How to change your mindset to help you start losing weight

Let me set the record straight: you can know everything there is to know about weight loss and metabolism…but if you don’t have the right mindset…you’re going to spin your wheels. 

Weight loss is not a matter of eating perfectly, having the best routine possible, or even having a really strong willpower for 30 days. 

It’s mostly mindset. Well, actually, it’s like 80% mindset and 20% healthy habits.

This is significant! I want you to have the BEST mindset possible to help you start losing weight this year. Let’s get into it:

#1 Being strong > being skinny

This is probably my favorite mindset hack for all women. 99.9% of us grew up believing that the skinnier we are, the “healthier” we are. When in reality, we know that having muscle and being strong is where it’s at. Here are the big reasons why you should focus more on being strong instead of skinny:

  • It will motivate you to be consistent with strength training. Getting 3-4 heavy lifts a week is ideal for building muscle, and this is a direct way to rev metabolism and burn fat.
  • It will encourage you to fuel properly! You can’t get strong and build muscle if you’re eating like a bird. And again, not eating enough will stall your weight loss efforts.
  • It will help your body image along the way. Strong is IN, ladies. It’s badass if you didn’t know yet.
  • It can feel frustrating when you’re focused on being skinny because we cannot directly control the scale or how quickly we lose weight over time. But you CAN control how heavy you’re lifting in the gym and how consistent you’re being to build muscle. And, again, this directly supports your metabolism in burning fat.

#2 Inner health first, and outer health follows.

The typical perspective on weight loss is focusing on those outer markers like changes on the scale, physical measurements, how clothes are fitting, pictures, etc. And it makes sense because the goal of weight loss is classified under the “outer” side of things.

My advice to you, however, is to switch things to an inner focus first. How is your blood sugar on a regular basis? What is your state of inflammation like from things like unmanaged stress, regular gastrointestinal upset, a high intake of omega-6-based oils (vegetable oils), or a high intake of ultra-processed foods?

Are you getting enough sleep and restoring your body every night? 

Are you nourishing your body with whole foods the majority of the time? And to really challenge you on this, ACTUAL whole foods. There are so many fun “healthy” foods on the market these days, but what are the ingredients actually like? Just because it’s “low carb” or “no sugar” doesn’t mean it’s the best choice.

And speaking of eating, are you eating enough on a regular basis? The body will fight you big time if you pull back on calories too drastically. Are you getting enough protein to support your muscle mass and to keep you satisfied?

I cannot emphasize enough how everything starts with our inner health first. If you’re not moving or eating in a way to reduce inflammation, balance your blood sugar, and support optimal metabolic health, those outer changes you desire will not come. 

Inner health first, and outer changes eventually follow. And remember we have to keep a realistic time frame on this. Achieving optimal health in all of these areas takes time.

#3 Create a lifestyle, not a 30-day sprint

Speaking of keeping a realistic time frame on this, remember that this is about creating a lifestyle. 

If you reflect on past weight loss attempts (because my guess is that you have tried before, and probably more than once), your mindset was most likely centered around following a plan or specific diet for a certain number of days (cough cough…Whole 30… 21-day fix…etc.). 

Whatever it was, it was probably not something you were realistically going to stick with forever. And it probably even worked while you were doing it! But you’re in this spot of wanting to lose weight again, and my question to you is, do you really want to do this again in a way that’s not going to last? Do you really want to keep wasting your time and spending your life always trying to lose weight?

I can bet the answer is no and you’re ready for something that will actually work and work for good.

In order to do this, you MUST think of this as a lifestyle. It has to be sustainable and habits that you can truly stick to for the long haul. Otherwise, there’s no point.

So what does it look like to create a lifestyle to support successful weight loss long term?

  • You need to eat in a way that’s going to support your metabolism; it’s simple, and it’s flexible. This is why we teach our clients PHFF.
  • You need a movement and exercise routine that’s enjoyable and not overkill. Turns out, you don’t need to do cardio 5+ days a week. 
  • You need to know the ins and outs of how your metabolism really works so you know how to keep the body in fat-burning mode while you just live your life. This is exactly what Metabolism Makeover teaches.

#4 Exercise for everything but the calorie burn

You might have used exercise for the calorie burn boost in the past (especially cardio and HIIT), but this mindset is actually not going to help you lose weight.

It might work at first, but I recommend you keep a different mindset when it comes to movement and exercise. 

First, incorporate regular movement and workouts because it’s amazing for your mental health. I think we can all attest to that endorphin rush after a good workout. Talk about free therapy. 

And not just the endorphins, getting up and moving regularly throughout the day is really helpful for our mental clarity throughout the day and energy levels.

When it comes to structured workouts, keeping the focus on strength training is going to be where it’s at for your weight loss efforts. And again, it’s NOT because of the calorie burn. It’s because it directly increases your metabolic rate long term. 

The high calorie burn during an intense cardio workout is honestly not that great. It makes you hungrier, it’s added stress to the body, and it’s not helping you gain muscle. 

Exercise for all the other benefits besides burning calories, and you’ll be much more successful long term. 

Why do you want to lose weight? To have better energy? To be a better mom? To show up better at work? To be able to do things without a second thought? What is it really?

#5 Think bigger than just weight loss.

Ok, my final recommendation for you to have the ultimate mindset to help you start losing weight:

Think about this as way more than actual weight loss. I can guarantee you it means a lot more to you than a number change on the scale. 

Why do you want to lose weight? To have better energy? To be a better mom? To show up better at work? To be able to do things without a second thought? What is it really?

Because, for example, if it’s to be able to do fun things without a second thought (like hiking a really cool trail at a national park and you’re physically able to do it), that is going to make you want to align your habits with the person who can do those things. 

You’re going to be consistent with your strength training and walking endurance. 

You’re going to be a person who nourishes for good blood sugars and energy. 

You’re going to be a person who takes their sleep seriously to feel good.

When you think about why you want to lose weight, it’s really helpful to understand where that’s coming from specifically and begin to identify with THAT future person. You are becoming that person. 

To dig even deeper into this mindset shift, check out this blog post series: 

Hack Your Habits Part 1

Hack Your Habits Part 2

Hack Your Habits Part 3

Hack Your Habits Part 4 

Positive vibes only! You got this!

Coach Elle

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