How to change your mindset to lose weight for good? Use these helpful tips to finally shift your thinking and get healthy.
Hi there! I’m Chantal. Welcome to my site!
So – you’re here because you want to learn how to change your mindset to lose weight.
You’re in the right place!
I should start by telling you that I’m a mom of two as well as a NASM-certified personal trainer.
Important: I am NOT a doctor and if you have an eating disorder or are looking for super-specific nutrition advice, I cannot legally help you.
I specialize in helping women get healthy and reclaim their spark after having babies.
More specifically, I am focused on helping women harness the power of fitness to address mental health and mindset issues.
The story of how I got here is a long one, so I’ll spare you the lengthy details.
However, you should know that I have spent the last six years of my life learning how to use exercise and nutrition to combat my own personal issues with depression.
During this time, learning how to change my mindset around food has been the biggest challenge.
I have a long history of emotional eating and my mindset has been my biggest issue when struggling to lose weight after having my kids.
My choice to become a certified nutrition coach stemmed from my desire to learn coping mechanisms for myself and my emotional eating habits.
I also wanted to dispel myths regarding certain diets and emotional eating and finally learn the TRUTH about what I should eat to get healthy.
In short, I have focused on the mental and emotional aspects of losing weight above everything else.
While I still want to lose another 15 pounds, I have successfully lost about 25 pounds since having my kids.
I’m healthy from a medical perspective and am now focused on muscle mass and healthy habits more than anything else.
Because my mindset is in a healthy place, I am okay with the fact that my weight loss is slow and steady.
I’m no longer obsessed with my weight and I am super proud of the healthy habits I’ve built over the last few years.
It’s been a liberating experience to be able to live without obsessing with food while also setting healthy goals!
Related Reading: 30 Best Books on Mindset To Change Your Life Forever
How Becoming A Nutrition Coach Changed Everything
While I have been a personal trainer for over five years now, I felt like something was still missing for me when it comes to helping women get to the root of the problem when it comes to weight loss.
I found that for most people, including myself, knowing what to do to lose weight isn’t as hard as actually making yourself do it.
Most of us know that we should eat less, improve our nutrition, and exercise more.
But that’s not really the hard part of your weight loss journey is, is it?
The hardest part is being in the right mindset to actually achieve your goals
When we rely only on motivation, we just aren’t consistent enough to get long-term results.
That’s because losing weight is a super mental and emotional process.
It’s not as black-and-white as much of the fitness world would have you believe.
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Whether or not you hit your weight loss goals really depends on your ability to maintain a positive mindset as you attempt to make positive changes in your life.
So if you’re tired of yo-yo dieting and you’re tired of cycling through bouts of motivation and failure, this is exactly the post you need to read.
Much of what I want to share with you today is stuff I focus on with my nutrition coaching clients.
My goal is to help you stop with all of the fad diets, find balance, and learn to protect your mindset so that you can finally achieve long-term results.
However, I didn’t feel like I had my own mindset and emotions under control until I took my nutrition coaching certification course.
I chose to get this certification for personal reasons just as much as for my clients.
I learned a lot, and I’m excited to share it with you because it has totally transformed the way I feel about food and fitness.
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How To Change Your Mindset To lose Weight & Live a healthier lifestyle
Typically my nutrition clients would receive weekly mindset tasks and nutrition education homework to help them gradually develop healthy behaviors and a strong mindset.
Since I just have your attention for just a moment, I’m going to share the main principles and ideas you’ll need to understand to develop a positive mindset that’s also conducive to weight loss.
And if you’re interested in nutrition coaching with a cheaper price tag, you can check out my self-paced online nutrition coaching course here.
We get into the nitty-gritty of why we are self-sabotaging and practicing the self-awareness we need to finally break the cycle. (I call it the “heart work” of weight loss”.) 🙂
Anyway. Let’s get to it!
How to Change Your Mindset To Lose Weight
1. Rethink Your Timeframe
The first step to reframing your mindset to finally lose weight is to rethink your whole timeframe.
Too often I see people who want to lose an unrealistic amount of weight in an unrealistic amount of time.
