Making the decision to lose weight, improve your eating plan, and increase physical activity is a great start to transitioning toward a healthy and fit lifestyle.
In fact, these are many of the same goals shared by our transformation challenge participants.
Still, overhauling your lifestyle from one in which you’re sedentary and eating mostly “dirty” foods to one in which you’re exercising regularly and eating mostly whole foods, is not without its challenges both extrinsically and intrinsically.
Oftentimes, it’s the voice inside of our own minds that can represent the biggest challenges.
Today, we discuss 7 negative thoughts that sabotage your weight loss goals and how to clap back at that negative chatter.
7 Negative Thoughts That Sabotage Weight Loss
#1 I Can’t Eat…
Yes, it’s true that in order to lose weight, you need to create a hypocaloric environment whereby you’re burning more calories than you consume each day. This can be accomplished through a combination of increased energy expenditure (i.e. exercise) and decreased energy intake (i.e. reduced-calorie diet).
However, while you will need to reduce your calorie intake, you do not need to completely eliminate or avoid an entire food group. This can create feelings of deprivation as well as lay the groundwork for an unhealthy relationship with food, which may ultimately cause you to abandon your diet altogether and binge.
Instead of classifying food as morally “good” or “bad”, consider all foods lie on a neutral playing field. Sure, certain foods will make it easier for you to stick to your nutrition plan and feel fuller on lower calories (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins), but it doesn’t make you have to avoid all manner of savory or sweet indulgent foods. There can be a time and place for all foods.
#2 Go Big or Go Home
Going big or going home alludes to the “all or nothing” mentality in that if you’re not all in on something (like dieting), then you’re wasting your time.
This type of mindset can lead to the non-stop jumping on and off the diet bandwagon, which almost always leads to individuals gaining weight over the long term as opposed to losing it.
Instead of adopting the “go big or go home” mentality, focus on making small, steady, andsustainable changes to your diet and exercise program.
Aim to add a serving of fruit or vegetables to each meal. Go for a 10-minute walk during the day. If you slip up a bit, shrug it off and get right back on your plan as soon as possible.
#3 I’ll Never Achieve the Results I Want
Having negative mindsets or using negative self-talk can be one of the biggest detriments to your transformation challenge success. Some experts recommend talking to yourself in the 3rd person, as this can improve self-control and keep emotions in check.
Put into practice, this means that the next time you’re having negative thoughts, imagine that it’s a friend who’s coming to you with the problems. You wouldn’t berate or bash them for not losing weight as quickly as they wanted, so why do it to yourself?!
#4 I Don’t Look Like Her (or Him)
Comparing your results, physique, or performance in the gym to another individual is a recipe for disaster. Unless you are a professional athlete who gets compensated based on their ability to dominate their competition, there is absolutely no reason for you to compare your results to someone else’s.
We are all starting at different points from a baseline of health and fitness. We all have different backgrounds, different genetics, different life circumstances.
Instead of comparing yourself to someone else at the gym (or on social media), compare yourself to yourself. Look back at your training log and see what you did last week and where you can improve this week. Review progress photos to see just how far your physique has come.
#5 Losing Weight is Too Complicated
Weight loss can seem complicated, especially if you're tuned into social media where you’re bombarded by all sorts of conflicting messages -- carnivore vs keto vs plant-based, low carb vs low fat, counting calories vs intuitive eating.
But, the truth is that weight loss is a relatively simple process (but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy).
To lose weight you need to be in a negative energy balance where you are burning more calories than you’re consuming each day. To accomplish this most efficiently it helps to reduce calorie intake and increase physical activity (i.e. exercise).
Calorie and macro tracking these days is easier than ever these days with the plethora of smartphone apps like MyFitnessPal or FitDay. When it comes to finding the right training program, that can be a tad more difficult since there’s so many workouts on the internet (some are better than others). This is why we include a customized training program for every individual who enters our transformation challenge.
#6 I’m Not Seeing Results Fast Enough
Magazines, blogs, and social media bombard the masses with the allure of rapid weight loss. Just think how many times you’ve seen a headline along the lines of “lose 15 pounds in 5 days” or “lose 3 inches in 3 days.”
These salacious advertisements set unrealistic expectations in the minds of many individuals. As such, when they start dieting and they don’t experience rapid weight loss in under a week, they’re left feeling discouraged.
The truth is you don’t want “rapid” weight loss. In order to get rapid weight loss, you’re most likely following a diet and/or exercise program that isn’t sustainable over the long term, which also means you won’t maintain your results.
Realistic weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. This is a sustainable amount of weight loss and isn’t so aggressive that you risk losing muscle mass.
#7 I Messed Up So the Whole Day is a Bust
This negative thought is an extension of the “all or nothing” mindset we discussed above.
We’re all human, which means we’re bound to have a slip-up here or there. Plus, sometimes life happens -- work function, birthday party, anniversary, etc. -- and you’ll be presented with food options that aren’t exactly on your diet plan.
Are you really gonna tell Grandma Susie you don’t want her famous peanut butter fudge?!
When you do have something off your meal plan, the important thing to remember is to not beat yourself up. Not all hope is lost. You haven’t ruined anything or failed.
Accept what you did, understand why you did (or ate) it, and get back on track with your weight loss plan ASAP.