Successfully making healthy changes has a lot to do with your attitude. As with any challenge, you will hit road blocks and you will need to overcome obstacles. The more positive your attitude, the better your chances of powering through these barriers and making permanent change. Here are four ways to improve your attitude and reach your weight loss goal.
Eliminate negative words
Labeling the foods you eat as good or bad, or using terms like guilt and cheat may have a bigger effect on your behavior than you realize. Negative words create negative emotions, which can lower self-esteem and cause feelings of guilt. A recent study found that subjects who associated chocolate cake with guilt rather than celebration were less likely to lose weight over a three month period. Choose healthy foods, reduce portion sizes, and enjoy occasional treats without mentally beating yourself up with negative words.
Use positive affirmations
At first, reciting positive affirmations to yourself can feel uncomfortable or silly. But over time you will recognize just how powerful this practice is for promoting positive self-talk. Keep affirmations in the present tense. They should be loving, accepting, and motivating. Select a few favorite affirmations and recite them to yourself when you wake up in the morning, when making a healthy food choice, or when you don’t feel like exercising. These are a few examples:
- Each time I make a healthy choice, it makes a positive difference.
- Be patient. Success takes time.
- I get to exercise today.
- I control my choices. I choose to eat healthy foods and exercise.
Resist the snowball effect
When an unexpected event forces you to miss a workout, or when you just can’t resist a morning pastry, it’s tempting to consider the day, or even the week, a complete failure. If you stop there, you’ve only missed your daily goal by a few hundred calories. Throw in the towel and give up on your weight loss efforts, and you may end up eating thousands of extra calories and missing out on a week of progress with your workouts. Change the way you approach a setback. Don’t let them snowball into days and weeks of getting off track. Stay positive, move past it, and continue on with healthy choices.
Surround yourself with supportive people
Choose to spend your time with those who build up your positive attitude, not those who bring you down with negativity. During times when you don’t have control over your environment, give yourself ample breaks to renew your energy and attitude. Do your best at responding to negative comments with a positive outlook. Negativity has a way of transferring from one person to another, even when you try to avoid it. When your encounter is over, assess your own attitude and return to positive thinking by revisiting some affirmations.