While some people get results by going hard and fast, it backfires almost every time.
Does this sound familiar at all?
If you’re serious about wanting to lose weight and you also want to keep it off, you should think long-term.
In other words, quit putting arbitrary timelines on your weight loss goals!
It is way more important that you get healthy for life than it is for you to look good for that upcoming 4th of July party.
If you’re struggling to see what this has to do with mindset, I’ll tell you why this is so important.
When you remove the silly, unrealistic timeline from your goals, you take the pressure off of yourself to meet that unrealistic goal.
Once you do that, you can scale back and focus on building small, sustainable, and lifelong healthy habits instead of short-term, fleeting ones.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t set goals – it just means that your focus should be on overall health – not just a number.
Related Reading: 30 Best Books on Mindset To Change Your Life Forever
2. Focus on The Process
Now that you’re beginning to think a bit more about your far-future self instead of just your near-future self, it’s time to focus on those healthy behaviors that will actually pay off when it comes to your overall goals.
What does she mean by that?
I mean that if you really want to protect your mindset, you should focus on the overall process instead of just the specific goal.
For nutrition coaching clients, we break it down into the daily activities one would need to complete to see progress.
These are known as process goals.
Here are a few examples of process goals that might help someone lose weight:
- Track macros and hit a protein goal
- Exercise 4-5x per week
- Hit 10,000 daily steps
- Drink 80 ounces of water each day
- Eat 5 servings of vegetables and fruit daily
The idea is that you’re focused more on living in your routines and the process of hitting your goals above anything else.
Focus on the process and the things you know work for you, and you’ll quit obsessing so much about your weight.
This will protect your mindset and help you in so many ways. I promise!
Live in your processes and just do the things you know will yield results.
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3. Set Goals That Aren’t Weight-Related
Really want to learn how to change your mindset to lose weight?
QUIT FOCUSING ON THE NUMBER ON THE SCALE.
Weight loss is obviously part of the goal, but isn’t the real goal just looking and feeling great?
And aren’t there a lot of different ways to do that?
The answer is yes!
Unless you want to be obsessed with the scale for the rest of your life, it’s time to start setting different fitness goals.
I really want you to be free from the emotional roller coaster that is the scale, so this is important.
If you find yourself losing motivation and getting discouraged each time you step on that dang thing, hear me now!
Learn how to set goals that will help you improve your health but that are totally unrelated to weight.
I promise that this simple shift will help you make so many positive changes and help to fend off that negative mindset that keeps holding you back.
4. Focus On The Things You Enjoy
You will never ever be successful with weight loss if you continue to approach exercise and healthy eating with a negative attitude.
If you see working out and eating your veggies as a punishment, it’s always going to be hard.
Your task is to find a form of exercise that you truly enjoy and to find healthy foods that you like, too.
Doing this will help you form a positive relationship with a healthy lifestyle.
This will help you build a strong mindset that is subconsciously associating health with happiness and other good things.
At the end of the day, your long-term success is dependent on the overall relationship you have with nutrition and exercise.
So for now, forget about what you thought you should be doing with food and fitness and focus on what you enjoy.
If you don’t like yoga, don’t do it!
If you don’t like kale, don’t eat it!
At least until you have a healthier relationship with the idea of getting healthy. 🙂
The point is – lean into what you enjoy and do more of that!
Remember, the goal of this mindset hack is to build a positive relationship between healthy actions and your brain + emotions.
Related Reading: 75 Healthy Habits That Will Change Your Life
5. Practice Self-Awareness
Self-awareness is absolutely key if you are serious about keeping a positive mindset in order to lose weight.
Teaching my nutrition clients how to be self-aware is actually one of my top priorities.
Because you are the only person who wields the power to really change your life.
We have to be aware of why we think the way we do and why we react to different things the way we do.
What triggered your emotional eating?
What values and attitudes did your family have towards nutrition and exercise growing up?
What’s your go-to response when things don’t go right with your goals?
How quickly do you “get back on track” when you’ve fallen off the wagon?
(Go ahead, answer these tough questions on your own!)
