Mindset Over Matter: Improving Your Weight Loss Mentality

In a society that thrives on immediacy and instant gratification, weight loss is daunting. Physically, this immediacy manifests itself in eating out instead of taking control of your nutrition and caloric intake by cooking. Mentally, we set unrealistic goals that, most of the time, are impossible to achieve. This is discouraging, making your weight loss routine even harder to maintain. Luckily, this can be prevented. Personal weight loss accounts are all over the web, and many firmly believe that their mentality shift led to their success.

Here are three weight loss stories that may improve your mentality:

Reduce your decision fatigue.

Author, blogger and marketing consultant Kristan Braziel’s began seeing results when she decided weight loss is about feeling healthy, energetic and eventually, accomplished and capable. This epiphany, coupled by her affinity of Keith “Temple” Trotter’s 100 Small Steps: The First 100 Pounds, motivates her. While she doesn’t support with every tip in Trotter’s book, she wholeheartedly agrees that restrictive diets are impossible because of “decision fatigue.” Braziel summarizes this concept: “We only have a set amount of mental energy for willpower, self-control and decision making.” Instead, she suggests cutting yourself some slack on your diet and focusing on balancing your indulgences.

Take time for introspection.

According to Osha Key, discovering the underlying reason for your weight, accepting your current reality and, like Braziel, finding the right motivation are key to weight loss. This is especially true if you have plateaued. Foremost, she believes that food can be a coping mechanism, and she’s not alone. Although combating the cravings is important, resolving the underlying issue is the only permanent solution. Secondly, we become preoccupied with how we should look and neglect to love their current body. This preoccupation takes up mental energy that could be spent planning meals or relaxing.

Take charge of your life.

Ted Spiker, author and journalism department chair at the University of Florida, believes we have to make “healthy choices feel right” instead of “like deprivation, hard work or punishment.” To do this, he believes we have to lead the weight loss journey, conquer fear and raise the intensity of your workout regimen. First off, instead of always following others’ diets and fitness plans, take charge! Get together a group for a 5K or neighborhood walk. Second, Spiker suggests setting one physical and one mental goal a year that makes you nervous. Conquering fear makes us less likely to retreat or give up on our goals. Finally, immerse yourself in exercise and more importantly perhaps, do what feel enjoyable. He believes that post-activity high helps us make better decisions.

There are plenty of others ways to view and understand your weight loss journey. The important thing is to find and maintain a mentality that encourages you, and it may be different than anything you’ve read or seen before.

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