By Matt O'Neill, MSc(Nut&Diet), APD
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You've changed your eating & your exercise, but have you changed your mindset to prevent your thinking from undoing all your hard work?
New ways to think to overcome the 5 Mindset Challenges for Weight Management
Read on for some tough love from me. Check off which mindset challenges you need to rethink!
Of course, if you are concerned about your mood, please seek help.
1. Unrealistic weight loss expectations
Studies show that people expect to lose a lot of weight & fast. But the reality is that the process is often slower & with plateaus along the way. You can get frustrated or find a better way forward.
If it takes you longer than expected to reach a healthy weight you are happy with, how many years will you have to enjoy your new weight? Lots... & that's why its worth being patient & doing it the right way (on Metabolic Jumpstart).
If you are overly focused on your weight, chuck out the scales, set fitness goals & just get on with being healthy. It's quite liberating!
2. Irrational food beliefs
Some people believe they need to give up carbs completely, ban all fruit, go off dairy or even starve themselves for results. You can be forgiven for being confused by extreme food rules, given so many fads over the years.
Catch yourself when an food rule comes to mind. Ask yourself, "Is this really healthy or necessary?" If you don't challenge your beliefs, you can easily revert to old ways that undermine your nutrient-rich eating.
3. Negative thoughts
What we think is a rehearsal for what we do. So, letting negative thoughts creep in like, "I'm just not motivated" or "I have no willpower" is a surefire way to undermine your positive intentions to eat well & exercise.
When a negative though pops into your head, say 'STOP' (out loud even). Then say, "Ok, I've had a negative thought. What's a better way to see this, that will energise me?"
Know that everyone has negative thoughts at times. It doesn't mean you are hopeless & the the negative thoughts will pass.
I need you to argue back with yourself, just as good friend would. Challenge that negative thinking every time with a more positive explanation & way forward.
4. All-or-nothing thinking
So you ate more popcorn that you planned. I guess you'll need to finish the pack now & eat crap for the rest of the week, month or year.
I think everyone suffers this on-my-plan or off-my-plan mindset at times.
Just because you had a slip up doesn't mean you need to make it worse because your mind says bugger it.
You are not made of willpower. Sometimes mindless eating or temptations will detour you. This is normal & expected. Put it down to that, press the "nutrition reset button" quickly & move on.
Don't let perfection get in the way of eating well.
5. Exercise excuses
I don't have the time, energy, motivation, confidence or the right gym gear to exercise. And its raining! Watch out, excuses become a habit & are just not compatible with the results you desire.
There are 'excuses' & 'reasons'. Excuses are stories we tell ourselves to feel better about not doing something. Reasons are valid explanations for why we didn't do it.
For example, saying "I don't have time to exercise" when you could have scheduled it as a higher priority in your life, is an excuse.
In contrast, saying "Exercise is part of my life, but this week I had some unexpected work demands that had to take priority" is a valid 'reason' for missing a workout.
Remind yourself why exercise is a high priority (metabolic health, mood, keeping up with the kids) & then only miss workouts when you have a good reason to.
Decide which mindset challenges to rethink. Your'll surprise yourself with the change.
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