How to Cultivate a Weight Loss Mindset for Success

By: Tobi Coughlin

The problem with diets is that they provide a solution to the wrong problem – they tell us what to eat.

Here’s the thing, even if there were a “perfect” way to eat to lose weight, it wouldn’t be effective if you didn’t follow the plan. The reason so many of us struggle with our weight is because it’s not always easy to make the choices we know are best.

I’m not saying that having a basic understanding about what to eat to lose weight has no value; it’s just that in working with hundreds of people over many years I’ve found that about 95% of the time knowing what to eat isn’t the real problem.

The actual obstacle is in bridging that gap from knowing what to do to actually doing it. . And, according to the latest in behavioral science, it’s our thinking that inspires action … and inaction. It’s mindset that really matters.

Let me illustrate.

If I told you I’d give you $1 million to lose weight, how would that impact you?

  • ●  Might you be more motivated to lose weight than before I made the offer?
  • ●  What about your belief in your ability…might you have more confidence in yourself that you could succeed ?Notice what changed. The goal is still to create weight loss. The only difference is in what you think about weight loss. And, that thinking is nothing but a shift in perspective.And this very same principle applies to other things we think about around weight loss.
  • ●  Do you think it’s hard?…You’ll most likely just find evidence for its difficulty, closed off from seeing anything to the contrary.
  • ●  Do you think it’s easy?…You’ll likely be more open to finding creative ways to make it feel easier.When I’m talking about mindset, it’s nothing more than those seemingly innocent sentences in our head. Yet the fact is those sentences are actually quite important in the way they inspire us to behave. They can help us move towards our goals; they can also be just the thing that gets in our way of success.

Two of the most common thoughts that get in the way of permanent weight loss are: “I need to make big changes” and a related one “I need to lose weight quickly”.

In fact, neither of those thoughts are useful. We’re actually more likely to give up when something feels hard – and the bigger the change, the more difficult it feels.

The flipside is also true. When you make small enough changes, they don’t feel particularly challenging – and the easier something feels, the more likely we are to repeat the behavior.

And, tiny changes built on top of each other, create big changes over time – making consistency ultimately the more important factor in permanent weight loss.

Ready to develop your Mindset for Weight Loss Success? Start by simply paying attention.

Pause and ask yourself what you’re thinking. (This might not come naturally at first. That’s OK, just keep practicing) Then ask yourself:

“Is this way of thinking contributing to or getting in the way of my goal?”

If you determine it’s not helpful, try finding other perspectives that still feel believable and are even a bit more motivating.

Stop looking for the “perfect” diet, and start looking for inspiring thoughts! Mindset matters most for weight loss success.


After years of yo-yo dieting, I’ve learned and adopted a way of thinking that’s allowed me to keep my weight off for almost two decades. I’m a Certified Life & Weight Loss Coach with over 14-years experience helping people manage their weight. I can help you too. Schedule a free session today!

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