When it comes to losing weight, or accomplishing any goal, having the right mindset is essential. We need to be thinking about what we are doing, rather than just acting on autopilot. This is actually where a lot of conventional dieting advice and fad diets alike fail us. We are told that all we have to do is follow this one magic formula and we will lose weight. But it is not like that at all. You need to be fully focused, fully committed, and fully aware of what you are doing for a diet to succeed in the long term. Because when it comes to your health, you have to be the expert.
1: Respect your body.
For a lot of people, the desire to lose weight comes from a place of self-loathing. They feel they cannot bear to look in the mirror one more day, and want to change what they see. They are disgusted by themselves and regularly talk down to and about themselves. But you will never love yourself if you don't make love and respect your priority. If you lose weight but don't change your attitude towards your body, you will just find something else to hate about it. Instead, this journey must begin from a place of self-love, from wanting to do better for yourself.
2: Stop comparing yourself to others.
For the very reason you have just read, you need to stop comparing yourself and your body to other people. You are not them. They have a different body, a different mindset, and a different life to you. And you will never look the way they look, not exactly, because you are your own person. Instead, compare yourself to where you were a few weeks, months, or years ago.
3: Understand your diet.
When starting a new diet many of us just pick up the paperwork and don't bother with the science. Instead, this time make a point of reading into the science behind the diet. Find out why it works. Because you will need to understand it if you want to apply those principles to a long term weight maintenance plan. Same goes for your workout.
4: Plan for the future.
And yes, you need a long term weight maintenance plan. You need to consider what will happen when your diet is over. Because if you go back to eating and exercising like you used to, you will go back to looking like you used to. You have to ask yourself whether you could keep this diet up forever, and how you can transfer the scientific principles behind it into a plan to keep you at a healthy weight forever.
5: Don't reward or punish yourself.
Many of us fall into the traps of rewarding and punishing ourselves during weight loss. But the problem with rewards is that they often undermine the core principles that our diet and workout are based on. Skipping weights for a day or eating a sugary dessert is not a pat on the back, it's undoing your work. But punishing yourself is not acceptable either. Everyone slips up and makes mistakes, and you must not base your worth on how well your diet is going. What both these habits do is reinforce this idea that food is a dangerous thing, or a luxurious thing, an emotional thing, something to use on ourselves like treats for a dog. And this habit will make you think of your diet as a chore as well.
6: Make time for you.
Always make a point of making time for yourself. When you are dieting a lot of your life becomes about the diet. You may find you can't eat out at certain places, or eat out at all. You may find hanging out with friends becomes awkward, or that you can't drink so parties become dull. Or maybe your workouts are eating into your hobby time. Whatever the situation, if you have given a lot up on your weight loss journey, make a point of indulging it sometimes, or of finding a healthy replacement. This way you can make some time for yourself without worrying about ruining your diet.