BLOG: Are your thoughts keeping you from losing weight?

June 16th, 2020

By Megan Zakarewicz, DO, Grand View Health Medical Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, calories, carbs, proteins, fats, exercise, water and sleep all matter. So too does the quality of your thoughts. Even the best-laid plans can fall apart if you don’t change your thinking. Our lives reflect our thoughts. If we change our thinking, we can change our lives.

If you’ve struggled with weight loss, changing your thoughts can be crucial to your future success. Try these five ways to embrace a positive mindset toward weight loss.

  1. Change your goals

Losing weight should be a result, not a goal. Here at Grand View Health Medical Weight Loss, our focus is on health and helping patients achieve a better quality of life. We think in terms of the health goals that lead to weight loss. Did you get your vegetables in today? One goal met. How about your water? Your protein? Your walk? Direct your focus to these small, individual goals. Accomplishing them consistently will result in weight loss eventually. It also will help you build healthy habits to keep you on track for the long term.

  1. Be Mindful

Making healthy choices is a way of practicing self-care. I remind patients they can eat whatever they choose. It is empowering to make healthy choices. It is also empowering to recognize it is OK to sometimes indulge. The caveat is acknowledging these indulgences may keep us from making progress toward our goals. I suggest that when presented with a food choice, they practice this train of thought: “I can eat this brownie if I choose. I understand that eating it may not be in line with my health goals”. Then, after consideration, decide if it’s a place to pause your goals or resist the temptation. If you are OK pausing your progress, the pause and indulge. The key is making a conscious effort to eat mindfully.

  1. Use Every Opportunity

I share this adage with patients: Never a failure, always a lesson. If you are proud of your efforts today, great! If not, learn from it. Did you come home from work ravenously hungry? Did this cause you to snack while preparing dinner, overeat at dinner and have two desserts? Don’t beat yourself up about it. Learn from it! Maybe you ate breakfast too late and weren’t hungry enough to eat a decent lunch? Maybe you got too busy during the day and didn’t have a chance to eat your afternoon snack? Think about what happened and consider what you could do differently next time.

  1. Be Realistic

You understand where you are better than anyone. Think about where you are and where you want to be. Then you can work to develop a stepwise plan to reach your goal. If you haven’t exercised for years, take that into consideration when planning your exercise goals. If you hate to cook, think about ways to eat healthy in spite of that. Don’t plan to adopt changes that don’t make sense in your present world.

  1. Treat yourself the way you treat your friends

We often talk about treating others the way we’d like to be treated. In working towards our health goals, the opposite holds true. You should talk to yourself like you would a friend. The standards we hold for ourselves are often punishing. We’d never hold our friends or family to those standards. You deserve respect and compassion. When you talk to yourself about sticking to your plan, or progress toward your goal, think about what you would tell a friend in your situation. You will likely find ways to be encouraging and helpful to yourself instead of shaming or blaming yourself. Review what is working and set yourself up to build on those things. Figure out what isn’t working and find ways around those challenges. Elevate your thoughts the way you would lift up others.

If you need help finding the right motivation to achieve weight loss success, give me a call.

About the author: Megan Zakarewicz, DO, is a family medicine physician with certification in obesity medicine. She leads the Grand View Health Medical Weight Loss program. She is accepting new patients via telemedicine appointments. For more information, call Grand View Health at 215-453-4100 to schedule an appointment.