Why a Healthy Mind Is Key to Successful Weight Loss

If you think you struggle to lose weight because you’re a foodie, I’m afraid you’re just giving yourself excuses. Having to lose weight means you indulged yourself a bit too much in the past. It means the calorie intake was offset, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have eaten any of what you love. It may come across as a bit of a shock to some of you, but it is possible to love food AND keep a healthy weight at the same time! You just need to work on your mindset first.

Life is always going to throw challenges at you

Most people accept the idea of gaining weight during the Christmas period, with the idea of being “good” in January to compensate. It happens every year at the same time so at least you can rely on a community spirit to make temporary good resolutions. But what about other occasions throughout the year (birthdays, parties, etc) or unexpected moments when food is used for comfort (lockdown…)? You get it, temptation is around every corner and constantly threatens your weight loss journey.

How to deal with temptation

If it tastes great, it’s probably because it’s bad for you. Not fair, I know. And if it’s bad for you, then you feel guilty for eating it. You enter a negative loop: eat more of what you love, feel even more guilty, put on weight, let yourself go, feel even worse, etc. Unhealthy food can be like a powerful drug, extremely addictive. But is there a solution to this first world problem?

1. Embrace your cravings

There is only one caveat: moderation. It’s fine to crave for unhealthy food sometimes. After all, no one has ever desperately craved for some lettuce. We all have at least one guilty pleasure when it comes to food. If it’s not chocolate (which is probably the most common), it could be sweets, biscuits, pizza, cheese… No matter what rocks your boat, remember they’re not your real enemy.

2. Healthy mind = Healthy body

If you’re planning to use your guilty pleasure as a reward once you’ve reached your weight goals, it probably means your relationship with food is not healthy. This could be a warning sign that you’re going to put your weight back on very quickly when your diet is over. The key to losing weight in a healthy way is to avoid the word “diet” because it has a negative connotation, which is counter-productive.

Good news is you don’t have to suffer to lose weight! Restricting yourself too much is only going to make you lose motivation, and even make you question if it’s really worth it. So instead of forbidding yourself to eat that chocolate cake you really crave for, simply include it within your calorie budget.

3. Don’t ban the food you love

At the end of the day, you just need to find the right balance between what your body “needs” and what your mind “wants”. If you only listen to your head, you’ll have a healthier body but you’ll feel very frustrated. If you only listen to your heart, your bad decisions will eventually impact your self-esteem in a negative way. Every choice you make has consequences, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not. To find the right mix between health and pleasure, simply aim to limit your cravings to 20% of your total food consumption. You’re all good as long as the big majority of your diet includes what your body really needs.

I did it myself recently

My birthday was 10 days ago… I usually go to a restaurant but they’re all currently closed in London. So I had my first (and hopefully last) lockdown birthday! As a result I was desperate for some treats, I wanted to satisfy my sweet tooth. And you know what? I did receive plenty of brownies to celebrate my special day. All vegan and gluten-free, but just as “bad”.

At no point did I feel guilty though, I simply included them in my healthy eating habits. I limited myself to 2 bites a day (each bite contains more than 100 calories!), ate each piece mindfully and looked forward to the next day to treat myself again. I don’t think brownies ever tasted that good. What’s the point overeating what you love if you don’t fully appreciate it? Result: it didn’t affect my weight loss. I now only have about 3 more kilos to lose before I reach my objective of 60 kg. Was it worth it? Yes, 100%.

So tell me… What’s your guilty pleasure(s)?

Big Girl x

12 thoughts on “Why a Healthy Mind Is Key to Successful Weight Loss

Add yours

  1. I love that you included being mindful and really savoring the food you love! This is such a healthy and sustainable mindset. Thank you for sharing this, itโ€™s so refreshing to see a balanced and realistic (AKA non-punitive) approach to getting healthy!

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  2. Great post! Banishing favourite foods just creates a feeling of deprivation, so I agree with you that having them in moderation is important.

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  3. I absolutely love this. Essentially weightloss is just calories in, calories out. I.e burning more calories than you consume. That doesn’t mean you need to cut out foods you love altogether. Just limit the intake of these foods. I have recently lost nearly 40lbs by swapping some ingredients, watching my calorie intake, and increasing my exercise. However, I still eat some of the foods that I LOVE! There will always be a place in my body for chocolate. Just maybe not the whole bar haha! Great post and a very sensible take on weight loss.

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    1. Wow that’s amazing, well done for that! ๐Ÿ™‚
      It’s great to hear you’re losing weight in a very healthy way. Also I find it’s an even better motivation to increase your exercise when you want to treat yourself (which is allowed and should be encouraged!). Healthy mind, healthy body x

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  4. Absolutely agree with your tips! As an advocate for building a healthy relationship with food whether you goal is to lose weight, gain weight or maintain, these tips are realistic and mentally healthy. Like not banning your favorite food and embracing your craves are the best way to creating life long habits and actually creating a lifestyle, not a quick fix or 3 week trial, so I love these! Thank you for spreading this message.

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    1. Exactly, this is still valid once you’ve reached your goals. There is no quick fix in life I’m afraid, not for things we want to last… It’s worth putting the effort in to become healthier and stay that way! Our mindset plays such an important role in this.

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  5. I agree, I used to count calories all the time and I havenโ€™t seen any results until I changed my mindset and my thoughts about food. I can now enjoy my favorite snacks without feeling guilty. Happy to see that others did the same thing! Thank you for sharing this

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  6. I totally agree: ban the word diet first of all ๐Ÿ™‚ because the best and most sustainable weight loss occurs when you make lifestyle changes instead! Thatโ€™s how I manage and maintain my weight without cutting back on ANY food or going to the GYM ever! I share my tips on my blog too ๐Ÿ™‚ Great minds alike. Thanks, Kris

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    1. I have to admit, I haven’t been very active either these past few months… Lockdown means no gym opened and I’m not really good at doing it at home by myself! So my recent weight loss of 20+ kg is pretty much all down to nutrition and my relationship with food! I’ll definitely go check your tips too, looks like we have the same approach ๐Ÿ™‚

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