.

We make many thousands of decisions in a day – what to eat, where to go, how to move our bodies – and it’s thought that up to 95% of these decisions are unconscious.

If our mindset is focused on a long-term goal of health, our decisions are more likely to reflect that. We want our unconscious decisions to reflect our conscious intentions.

How do we make this happen?

Pay attention to two things.

  • The stories we tell ourselves – the ones where we might doubt our ability to commit to or follow through on a plan.
  • The tone in which we speak to ourselves.

If the stories we tell ourselves and the tone which we use to speak to ourselves are negative – then we need to address them. The stories likely date back for many years, probably to our childhood, when we decided something about ourselves without really knowing what that decision meant. Perhaps we decided we were always going to eat everything on our plate. Maybe we heard a relative comment on our size and decided that was who we would always be. It’s time to debunk these stories – by refuting them whenever we notice them coming up.

And that self-talk tone? Often, we are our own harshest critic. Yet we are unlikely to adopt such harsh words when speaking to others. It’s time to reframe our self-talk so that it is positive and encouraging. So that it supports our goals rather than sneering at them.

Refuting negative stories about ourselves and changing self-talk doesn’t happen overnight. It requires effort and consistency. But anyone who has worked towards a goal knows that practice, effort and consistency will lead to results.

And when it comes to having a healthy weight-loss mindset, the goal is consistent results, right?

I challenge you to start challenging your own negative thoughts, speaking to yourself as if you were a good friend and get to the heart of your weight-loss motivation. Results will follow.

Develop a positive relationship with food