Every day, many people struggle with finding motivation to lose weight despite it negatively impacting their quality of life. Whether it is shaving off a few pounds for that special day or making a complete lifestyle change, achieving weight loss can be a long and difficult process that can become frustrating. What many people fail to realize is that psychological well-being is an incredibly important factor to healthy weight loss. This article will outline 7 important reasons why it is crucial for someone to maintain a positive mindset throughout their entire weight loss journey.
1. Finding Another Outlet
For many people, those unwanted pounds come as a result of being an outlet for frustration, anger, disappointment, and a host of other negative emotions. Instead of taking out their negative energy on others, some people fall into a rut in which eating dulls these negative emotions and gives them a sense of comfort and enjoyment. This can be a difficult phenomenon to overcome, but battling it is an important step to make if weight loss is desired.
Maintaining a positive mindset is crucial so that a different outlet for negative emotions or frustrations in general can be found. For many who wish to lose weight, this outlet will be working out and the physiological arousal that comes from a good workout. For others, however, a healthy alternative outlet needs to be found to replace overeating. This could be anything from a new hobby, such as collecting items special to them, to becoming more outgoing and social. If not deterred, negative emotions can lead straight back to overeating as an outlet.
2. Avoiding Self-Defeating Behaviors
On a related note, a positive outlook on the weight loss process can help you avoid thoughts and behaviors that lead to an unhealthy lifestyle in the first place. For instance, someone who is depressed or disappointed in themselves may choose not to work out or go on a run because, in their mind, they are too overweight to do something like this, someone may see them doing this (which they find embarrassing because they are ashamed of their bodies), or a number of other — often misguided — reasons. This is known as a self-defeating behavior; in this phenomenon, the person is their own obstacle to what they are attempting to do because of thoughts stemming from low self-esteem. Maintaining a positive mindset prevents this from occurring and ensures that the person is actively working toward meeting their goals.
3. Setting Reasonable Goals
While it is important to have goals, it can also be harmful to set goals that aren’t reasonable to be met. For instance, an individual with low self-esteem who is very conscious about their weight may make a goal to lose 50 pounds in 2 months: not only is it almost impossible that this will happen, it isn’t healthy! If someone loses weight at that weight, health risk factors emerge; if they don’t reach their goal, it further dejects them and makes them believe that they aren’t able to lose weight.
If you have a positive approach toward your weight loss, acknowledge that it is a gradual process that may take a long time and be patient with yourself: you will have much better results in both the short and long run. A positive mindset lends itself to smaller, more obtainable goals, such as going to the gym a certain number of times a week, avoiding eating a certain type of food, or having a certain number of steps in one day. Stay both physically and mentally healthy by setting yourself up for success by giving yourself a reasonable amount of time and control.
4. Positive Mindset Leads to More Energy
It may seem obvious, but many people fail to understand just how much having a negative outlook affects your amount of energy on a daily basis. If you are depressed, dejected, or upset for any number of reasons, you are much more likely to feel sluggish, tired, and like you don’t want to do anything. Likewise, if you are optimistic about your day and the things that happen in it, I guarantee that you will feel empowered and have the energy to do whatever you need!
That’s incredibly important because energy is exactly what you need to engage in weight loss behaviors, such as working out or merely increasing your physical activity. Not only will having more energy help you lose weight, but it will help you in all aspects of your life, like finding better success at your job and at home. Maintain a healthy dose of positivity so that you feel that you can conquer anything.
5. Positive Mindset Prevents Stress and Anxiety
It’s no secret that when you’re stressed out, you gain weight. Not only are you more likely to overeat or not exercise when you have high levels of stress, but your body actually reacts to high stress levels. Due to high levels of adrenaline and norepinephrine released when the brain is in a high level of stress, the body tends to shut down into survival mode. This makes it more likely to break down and process carbohydrates than the fat that you want it to actually combat. In other words: When you’re stressed, you’re working against yourself in the weight loss process. Being positive throughout your journey will help you keep down your stress levels and ultimately lead to healthy and consistent weight loss.
6. Empowerment and Inspiration
Regardless of how much you try, there will be times that you will feel stressed out or will think your weight loss regiment is simply too much to handle. At these times, it’s easy to quit, so this is when it’s the most important for you to keep your head in the game and maintain your positivity.
How? The truth is that you can find inspiration anywhere, but empowerment can only come if you are open to it. Having the determination and drive to continue your weight loss can come from a mentality that you are strong, independent, and able to do what you want. Your inspiration may come from a favorite athlete, celebrity, or even a family member that has always motivated you or that you have always looked up to. As long as you stay positive, you will not let yourself down.
For inspiration you’ll like our Top 20 Body Transformation Pictures from around the web.
7. It’s Good For You (Especially for Weight Loss!)
Finally, my advice that it is crucial to maintain a healthy, positive mindset during the weight loss process is actually supported by statistical data. Studies show that people who lose significant amounts of weight or lose body fat are much more likely to report high levels of confidence, self-esteem, and general positivity. These numbers demonstrate that being a positive person throughout your weight loss journey is crucial to actually losing the weight and keeping it off. While you may be able to lose weight while being negative, it is not nearly as healthy, it may take longer, and you will be much more likely to gain the weight back.
I implore you to stay positive throughout your weight loss journey. It can be difficult at times, but doing this infinitely increases your chances of being successful with your goals. If you stay positive and are realistic with yourself, you will see and reap major psychological and physical rewards. A positive outlook on life and weight loss can and will change your life for the better.