The idea is that you should learn yourself and know yourself well.
So that you can protect your mindset from yourself.
This helps to protect your motivation and your progress, and it helps you become the best version of yourself.
Trust me here!
6. Go Back To The Basics
Are you guilty of following all of the latest fitness trends and falling into the trap of the latest diet fad?
If you feel like you’ve tried everything and it never really works, it’s time to go back to the basics.
Go back to the drawing board and remember what worked for you at your healthiest.
I would encourage you to go way back to when you were in high school or even earlier.
Why? Because you’ll probably remember that even though you ate bread and cereal, you were probably much healthier.
(At least that’s my experience!)
The point is that if we look back in time, we can think of ourselves at our healthiest and draw upon those times as a reminder of what “healthy” has looked like for us in the past.
Even if you weren’t extremely healthy as a child, I would be willing to bet that you were more active and enjoyed a simpler life in terms of nutrition.
What were you doing in your healthier seasons of life that you aren’t doing now?
I can think of a few things for myself.
I wasn’t following any fad diets and I definitely wasn’t watching Netflix every night.
Simply put, I was just busier and more active.
It’s that simple!
Again – go back to the basics and focus on the things that actually work. (Like more movement and less Netflix!)
How will this benefit your mindset?
This will take all of the stressful “extra” planning and thinking out of your life.
You don’t have to track every morsel and follow the latest fads. Just focus on more movement/less sitting and balance.
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7. Stay Accountable
The best way to stay the same on your weight loss journey is to let things slide.
Once you get too complacent, that’s when you backtrack.
Don’t let yourself get away with things that hurt your progress!
If you don’t have a plan or you don’t have a way to stay accountable for that plan, you’re going to struggle.
It hurts your mindset when you aren’t accountable – so this is really important. (Because deep down you know that you failed to achieve a goal that you set for yourself!)
But how do you stay accountable in a way that helps you keep a positive mindset?
The key is to set small goals and make sure they are achievable goals.
By breaking things into small steps you can actually, realistically take, you are going to boost your confidence over time.
My suggestion is always to start with tracking small goals so that you can feel proud when you achieve them.
We all have bad days, but not being accountable for the mistakes we make is a double-edged sword.
Not only will you feel like a failure for not reaching a goal, but you will also be lying to yourself if you pretend that nothing happened.
Learn how to track your own goals and break them down into daily or weekly tasks in order to really stay accountable.
I personally use a fitness planner called Commit 30 to track my weekly workouts, protein goals, etc. I also highly suggest having an accountability buddy if at all possible!
Related Reading: 11 Tips For a Healthier Happier You
8. Learn Nutrition Hacks
Forming new habits is hard, but if you learn little tricks and nutrition hacks, it will be easier over time.
Healthy eating habits and healthy choices don’t just magically happen. They happen when you do things with intention.
You have to be conscious of your daily setup. So set yourself up for success!
Protect yourself from over-consuming unhealthy foods!
Here are a few nutrition hacks I always share with my clients:
- Shop The Outer Perimeter of The Grocery Store – this is where you’ll find most of the fresh and “clean food” you should be eating
- Store “Treats” in Harder-to-Access Places – out of sight, out of mind, right?
- Organize Your Fridge & Pantry To Promote Healthy Choices – make it easier to make healthy choices!
- Bulk Wash & Prep Fruit & Vegetables – work smarter, not harder.
- Take Advantage of Grocery Store Pickup or Delivery – reduce temptation and impulse buys.
- Pencil In Some Time To Meal Or Snack Prep Each Week – make a plan to do it and stick to it!
- Start Brainstorming & Testing Healthy Meals & Snacks As A Family – Find new options for healthy eating for everyone.
Obviously, these are just a few general tips that will help you, but it can take some time to get into the groove when it comes to nutrition.
But if you really want to know how to change your mindset to lose weight, you’ll prioritize nutrition.
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9. Stay Away From Fad Diets
Your weight loss mindset needs to be protected from the ups and downs that fad diets cause.
