The Secret to Creating a Sustainable Weight Loss Mindset

Wellness involves both your body and mind. To keep pounds off, you may need to change the way you think. Use these suggestions to develop your long-term game plan for sustainable weight loss.

Changing the Way You Think about Eating

1. Choose foods you like. With so many nutritious foods to choose from, there are bound to be plenty that appeal to you. Having your core “go to” food list makes it easier to stick to healthier eating long term.

2. Stop dieting. Diets often come with a long list of “can’ts”. Focusing on restriction creates a negative association with food which can become unhealthy and lead to binges. Focus instead on all the delicious food you get to nourish your body with for the rest of your life and that positive thinking will forge a better relationship with food.

3. Pay attention to how what you are eating makes you feel. Many factors determine how much and what food you need. Getting more in tune with how you feel after a meal will help eating become more intuitive in nature and feeding your body with the right things for your body will become a breeze. Try keeping a food journal not for tracking calories, but for tracking feelings of satiety, bloating, energy levels after you have eaten and use information to adjust choices in the future.

4. Evaluate the impact of weight fluctuations. You’ll be less tempted to get sidetracked by crash diets when you understand what they do to your body. Dramatic caloric restrictions can REDUCE your resting metabolic rate, meaning you are burning fewer calories and becoming less efficient. Think of nutrition in support of your long-term lifestyle goals.

Changing the Way, You Think about Exercise

1. Befriend your body. Appreciate your body regardless of your current size. Be grateful for all it does for you. You’ll take more pleasure in being active and treating yourself well. 2. Enjoy your workouts. Select physical activities that you’ll look forward to doing. Maybe you’d enjoy getting together with friends after work to shoot hoops. Maybe your idea of a good time is volleyball on the beach. WHAT you do is less important to being consistent in doing it. 3. Plan for all seasons. Summer heat and winter storms sabotage many workout schedules. Plan alternatives you can turn to when the weather changes. Flexibility will also see you through other obstacles, such as frequent travel or illnesses. 4. Avoid injuries. Overtraining and accidents derail exercise programs too. Get adequate rest and build up the intensity of your workouts gradually.

Changing the Way You Think about Living

1. Create a vision for your future self. Spend some time not just imagining your future self, but how it would actually FEEL being that person.

2. Manage stress. Keeping stress under control will enhance your sleep and reduce emotional eating. Develop relaxation practices that work for you, such as meditation or listening to instrumental music. 3. Form new habits. Early in our journey motivation is strong and we are excited about the change that lies ahead, but external motivation can be fleeting. It takes at least 21 days to form a new habit. Make a deliberate decision to engage in activity or make better nutrition choices, and before you realize it, it will have become second nature.

4. Seek support. We can all accomplish more when we work together. Invite your family and friends to join you in shaping up. Reach out to the new member at your gym who may want to join you for a low carb smoothie after yoga class. 5. Break down big tasks. Losing a large amount of weight can seem overwhelming until you segment your goals into weekly or monthly units. You may need to consult with a physician about the best approach for your individual needs. 6. Be mindful. Living mindfully transforms all of our experiences. You’ll see that you can be happy and peaceful doing leg lifts and eating Brussel sprouts. You’ll be content with what you’re doing now, instead of getting lost in the past or future.

Adopting a positive attitude will help you to make better nutrition choices and incorporate activity for the rest of your life. Remember, long term change is the goal so going in from the beginning with that mindset will help cement permanent change.

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