If you have spent a good part of your life going on and off different diets, you probably have what I call the “dieter’s mentality”.
The dieter’s mentality is a very black-and-white way of thinking when it comes to weight loss.
You are either ON or you are OFF, you are being GOOD or you have been BAD. You don’t leave room for any shades of grey.
This way of thinking causes your limiting beliefs to pop up. Your limiting beliefs are your beliefs/thoughts that are not true.
Does any of this self-talk sound familiar to you when you’ve eaten something you wish you didn’t?
I blew it by eating the _______ so I may as well keep on going.
What’s the point? I can’t do it anyway.
I wasn’t perfect today so therefore I’m a failure.
I was good for the last 4 days and I didn’t lose weight, I may as well eat.
I can’t wait until this is over so I can finally eat _____.
The truth is…these thoughts are untrue and illogical. If you said any of this out loud in the moment, you would actually realize how ridiculous it sounds to your own ears.
The problem is your brain is wired to think this way after all of the years of going on diets.
This is the reason why you start off OK when you try to lose weight but you inevitably sabotage your efforts.
Losing weight and keeping it off has nothing to do with being perfect every day until you hit your goal.
This is actually unrealistic. If you set these expectations for yourself, you are doomed to struggle.
The weight loss journey has bumps in the road. It’s inevitable. Use the bumps as lessons that you don’t want to repeat because it didn’t feel good.
You already know the outcome of an emotional eating decision, so why would you intentionally do something that you know will end up leaving you feeling regret, remorse or shame?
My motto when I work with my clients is “slow and steady wins the race.” The journey is ongoing so don’t be in such a rush. Manage your expectations of yourself and give yourself time.
If you have a dieter’s mentality, here are a few suggestions as to how to begin to change your mindset.
- Start to become clear on what your self-talk is. When you hear your own thoughts you will recognize why you keep starting and stopping. Create new and true thoughts.
- Focus on 7-days. One day of overeating won’t blow your weight loss. It’s a cumulative effect. So re-group at the next meal or the next day. Create balance in your week. Some days will be more, some days will be less. But unlike money, when it comes to weight loss, you want more debits than credits.
- Get rid of an end date. Taking care of your body doesn’t have an end. Create a sustainable and enjoyable way of eating that’s not about restriction or deprivation. You can have indulgences within reason (1-2 days a week) and still lose or maintain your weight.
- You always need to be mindful about your choices when it comes to weight loss and especially weight maintenance. It is important to BEAT YOUR EMOTIONAL CRAVINGS ONCE AND FOR ALL!
- Forgive yourself if you eat something you wish you didn’t. Don’t judge yourself. Use it as a lesson to do it differently the next time. You get to make a new and better decision that will serve you.
- Question your thoughts and limiting beliefs. They are not the truth. Change the thoughts to ones that are true and real. As an example, if you eat too many cookies and you think you “blew it” so you may as well keep in going, that is not the truth. 400 or 600 calories will not do as much to the scale as 1200 or 2500 more calories will do.
When you stop the black and white thinking and get connected to your new true and real thoughts, you will free yourself from living on the diet rollercoaster because you will no longer need to diet.