Brain to Belly: Developing the Right Dieting Mindset

Eat less, exercise more. The prescription for weight loss sounds so simple, yet it most certainly is not. In a world where tempting food choices abound and cravings are hard to keep at bay, a concentrated effort must be made to develop healthier habits. Too often, healthy choices receive negative associations. “Eww, vegetables!” “I hate to sweat!” “Healthy food isn’t satisfying!” The list goes on and on.

Rather than falling back on complaining, it’s essential to start viewing healthy choices with positive associations. This can be a tedious shift for many, but it’s important to note developing new habits take time. The key is to be patient with yourself and not expect instant results. A lasting dieting mindset shift takes time. 

Establish a Support System

Don’t expect anyone to be a cheerleader for you. When developing the right dieting mindset, a solid starting point is to recognize the importance of being your own biggest cheerleader. Your family, friends, and coworkers may be aware of your progress, but ultimately, the people in your life are generally subsumed by their own goals and respective journeys. Take joy and motivation from any encouraging words, yet don’t be shy about asserting you need to pass on lunch out or that the family is going to start incorporating healthier food choices into the meal rotation. 

If you are someone who enjoys sharing progress and feels compelled to do so on a regular basis, consider taking the online plunge and starting a blog. Posting your progress once a week can be a great motivator. Joining like-minded online groups is a great place to share your posts so the comments will start coming in. Taking fitness classes at the gym can go far in helping to keep your head in the game, and chances are various Meetup groups can also help your fitness focus.  

Managing Goals and Directing Fear

To many, setting goals ups the anxiety of fear of failure. If goals aren’t set, then failure simply isn’t in the picture. On the one hand, a goal that is too lofty is too discouraging. On the other hand, an easily attainable goal isn’t encouraging enough. The sweet spot lies somewhere in the middle. Fear is a natural part of any process, but in the doing of preparing to run that first 5k, fear starts to subside. This creates a positive feedback loop.

Various apps exist to make calorie counting and tracking calories burned easier, not to mention the ease of synching such apps up with devices like FitBits. It’s important, to be honest in recording data. There’s a chance that quantifying everything isn’t for you, but making the attempt to do so whether in an app or on paper in a food journal is an important step in truly understanding calories, nutritional content, and serving sizes.

Ease Up to Go Hard

Cutting out too many foods at once from an established diet will only result in lots of frustration. While the ultimate goal may be to only eat natural foods, it’s best to wean oneself off of processed foods gradually. Moderation is key. This goes for bodies as well. They aren’t meant to work out strenuously seven days a week. Always consult with a doctor before undertaking an exercise program, and experiment to find a cross-training program that works for you. Cheat days can be wonderful as well but may be better utilized by enjoying one sumptuous meal rather than pigging out for the entire day.  

Cultivate Encouragement

There will be days you feel down, but rather than beat yourself up, practice encouraging yourself. One way to break the negative self-talk habit is to put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it when your self-talk becomes too harsh and critical. Practice reminding yourself of your main reason to want to lose weight as they will help keep you motivated. Take the time to visual the body you want as well. In any case, on the days you get off track, be kind to yourself and note there’s always the chance to start over the following day. 

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a life-long journey. Efforts build over time as you avail yourself of reading helpful articles and books and surrounding yourself with positive role models. These are hallmarks of a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. Delving into your current beliefs surrounding body image, food, and exercise is an essential step in starting to make changes. Meditation can go a long way toward helping in this area, but as with diet, training the mind takes time.

Getting into the right frame of mind when it comes to dieting can certainly seem daunting. If a person waits too long and feels everything has to be just right to begin, this can increase the risk of never getting starting. Yet, if a person dives into a huge life change full throttle without any prep, the chances of value go up dramatically. The key is in nothing how both sides of the fence feed the other. 

What tips and trick have helped you in developing the right dieting mindset? Please share.

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