If you’ve been trying to lose weight for some time, but not having much success, it could be your way of thinking that’s getting in the way.
Even if you’re ‘doing all the right things’, if your mindset isn’t right, you’ll continue to struggle to change your body shape and your weight.
And one of the most powerful mindsets is the diet mindset.
What is the diet mindset?
The diet mindset is complex and can take some time to overcome. It’s strongly linked to immediate results, low self-esteem, lack of flexibility and deprivation which is primarily born from the diet industry.
Anyone who has ever been on a diet (and that’s most of us), can relate to the belief that you have to deprive yourself and get everything right, in order to lose weight fast.
While you might recognise that these two beliefs are diet mindset beliefs, there are a whole lot more that you may not even be aware of.
Signs you have a diet mindset
If you can relate to any of the following, then you have a diet mindset.
- restrict or deprive yourself of food
- are constantly looking for the next ‘quick-fix’ or diet
- are looking for the ‘secret’ to losing weight
- believe you have to eat perfectly to lose weight
- take things personally
- believe it’s your fault that things go wrong
- binge and then diet
- don’t believe in enjoying food
- count calories
- believe carbs are the enemy and focus on a low-carb diet
- see food as good or bad
- feel guilty when you eat ‘bad’ food
- try to do too many things
- believe you need to keep doing more
- think meal replacements are the answer
- want to add in extra exercise sessions or longer workouts
- ignore your body’s signals
- find it hard to rest, even when you’re tired and sick
- try to control everything
- need approval from other people
- place your value in how much you weigh or what size clothing you wear
- weigh yourself a lot
- focus on the scales, rather than how your body feels and functions
- eat diet food to justify eating junk food
- obsess over the sugar content in honey or fruit, when you eat a block of chocolate
- tell yourself that your diet starts tomorrow, or next week, or next month
- believe you’ll be happy when you lose weight
- take an ‘all or nothing’ approach
- are afraid of food
- worry that eating food will make you fat
- jump from one diet to another, hoping it will help you lose weight fast
- ‘fall off the wagon’ often
- ‘get back on track’ often
- trade food for exercise
- feel disconnected when you’re not training
- exercise as a punishment for eating
- only look for big changes to your weight or scales
- discount small positive changes
- focus on physical changes instead of habit changes
- freak out about gaining weight, or the scales going up
- are scared of failing
- focus on the goal of losing weight, instead of the process you need to make it happen
- compare yourself to other people
- aim to be perfect in all you do
- believe that if you ‘stuff up’ with one meal, you’ve stuffed up for the whole week
- tell yourself you’re naughty if you don’t eat ‘healthy’
- focus on clean eating
- feel in control when you control what you eat
- feel out of control when you don’t eat ‘healthy’
- can’t enjoy foods in moderation
- think there’s an end to your ‘diet’
- wait to lose weight, or fit into your jeans to be happy
- believe people will only like you when you’ve lost weight
- constantly worry about what you look like
- like to follow rules
- are hard on yourself and never give yourself credit
- are afraid to try new things
How diet mindset impacts your weight
If you can relate to any of the above, then you’ve probably struggled with your weight for many years, and most likely, have been on many diets that never helped you lose weight and keep it off.
Diet mindset causes a lot of turmoil and angst in your life. The constant worry, the need to feel in control, and the inability to be flexible leads to chronic stress, which is a known cause of weight gain, and an inability to lose weight.
The truth is, until you overcome the diet mindset, you’ll always struggle with your weight, and you’ll never achieve permanent results.
How to overcome a diet mindset
As you can see, there are many thoughts, beliefs and behaviours, or habits that are attached to a diet mindset, and chances are these have been with you for quite some time. If that’s the case, it will take time to overcome them. But that doesn’t mean you can’t.
Like any habit, you need to work on replacing it, rather than breaking it. How you go about this will depend on the actual habit that you engage in. You can read more about how to replace your habits here.
At Imani Tribe, we understand the diet mindset and how it works against you. That’s why we help our clients overcome these beliefs by giving them the strategies, tools and support they need, to break free and lose weight permanently.