Wanna know my BEST weight loss mindset tips, and learn the secret to faster success? Then you’re in for a treat today!
On this episode of the Fitness Matters podcast, I’m sharing the top six mindset pitfalls that might be holding you back from reaching your goals.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
👉 Why “BAD” FOODS aren’t really bad for you
👉 How to stop letting THE SCALE determine your mood for the day
👉 Why (and how!) you should forgive yourself for FAILURE
👉 The BEST strategy for improving your weight loss mindset
My friend, your mindset matters on your weight loss journey – in fact, it can be the deciding factor between getting to your goal or giving up. Integrating these mindset tips will put you on the fast track to success, so let’s go!
Weight Loss Mindset Tips
Here are my TOP SIX weight loss mindset tips, in no particular order.
- Stop labeling foods as “good” or “bad” or “healthy” or “fattening”
- Don’t let the scale ruin your day
- Recognize restriction thinking
- “No pain, no gain” is no good
- Forgive yourself for failures
- Pay attention to your successes
#1 Stop Labeling Foods as “Good” or “Bad”
Do you know that there is no such thing as a “bad” food? For reals! We all have these labels or preconceived notions about foods that are healthy or foods that are fattening or foods that are good for you, foods that are bad for you, foods that you should have, foods that you shouldn’t have, or foods that spend “a moment on the lips and a lifetime on the hips.” But the truth is that weight loss always comes down to being in a slight caloric deficit.
You probably have a food that you like, and when you think of that food as being bad, how do you feel? You feel bad. When you feel bad, generally speaking, you try to avoid feeling bad. And how do you avoid feeling bad? By trying to make yourself feel good. And how do you try to make yourself feel good? By eating something junky. It is a vicious cycle to think of foods as good or bad or healthy or fattening or any kind of label. All foods have a place in your daily fueling.
#2 Don’t Let the Scale Ruin Your Day
We, all of us, personify the scale in a way that’s almost funny. We say things like, “The scale told me that my plan isn’t working,” or “The scale made me feel terrible about my whole life.” But the scale is an inanimate object who does not care about you, who does not lie to you, who does not have an opinion about you. The scale doesn’t think. It does, however, measure your resistance to gravity and offers you factual information in a way that almost nothing else does.
The scale is the only thing that is offering you objective data, but your mind thinks otherwise. When you let the scale ruin your day or tell you a lie or offer you information about what’s working and what’s not working, that is you not recognizing that you have all the power. When you take a look at what you are making the scale mean, you can decide for yourself that this is information that you can record and look at over time, which is the only way to actually look at data.
#3 Recognize Restriction Thinking
This tip is very similar to the good foods, bad foods tip, but it’s also a little bit bigger. We tend to think about restriction in a good way, like, “Oh, I have a lot of willpower, I had a really good day because I ate under my calories. I had a really good day because I burned a lot of calories.” We think we have to put a lid on ourselves, like we have to hold ourselves to this perfect standard in order to meet our goals and the only way to do that is to really hold ourselves in. We think of ourselves as being wild animals who would just eat everything and never exercise and never do the things that are good for us until we restrict ourselves.
The crux of restrictive thinking is a lack of trust in yourself, and that’s incredibly painful and mentally exhausting. And it’s got an extra layer of pain because it’s you. But you can feel good. And when you learn to trust yourself, you will recognize that you’re not going to go eat everything in the world or fall off your exercise routine and never come back to it. Because do you know who’s in charge of that? You. You can always stop yourself from eating. You can always make yourself exercise again. And you know how? By not being afraid that you won’t start exercising, by not being afraid that you’re going to eat everything in the world. When you aren’t afraid of yourself, you won’t do those things that you’re afraid of.
#4 “No Pain, No Gain” is No Good
This is not, in my opinion, a helpful mantra because very frequently – if we don’t know our bodies very well – we can push ourselves into an injury situation as opposed to feeling pain from our effort. But even the pain of effort isn’t getting us to our weight loss goals. The harder you work, the more cortisol is going to be released into your bloodstream to help you. In and of itself, that’s not a bad thing. But one of estrogen’s jobs was to attenuate cortisol. So, without estrogen (because of menopause), we have more cortisol in our systems than is good for us.
This means that your body is in a stressed state longer than it used to be, and when your body is in that stressed state with the cortisol, it eventually starts storing fat. The no pain, no gain mantra might have been helpful when you were younger, but now, is one of the least helpful things you can say to yourself.
#5 Forgive Yourself for Failures
My friend, there is nothing guaranteed about your weight loss journey except for the fact that you’re going to fail at something. I truly believe that there is no way to just follow a plan and go directly from A to B, where B is a total success. You are going to have failures! Even when you’re doing all the right things to lose weight, the scale is going to go up on its way down. Nobody, in the history of weight loss, ever, has had the scale go continuously down from day one until the day they got their weight loss goal.
Recognize that you are going to fail and forgive yourself for it, because failure is actually information. When you exercise too much, and you don’t feel good, and it takes you a long time to recover, you didn’t fail because you exercised too much. You found information about how to not lose weight. When you can think about failure as part of the process, you can see it as information that will help you to lose weight faster.
#6 Pay Attention to Your Successes
How hard is this one, am I right? We are designed to look for our failures and see them as failures, because – evolutionarily speaking – if you could see how something went wrong, it could help you survive so that you could not do that again. From from a biological standpoint, we are not actually programmed to see our successes. So because we don’t practice this very often, it can feel very uncomfortable to be successful, which means, because it feels uncomfortable, that we’ll actually avoid it even more.
Finding your successes is something you’re going to have to do on purpose often enough, to practice it so that it doesn’t feel uncomfortable anymore.Sometimes, you have to recognize that you are going to have to put in an effort that feels like an effort, that feels a little sticky, a little bit gritty, a little bit uncomfortable, in order to get better at something. When you get better at it, as you practice this skill, it’ll get easier. It will start to feel pleasurable, which means that you will then seek it out and stop trying to avoid the pain of it.
The Most Important Weight Loss Mindset Tip Of All
All of these mindset tips feel super inspirational and make intellectual sense, but then, in your day to day life, how do you apply them? How do you stop thinking about foods as being bad or good or forgive yourself for failures? This “how” piece of the puzzle, in my opinion, is the thing that is missing from other weight loss programs, and what makes The 5-0 Method so practical and successful for so many women over 50.
The “how” to implement these mindset tips, my friend, is by using the Two-Step Tool: find your thoughts and decide if they’re helpful. The items on this list are all things that you are currently thinking, and they are slowing you down. The way to speed yourself up, the way to lose weight faster with these mindset tips is by recognizing that you’re thinking these things, and recognizing that these thoughts don’t feel good.
How to Use the Two-Step Tool
Step one is to find your thoughts, which means journaling, and step two is to decide if they’re helpful by taking a look at each thought individually, and asking yourself, “How does this thought make me feel?” If the thought feels good, it’s moving you forward towards your goal, so it’s helpful. If the thought feels bad, it is slowing you down, and possibly stopping you from getting to your goal, so it’s unhelpful.
Here’s the thing about the two step tool, there is no step three. When you label a thought as helpful or unhelpful, your brain will naturally do its magical brain thing and it will – over time – offer you that thought less often. Your brain does not need to be forced to stop thinking a certain thought or coerced to start thinking a better thought. When you label your thoughts as either helpful or unhelpful, your brain will go to work on its own, and very naturally change how you think. Eventually, you will find nothing but helpful thoughts that get you on your way to meeting your goal.
Wanna learn how to put the Two-Step Tool to use in your own life? Join the Get Your GOAL Coaching + Accountability group!