There is an over-whelming amount of information out there teaching us the “best way” to lose body fat. A Google search will get you over a million hits on how to lose weight. With all of that information available to us, shouldn’t we all be healthy?!
Here are a couple of issues with the information you’ll find on Google:
- Some of it is just ridiculous
- Most of it doesn’t even touch on mindset
You might be asking yourself…… “Mindset? What does mindset have to do with losing body fat?” I’m here to tell you that it’s a HUGE piece of the fat loss puzzle. And once you understand the importance of your mindset, it changes everything.
I’m going to mention the term “successful fat loss” a few times through this article, which to me means SUSTAINABLE fat loss. Because reaching your goals means nothing if you do not have the ability to sustain your results. No one wants to be a yo-yo dieter. I’ve been there and it’s not fun.
Fat loss is both easy and hard. It’s easy because it comes down to basic science. Expend more than you consume, and you lose fat. Seems simple, right?
But it’s hard because you need to have a good fitness & nutrition plan that you’re consistent with. And you need to be patient. Otherwise, successful fat loss isn’t going to happen.
If you can wrap your mind around the fact that consistency and patience are a must, then successful fat loss will be a lot easier and less stressful.
I encourage you to forget about diet and exercise strategies just for a few minutes and focus on getting your mind right. Because the best way to improve your health is to improve your mind. Having a positive mindset changes what you do, the excuses you tell yourself, the effort you give and the choices you make.
Here are just a few ways that your mind can hold you back from your fat loss goals: (and it’s worth noting that these tips are applicable to ANY goal you are trying to achieve. Health, career, family, etc)
- You lack self-belief
The first step to setting a goal is to believe you can achieve it. If you’ve ever struggled with self-doubt, you know that truly believing in yourself takes time and takes effort. You have to change the way you talk to yourself, change the way you look at yourself, and change the way you think of yourself. Self-doubt can hold you back in a lot of ways and these mental limitations will hold you back from reaching your true potential.
- You have comparison syndrome
Constantly comparing your body, your workouts, or your results to those around you can really hinder your progress. It’s great to have a support system and people to hold you accountable, but always remember that your body is different than any other body on this entire planet (which pretty amazing when you think about it!) Therefore, your progress will be different. And we are all SO different, which means that what works for your best pal Suzie may not work for you.
The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday. It’s ok to use others as inspiration, but there is a fine line between inspiration and comparison. Put your blinders on and focus on YOU.
- You’re obsessing over what you CAN’T have
If you’re constantly thinking about the foods that you can’t eat, your results won’t be sustainable. This is one of the reasons I use macro tracking with many of my clients, because nothing is off limits. If you want to go out for pizza or have a glass of wine with friends, you absolutely can. It just takes a little planning ahead.
Another thing I work with my one-on-one nutrition clients on is realizing how food makes them FEEL. How does eating a balanced meal of protein, carbs, healthy fats and veggies make you feel in comparison to eating a sleeve of Oreos? If you slow down and think about this before eating, you will almost always make the better choice. And guess what? The more you eat those nutritious foods, the more you will crave them!
- You’re impatient
Stop giving up after a week, or a month, or even 6 months. Real change takes TIME. And depending on how far you have to go or how big your goals are, a sustainable body transformation can take YEARS. Stop chasing fast results. They aren’t sustainable. And in the grand scheme of life, taking 1-2 years to get yourself healthy, TRULY healthy, is not that long.
- You don’t realize what it really takes
Change is challenging both mentally and physically. Before you even start the process of fat loss, you should sit down and figure out why you want to change. Dig deep! And write it down. This is something you can always come back to when you feel like giving up.
No matter how far you have to go or what your goals are, the journey is never easy. It takes commitment, dedication, consistency, and sacrifice. Are you willing to make the sacrifices needed to accomplish your goals?
- You’re letting the scale dictate your progress
I’ve been a nutrition coach for 6 years now and I can confidently say that weight loss is never linear. And if you are allowing the scale to dictate the effort you give, you won’t get the results you so badly want. Body weight fluctuates daily based on thing like hormones, water, workouts, stress, and a million other things that have NOTHING to do with fat.
Here’s what this means: the scale is not the best method to measure your progress. Keep track of energy levels, sleep quality, motivation, performance, and take progress photos. Always remember that a pound of muscle takes up much less space (and looks better) than a pound of fat.
Don’t let the number on the scale determine your self-worth or your daily efforts. Put in a conscious effort to have respect and kindness for yourself no matter how much you weigh. If you can’t do this, nothing will change.
- You’re eating emotionally
This is something I see often in my nutrition coaching practice. Ever feel stressed and find yourself reaching for a sleeve of cookies? I’ve been there. You’re most likely not really hungry, but you’ve conditioned yourself to THINK you are hungry during times of stress. Food is nutrition. It’s fuel for your body. Not a punishment, not an escape, and not therapy. Start to be mindful of when this is happening and take steps to break the cycle.
- You’re not addressing the REAL issue
If you are overweight, chances are there are bigger issues than just lack of exercise, poor diet, and an unhealthy lifestyle. Sometimes it’s underlying emotional issues that are keeping you from changing your habits and becoming healthy. Maybe you turn to food for comfort or a way to deal with grief. Maybe you’re unhappy or lonely and turning to food in order to fill these voids. To achieve successful fat loss, it may require a deep dive into some pretty emotional stuff. But once you start to recognize and address these issues, you will be well on your way to accomplishing your goals.
- You have an all or nothing mindset
Ever bake up a batch of cookies, eat one, and then eat four more because you’ve already gone off plan? And then all of a sudden, it’s three days later and you’ve been off plan ever since??♀️
Everyone has a bad day or an unplanned meal. The truth is that consistency always wins over perfection. If you’re consistent, then 1 bad day or bad meal will not ruin your progress. Here is what’s important à Don’t dwell on it, don’t beat yourself up, and don’t throw in the towel. Just move on.
- You’re scared to fail
Even though you may be uncomfortable and unhappy in your current situation, stepping into the unknown and changing your habits is downright scary. Maybe you’ve tried losing body fat in the past and have failed so now you’re afraid to give 100% effort. Trying your hardest is scary because you have no excuse to fall back on if you don’t get the results you’re hoping for. However, not having a sense of urgency when it comes to change can hold you back from making real progress. Be relentless in your efforts and remember that you have only failed when you stop trying.
The 10 reasons listed above should make it clear just how important mindset is when it comes to sustainable fat loss. I have coached many people through physical transformations, but it’s the mindset transformation that I see in my clients that makes me happiest. Sometimes the mental and emotional transformation is more important than anything.
If you have been struggling fat loss or your mindset around fat loss, click HERE to jump on the wait list for when spots open up for one-on-one coaching.
And if you found this helpful, please share this with anyone else you know who may benefit from it! <3