3 Big Weight Loss Mindset Mistakes to Avoid And Deal With
Your mindset is your number one tool when you’re losing weight. If you’re not motivated, you’re not going to succeed. It’s as simple as that. When it comes to motivating yourself, there are tons of ways you can do it. You should choose the motivators that work for you, but be careful. Here are some common mistakes people make when trying to motivate themselves that can leave you feeling even worse than before you started trying to lose weight.
1. Rewarding yourself with food.
I’m sure you’ve heard this one. It’s probably the biggest mistake new dieters make. They lose 5 pounds and reward themselves with a night out at their favorite restaurant. After a workout they buy themselves their favorite candy bar. Maybe after a week of following their diet plan they pick up a package of ice cream because they’ve been doing so well.
Rewarding yourself is good, but don’t reward yourself with food! There is a popular saying, “Don’t reward yourself with food. You are not a dog.”
When you reward yourself with food you’re sending mixed messages. You do well, you lose weight, you get in your workouts, and then you undo all of that hard work by eating 1200 calories in one restaurant meal. It can also lead to rewarding yourself with food for smaller and smaller achievements until you’re quickly falling off track.
Instead, reward yourself with things that further your goals such as workout music and DVDs, new clothes, or trips to do fun and active activities like going to the zoo or rock climbing.
2. Only focusing on the number on the scale.
I know you want to lose weight but only focusing on the number is bad. Your weight is going to fluctuate. Sometimes you’ll retain water, sometimes you’ll gain a pound or two because you got off track. If you get upset every time you gain a pound it’s going to hurt your motivation.
Celebrate your weight loss, but focus on other aspects of your journey. Did you lose an inch from your waist? Maybe you were able to walk upstairs without losing your breath or you said no to that second brownie. You finally went down a shirt size and can pick up one you’ve been wanting for a long time. These are the things to focus on and celebrate. Look at how your new and healthier lifestyle is changing your day-to-day activities.
3. You expect everything to happen quickly.
It took you a while to gain the extra wait and it takes longer to lose weight than it does to gain it. Don’t expect instant results. Be patient. If you get discouraged because it isn’t happening fast enough, take a moment to think about whether you’re just expecting too much.
Depending on how much weight you’re trying to lose a healthy amount of weight loss per week is between .5 and 2 pounds.
Don’t sabotage your own weight loss efforts! If you catch yourself making these mistakes, stop yourself and fix them! Find positive ways to motivate yourself to lose weight the healthy way.
Dealing With Disappointment When You Get Off Track
No matter how hard you work at losing weight, there’s a good chance you’re going to get off track from time to time. It happens and it’s normal. Sometimes it’ll just be one or two meals and other times it’ll be a few weeks or months. Once you realize what you’ve done you look back and feel so disappointed in yourself and your decisions. How do you deal with those feelings?
1. Don’t down on yourself or get upset.
Remember, it’s normal to get off track. Don’t down on yourself for it. You can fix things and get back on track. You’re an awesome person and don’t let a mistake make you think otherwise.
Have you heard of “diet depression”? It’s a real type of depression caused by dieting. Guilt is one of the biggest causes. If you find your guilt getting to be too strong or start to feel depressed, take a trip to talk to your doctor.
2. Get positive and learn from your experiences!
It’s just a bump in the road. Think back to when you first got off track. What caused it? Was it a holiday and you were feeling pressured to eat by the hosts of a party? Were you craving a food you had been denying yourself and binged?
Once you know the cause, you can make a plan to avoid it in the future. I know I had to learn how to say no thank you at big family gatherings. It can be hard when people keep telling you it’s a special occasion and talk about how they made the food themselves. At the end of the day your biggest obligation is to yourself and your happiness so even if they pressure you, it’s okay to say no.
3. Get back on track now, not later.
Don’t say, “Oh, I’ll get started tomorrow/Monday/on the 1st.” Get started NOW. There is no point in waiting. The moment you realize you’re off track is the moment to get back on track.
Saying you need to wait until morning is just an excuse to goof off the rest of the day and make unhealthy choices.
4. If it keeps happening, consider joining a support group.
Whether it’s an online support group or one that meets offline, having people who understand what you’re going through and are there to support you can be a huge help. Friends and family are great but they won’t always understand what you’re going through. People who have never struggled with weigh issues think losing weight is easy so it’s hard to bring up your feelings with them.
Check your local newspaper or talk to your doctor for help finding support groups in your area.
At the end of the day, just remember. You’re so much more than you’re mistakes. You’re working hard and even if you slip up, you can get back on track and reach your goals!