Most people beat themselves up when they stray off track with their weight loss goals or they hit a hurdle in their fitness progress. The thing is, you can’t have perfection all the time. Weight loss is not a straight-line kind of thing; in fact, your training and progress towards your goal is going to look a lot messier than you expect it to. It can sometimes feel like you’re never going to get there and at times you will face some tough challenges; but when life kicks you in the teeth you have to dust yourself off and get back on the horse – even if that happens over and over again.
Every step in the right direction is progress, but if you don’t take those first steps you’re never going to get to where you want to be. Expect to have to take a side step left or right every now and then when an obstacle gets in the way, or you might even need to take a step back. But take a pause, regroup and allow yourself time to figure out how you are going to overcome whatever barrier gets in your way.
This allows us to keep moving forward. When it comes to the fat loss game, mindset is key. If you don’t develop a strong mindset, you’ll quickly find yourself going off track and reverting back to your old bad habits. Understand that there’s no need to be perfect all the time, and when you remove that pressure you can strive to achieve your goals in a way that makes sense for you.
The key to achieving any form of success lies in your mind, so below, we’ve got six tricks that you can use to keep yourself on track with your goals.
- CHANGE YOUR GOALS
Losing weight may be your ultimate goal, but it doesn’t have to be. It can just be the result of changing your lifestyle habits to feel better, do better and eventually, you will look better. Your goals can instead include a variety of things, like creating sustainable lifestyle habits that allow you to gain control and take responsibility for your future.
Setting small goals like exercising 3 times per week, getting 7/8 hours sleep every night or making sure that you drink 3/4 liters of water per day can take your focus off of the number on the scale and set you up for greater success than you imagined.
- STRIKE A BALANCE
When people consider losing weight, restriction is the natural conclusion. Telling yourself that you can’t have something in order to achieve something is not, however, sustainable. Instead, you need to consider how to achieve a balance and a part of that is going to be learning the 80/20 rule.
This means being 80% consistent in your healthy eating habits and allowing yourself 20% flexibility. This gives you the freedom to eat the things you really crave, and it’s this permission that can allow you to succeed. You can have a glass of wine, a bowl of ice cream or even a chocolate bar every now and then. The poison is in the portion: if you go over your daily calorie target, whichever food group you indulge in, you’re going to gain weight. Achieve a balance and this won’t happen.
- GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
There will be some days where you don’t manage to hit a workout or eat some things you probably shouldn’t. Accept that it’s okay for this to happen. It doesn’t mean that you’re failing or weak; it’s life. You wouldn’t bust a tire and then go ahead and slash the rest of them, would you? Nope – you’d change the tire and get back on the road.
- FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE
Focusing on what you can’t do or worrying about things you can’t control is a sure-fire way to disempowerment and will paralyze you from achieving your goals. Stop telling yourself what you can’t do and learn to create positive conversations within your own head. Focus on what you can do and what you can control, take responsibility for your own actions and back yourself to be able to achieve success.
- BIN RESTRICTIVE BEHAVIOUR
Eating or drinking more than you should for one day isn’t going to ruin your whole week. You don’t have to ‘make up’ for your mistake. You didn’t make a mistake – you lived. Changing your mindset to realize that you don’t have to starve yourself or smash yourself into the ground just because you ate a slice of birthday cake at work can help you to stay far more consistent with your eating and allow you to eliminate the need to binge.
- PLAY THE LONG GAME
Weighing yourself too often can have a detrimental impact on your mindset and make you scrutinize every small detail. While the scales can tell you how your total body weight fluctuates, there are many things it can’t tell you. If you’ve gained muscle and lost fat, your scales alone won’t tell you that. If you’ve have had a meal laden in salt, your body will retain water weight, but your scales won’t tell you that. If you’re having trouble digesting certain foods, have inflammation from an injury or haven’t been to the bathroom, your scales won’t tell you that.
Don’t expect to see instant results overnight. Despite what some people will have you believe your body takes time to lost fat. Studies have shown that a 0.5-1kg drop on fat per week is a healthy rate at which to drop body fat and gives you more success of keeping it off. Weigh yourself bi-weekly or weekly at most and use other tools such as body measurements or photos to monitor your progress. Remember you do not need a number on a scale to confirm your value – and that is the ultimate mindset trick to put in place.