There are many ways to lose weight and overcome a weight loss plateau: exercise, short-term tricks, and dieting. In particular, the keto diet is one diet that is helping many people lose weight. The Body Reboot book discusses why eating fewer carbs and consuming more fats and proteins can kick-start a successful weight loss plan.
However, to shift your mindset and stick to a plan to get healthy, fist it's crucial to address the underlying reason why you haven't succeeded on a diet or lost weight in the past. Unless you address these issues, it will be challenging to stick to a low carb diet and accomplish goals.
Aleisha Fetters, a Health & Wellness coach, offers solid advice on not what to do when you're trying to lose weight, and backs up her thoughts with an NYC-based therapist:
And most people try to lose weight with the worst state of mind possible: wanting to “fix” themselves. They jump into diets and exercise plans out of self-deprecation, all the while pinching their “trouble” spots, calling themselves “fat” and feeling altogether less-than. They get obsessed with results, focus on quick fixes and lose sight of sustainability and even health.
“This type of thinking can be destructive,” says board-certified North Carolina internal medicine physician Dr. Kevin Campbell. “Rather than focusing on the good that can come of weight loss – such as better health, a longer life, more enjoyment in everyday activities and the prevention of diabetes and heart disease – these folks focus on negative thoughts. Ultimately, a negative mindset leads to failure.”
Osha Key, a transformation coach, adds to this sentiment by stating it's important to accept your current reality so that you can change your mindset and lose weight in the future. Yes, it is possible!
Obsessively focusing on weight loss, hating your body shape and thinking that your life will be perfect when you lose weight are manifestations of the thing that's keeping you overweight. It shows when you don't accept what is, when you resist the current reality. And whatever you resist persists.
In order to break through the plateau and release stubborn excess weight, first you need to accept your current body and be OK with it. This doesn't mean that you want to stay the way you are forever, but you need to accept the current reality: “OK, this is what I did to my body, this is how I currently look. No matter what, I still love and appreciate my body”.
Jenn Hast says that revising your past is important too.
Take an honest look at your dieting history. How many times have you gone on a diet before? Has any diet ever worked? Did you feel pressure to cave in and eat the foods you told yourself you would never eat again?
Besides accepting your current reality and making peace with your past, which are both critical, this leadership model discussed by Ted Spiker on Time is another smart way to shift that mindset. He reminds dieters that for them to start losing weight and making a low carb diet (or any diet) successful, they need to switch their leadership model:
The protocol for people who want to lose weight typically comes in two forms. You have the people who seclude themselves, privately trying to swim upstream against all of the forces that will make them gain weight. And you have the follow-the-leader model, in which the would-be dieter listens to the plan/advice/program of the trainer, the doctor, the nutritionist, the author, the infomercial-machine-seller: the person who, by degree or some other definition, knows more about the subject than anybody else.
He also goes on to say:
Leadership can come in many forms, whether it’s being the person to arrange the neighborhood walking group, or the person who prepares the family meal and makes kale chips instead of buying chocolate chips, or the person who organizes a work team to run a 5K together.
Instead, the dynamics of the group workout are that we all push and pull each other, no matter our athletic abilities. I know I’m not as good as the others, but I also know that these workouts don’t happen unless I kickstart them.
In other words, it's one thing to follow the advice of professional athletes and coaches, but it's another thing to apply what we learn and kickstart the leadership model by forming groups in our area and surrounding cities!
Certified nutrition specialist and personal trainer Jay Nixon supports Ted Spiker's thoughts on leadership and how it correlates with weight loss. Specifically, he recommends creating accountability groups:
It can help to create a sense of accountability for yourself, Nixon suggests. “I try to get people to form a sort of community,” he explains, whether that means recruiting a workout buddy to meet you at the gym before dawn, or finding a friend on a similar path, who you can share your plans and progress with. Or if prefer to go it alone, start a journal, Nixon suggests. Even writing down what you will do in a journal can keep you honest, he says.
It's true that the mind is a powerful thing, and even with accountability, it's important to reign in that fear. However, it doesn't help that the stress hormone cortisol adds to weight gainage, which is what U.S. News mentions:
While psychologists stress that how you see yourself and your core identity predicts your actions (see yourself as overweight, averse to exercise or unworthy, and you'll act accordingly), biology may also play a role. Research published in Psychosomatic Medicine even show that the stress hormone cortisol, which your adrenal glands secrete every time you get down on yourself or worry about how you measure up on the scale, increases distribution of fat around the abdomen.
Thankfully, even though the above is true, the mind is a flexible thing, and it's possible to change a mindset. So in addition to being aware of how you see yourself and your core identity, there are other ways to steer fear. Let's see what Ted Spiker has to say about that:
Plenty of scholarly and popular writings have addressed the issue of goal-setting, though there is some debate about whether we should set dream-big goals or more attainable goals. My take: Every year, you should set at least one physical and mental challenge that scares you just enough to help you make good choices—because those choices are a means to reaching that goal. What is “just enough”? It’s that spot right in between “of course I can do this” and “no way in the world can I do this.” For me, it was taking on the challenge of trying to complete an Ironman in 2013 (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run in a 17-hour time limit). I’ve found that the canyon in the middle of those two extremes is where the growth lies. Maybe it’s not fear in the traditional sense, but that bubbling angst of uncertainty feels different from and healthier than the kind of fear that dieters tend to have.
Finally, it's vital to focus on the why. Ask yourself why you want to go on the keto diet and what you hope to achieve, like Jenn Hand on Huffington Post recommends:
Why do you want to diet? What do you think you will achieve? What is going on mentally, emotionally or spiritually? Recognize the fundamental reasons BEHIND why you want to diet.
Are you not satisfied with yourself? Are you unhappy in other areas of your life? Are you unhappy with yourself? One of the main reasons people eat is to fill a void. A void of emptiness, loneliness, or discontent in some area of their lives.
Recognizing the fundamental reasons behind your desire to diet will help you move forward to a gentler, more compassionate approach around food.
Talia at Work Week Lunch reiterates why it's important to ask questions and figure out what matters the most so that getting healthy and losing weight is possible.
If you're unhappy with where you're at, part of having a healthy mindset is getting super clear with yourself, what matters to you, what you want and why.
Here are some questions to start with:
Who am I on this journey for?
When will I really be happy?
What will it take to love myself?
What sacrifices am I taking for health right now? (and are they positive/healthy?)
Am I cool with those sacrifices or are they actually not worth it?
So as you can see, just because you're struggling with weight loss doesn't mean you should throw in the towel. A lot of it has to do with your diet, but to succeed on the keto diet, for example, you first need to reset your mind. It may not happen right away, but by applying the above techniques and coming up with other ways to help you succeed, you should have no problem accomplishing your weight loss goals.
At the time of writing this post, we're currently giving away free copies of the Body Reboot book! It's our mission to increase awareness, help people lose weight, and get healthy! If you help us cover the cost of shipping, we’ll send a copy to your door FREE. Head to this page to see if there are any copies left.
Sources: U.S. News, Work Week Lunch, Time, HuffPost, mindbodygreen, Health
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