Having the right mindset is crucial to achieving your weight loss goals. Here are the top five ways you can change your attitude and outlook, so you not only lose the weight you've been wanting to shed, but keep it off for good too.

Yogi Berra famously said that baseball is 90 percent mental, and the other half is physical. While Berra wasn't known for his mathematical prowess (take some time to check out his most famous quotes, you'll see what we mean), there's a reason his pearls of wisdom have such strong staying power. Once you get past the incongruency of them, you'll see how full of truth they are and how well they apply to life.

While he may have been talking about baseball, Berra's above quote applies just as well to weight loss, as having the right mindset is one of the biggest factors in whether a person is successful or not. Here are the top five ways you can put yourself in the right frame of mind, so losing weight comes easier to you.


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5 Ways You Can Change Your Mindset to Achieve Better Weight Loss

Research out of Syracuse University has shown that the more dissatisfied women are with their bodies, the more likely they are to avoid exercising or working out. The study highlights just how important it is to approach your weight loss with the right mindset. People often approach losing weight with the outlook that there's something that needs to be fixed, focusing too heavily on the negative thoughts that have driven them towards wanting to lose weight. 

This negative mindset leads to crash diets, unhealthy workout patterns, and ultimately, failure. Instead of being hyperfocused on quick fixes and results, you need to be focused on the positive aspects a healthy lifestyle transformation can provide. Weight loss is just a consequence, not the end goal. 

Here are five ways you can get your mind right, so you can get your body right too.

1. Choose better goals

As we touched on above, losing weight shouldn't be your goal. It should be a result of you meeting your other goals, which should be smaller and sustainable things you have complete control over. Some examples of these types of goals include:

  • Eating five servings of fruit and vegetables each day
  • Getting eight hours of sleep every night
  • Attending your workout with your personal trainer
  • Taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator

By having goals that you and you alone can either achieve or fail at, the worry and stress over things out of your control will drift away. You will know you are doing everything in your power to have weight loss happen, and if it doesn't, then perhaps you need to reevaluate your daily or weekly goals with your personal trainer or nutrition coach. But at least you'll be able to rest easy at night knowing you've made the right steps, and it's only a matter of time before the results start to reflect that.


2. Recalibrate how you view rewards and punishments

If you're trying to lose weight, one of the most destructive things you can do is to have all of your rewards for eating right or exercising regularly be centred around food. This will reinforce your mind to think that healthy eating is only a temporary measure instead of a lifestyle change. Your body will respond by craving unhealthy food, which will take strict willpower to ignore. As it's these unhealthy foods or eating habits that likely resulted in you wanting to lose weight to begin with, ridding yourself of them as a reward for healthier living will lead to better weight loss results. While you don't have to completely cut your favourite foods out of your diet (more on this later), you do need to stop rewarding yourself with them.

The same goes for viewing working out or exercise as punishment for being overweight or making poor food choices. You need to view healthy eating choices and exercise for what they really are: self-care and a way for you to feel your best.

3. Get rid of your calendar

Patience is a virtue, both in life and in losing weight. Instead of being beholden to some artificially constructed timeline for when you need to hit a certain number on the scale or fit into a certain dress size, you should go back to our first tip and focus on goals that are actually within your control. That way, every day brings with it a chance for success.

You also won't go through the mental anguish that accompanies an impending deadline, especially if you think you won't achieve what you set out to accomplish. Failing to meet your goals by the date you set out for them can have a disastrous effect on your weight loss journey, serving to demotivate you further and putting into question your reason for even trying to lose weight in the first place.


4. Avoid stepping on the scale often

If you find yourself stepping on the scale almost every day while trying to lose weight, it could be doing you more damage than good. While the scale itself isn't bad, the self-destructive thoughts and actions it can cause in us are. Given how much our weight can fluctuate within a day, if you start to correlate the disappointing number you see with your weight loss efforts, then it could lead you down a dark and self-sabotaging path. 

Instead of checking in on your weight once a day (or worse yet, multiple times a day), choose one day a week to weigh yourself and make sure it's at the same time on the same day while wearing the same clothes as your previous weigh-in. This will help you focus on the sustainable measures you've begun to enact to live a healthier life while lessening your chances of falling victim to self-destructive thoughts or actions.

5. Stop referring to foods as 'good' or 'bad'

We instinctively know which foods are already 'good' or 'bad' for us. Framing every eating decision or meal along these lines will only serve to make matters worse for you as you try to lose weight. You know what decisions need to be made, but it doesn't do you any good to beat yourself up for making the wrong one from time to time. Overly restrictive diets that cut out your favourite foods or drinks are not sustainable. Even if you achieve your weight loss goal, you'll most likely revert back to your old habits and end up putting the weight back on. 

Having the odd treat such as some chips or a cookie will not derail your weight loss efforts. Nor will the occasional glass of wine. Eating those foods or drinks in excess, on the other hand, will. If you do happen to slip up and overindulge, it's important that you put it in the past immediately. We're all fallible. It's how we respond to our missteps that determine who we are and how successful we'll be, in weight loss and life.

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