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Mindset for weight loss dieting


Having lost over 50 kg, I learned quite a few lessons about the process. In this post, I want to focus on the mental health side of weight loss, specifically on the mindset for dieting.

All weight loss diets worked for me. However, staying consistent with a diet took a toll on my mental health, which inevitably interfered with the weight loss itself. I would overcommit to a diet, forcing myself to ignore how my mind and body really respond as long as the numbers on the scales are going down.

Eventually, I was able to adjust my mindset and enjoy the process.

1. Time-box your diet before starting.

Time-boxing your diet is important. Mark a few weeks in the calendar and stick to the diet. While in the diet phase, be a scientist. Research your own mind and body. Notice how your body reacts to not having carbs, to fasting, to having overall fewer calories, etc. Track progress. Write notes.

After the diet period, define what eating behavior will fit you long-term. Make adjustments as you learn more.

2. Slipping from the diet is not a big deal. Just another learning opportunity.

If you slip up from your diet or what you defined as long-term eating behavior, take it as another learning opportunity. You wouldn’t be angry at your research subject for, well, simply following the experiment?

Did you binge on a pint of ice cream because of the stress at work? It might’ve been worth it for your mental health, but if it’s a pattern - seek help on how to deal with stress. Or you had an evening out with friends and probably had a little more food than usual? That’s nothing to worry about, building meaningful connections is far more important than a few hundred calories.

3. Be kind to yourself.

Remember these stories about rock stars feeling miserable despite having money and fame? Losing weight alone will not solve all your problems. That’s why the “all or nothing” approach might be dangerous. Work on your body and your mind at the same time. It will be a lot easier this way.