Often, you know how and what to eat to lose weight, you just struggle to do it. That’s where weight loss mindset coach, Clair Mackenzie, comes in. Here, she reveals how your mind can be your biggest ally when it comes to slimming down, before sharing her top tips on shifting your mindset to better your healthy weight loss journey…
1. Ditch the diet mindset
One problem with weight loss diets is that they are intended to be temporary. They don’t address the reasons why you overeat. When you stop looking at the next fad thinking it’s the solution, then you can focus on figuring out what the right balance between eating for nutrition and nourishment and eating for pleasure and comfort might look like for you.
2. Neutralise your language and mindset around food
Know that as a grown adult human, you get to eat whatever you want so stop telling yourself you can’t have certain foods, as doing so will leave you feeling deprived. Instead, decide that everything you eat is your choice.
And stop labelling foods as good or bad. Different foods contain different ingredients that impact your body in different ways. There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ choices. They are purely different foods and how your body responds to them. Take the time to neutralise your language around food and you will find it easier to make choices that give you more of what you want.
3. Embrace your healthy weight loss journey
When you’re in a rush to lose the weight, you’re missing out on creating the relationship with food that you want. When you focus on making lifelong change to how food and eating features in your life, you can embrace the journey.
Notice what negative thoughts come up for you when you think about losing weight and question the truth of those thoughts. What would you be thinking if you weren’t feeling deprived? What would it be like if you enjoyed losing weight?
4. Stop judging yourself when you eat ‘nice things’
Notice when you’re judging yourself and instead be curious. When you explore what was going on for you and the reasons why you wanted to eat when you did, you can start to understand yourself. Maybe you felt in need of a treat and food has been your go-to treat for years.
Once you know and understand that, you can start to think about how else you can treat yourself so that it becomes easy to stop turning to food.
5. Switch your mindset to love yourself right now
You so often think you’ll like yourself more when you finally get the body you want, but it doesn’t work that way. Or you may be worried that if you accept yourself as you are, you won’t be motivated to lose weight, but it doesn’t work that way either.
It’s easier to nourish your body with food and not eat against yourself when you love and appreciate yourself exactly as you are.
6. Question ‘truths’ about food and ‘normal eating’
It’s normal in our society to eat three meals and three snacks a day, to have cereal or toast for breakfast, to have three courses when you dine out at restaurants and feel uncomfortably full, to drink to excess and to celebrate with cake and chocolate.
Observe that “what’s normal” doesn’t equate to what’s healthy or to what works best for you. It used to be normal to smoke on aeroplanes! Decide what you want your new normal to be.
7. Don’t compare your own healthy weight loss journey to others
If you notice yourself falling into “compare and despair” and wishing you were losing weight more quickly, then it’s time to take stock of what’s important. Catch those sneaky thoughts that have you wishing things were different and refocus on what’s important for the long term.
Everyone’s weight loss journey will be different, focus on yours and appreciate yourself for taking the time to make life-lasting changes.
8. Seek to understand your emotional relationship with food
When you’re feeling conflicted over your food choices or feel as though you’re eating against yourself, what you’re wanting has little to do with the food and more to do with how you think having the food will make you feel or help you to stop feeling.
Observe yourself at these times and seek to understand what’s going on for you because awareness and understanding is the first step ahead of making changes.
Weight loss coach Clair Mackenzie is certified with The Life Coach School and The Health Coach Institute, and is a member of the UK Health Coaches Association. Clair helps free women from frustration and to step out of the shame of weight and diet struggles, enabling women to change their relationship with food – and themselves – for life.