If you’re here, you’ve probably experienced the whirlwind of emotions that come with fads like Keto, Atkins, Optavia, Whole30, and everything else.
The truth is that for 99% of people, fad diets either don’t work at all, or they work for a very short amount of time before fizzling out.
For a lot of people, fad diets even backfire. They are initially quite successful, but then they “fall off the wagon” and go on to gain even more weight afterward. Just say no to a restrictive diet!
Not only are fad diets a metabolic nightmare that can negatively impact your hormones and place undue stress on your body, but they are also just not the way to live.
At least that’s not how I want to live.
I’m guessing you feel the same way.
Fad diets really just perpetuate negative thoughts and keep you in a cycle of hating your body and fighting low self-esteem.
My hope for you is that you would say goodbye to all diets and simply make the continuous effort to make better food choices.
This is a big change in itself.
Call it intuitive eating or just balanced eating, but the idea is that you practice some small level of discipline over time in order to get results, but you aren’t overly restrictive.
Rather than telling yourself you can’t have something, maybe you make the choice to have less of something.
Instead of cutting out entire food groups, you choose to indulge just a little bit.
It’s one big compromise with yourself.
Of course, this is a big, tough thing to do. It takes time to learn to eat intuitively, but if you want to learn how to change your mindset to lose weight FOR GOOD, this is the only way.
I promise that doing this will improve your relationship with food over time and free you from the shackles of dieting.
See what happens if you make a promise to yourself to quit fad diets!
10. Learn to Compromise
Your long-term success depends on your ability to compromise.
What do I mean?
I sort of mentioned it a minute ago, but being healthy is just a matter of being able to compromise with yourself.
Learn a healthy way to meet yourself in the middle when it comes to food and exercise.
Small changes add up to big results, after all! Your ability to have long term success depends on your ability to compromise.
But what do I mean by that? I’ll give you an example, along with a great strategy to handle your food decisions.
Good, Better, Best
This is a method that I learned from another health professional and I have used it for many of my clients.
When making food choices (or any choice really), there are always three different choices you can make in terms of a compromise.
First, there’s the “good” choice. It’s not the best choice, but it’s a step up from the old choice you would have made to eat whatever you want without limits. It involves a bit of a compromise, but it’s not very disciplined.
Then, there’s the “better” choice. This is the middle choice which is better than letting go entirely, but not perfect either. You’re practicing a little bit of self-discipline and making an intentional effort to do better.
Then there’s the “BEST” choice. It’s the absolute best-case scenario in which you do exactly as you planned and it’s the healthiest option. You’re super disciplined and you’re sticking to the choice that will help your health the most.
When faced with a choice when it comes to food, I suggest thinking of “good, better, best” before making your choice.
This trick is the ultimate compromise, and it’s a huge asset when it comes to progress.
Let me give you an example of what it might look like.
You get a last-minute invitation to go out with friends. If you go, it will mean eating at a restaurant and it’s totally off-plan. You’re definitely going because life is too short to skip out on your friends and a good time.
You’ll have to just choose to do your best. You have a few different options when it comes to the food:
- Good – Get whatever food you want but choose to skip soda or a sugary cocktail. Water only!
- Better – You stick to water and decide to avoid any fried foods.
- Best – You stick to water and make sure to pick the high-protein dish with veggies on the side. You say no to dessert.
Do you see how you’ve compromised and it helped you take a small step in the right direction?
Even though you didn’t get everything you wanted, you didn’t skip a social event or over-indulge as you might have in the past.
Learn to compromise with yourself little by little. I promise it will get easier and you will get healthier.
Learning how to change your mindset to lose weight is hard work.
At the end of the day, I want you to understand that there isn’t a deadline for better health. Hitting your weight-loss goals takes time, and it is a tough journey for everyone.
Your persistence will pay off, but you really do have to stick to it.
Making healthy lifestyle changes isn’t going to look perfect for anyone, either.
There is not one person who successfully lost weight without failing first.
I know that I just gave you a ton of information to think about, but everything I shared with you is SO important.
I really do want you to know how to change your mindset to lose weight.
All the best on your journey,