Mindset Shifts for Losing Weight
As women over 40, our bodies are not the same as they were in our younger years. Our hormones are constantly fluctuating throughout the month, and even more hormonal changes occur before, during, and after perimenopause. This is normal and natural; hormonal shifts are inevitable as women age. But for many of the women I work with, these hormonal changes bring on weight gain, weight loss resistance and metabolic imbalances.
More than just hormones, there are other factors preventing us from fitting into our favorite jeans. Not adopting key mindset shifts for losing weight is a big one. The good news is that it’s possible to change how we think with a little bit of planning, reframing, and inspiration.
Mastering your mindset is the key to losing weight and keeping it off!
How Does Mindset Affect Weight Loss?
Mindset plays a huge role in losing weight, especially as we navigate our 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond. Negative thoughts (like focusing on how unhappy we are with our weight, telling ourselves certain foods are “bad” or “good”, obsessing over everything we eat, and experiencing food FOMO) can lead to negative actions (like emotional eating, binge eating, and missed workouts).
On the other hand, empowered thoughts (like setting small, achievable goals for ourselves; shifting our mindset; and focusing on how great we’ll feel after achieving a challenging goal) is more likely to lead to empowered actions (like planning meals in advance and eating more consciously, creatively, and confidently).
An empowered mindset promotes physical and psychological well-being — and better enables us to achieve our weight loss goals.
I’m a huge believer in the power of mindset shifts for weight loss, and it’s what my Nourish for a Healthy Weight program is all about.
Below are five mindset shifts that may be preventing you from losing weight and feeling healthy, happy, and confident in your body after 40!
1. You Have an All-or-Nothing Mindset
Most of us have been here. If we can’t do “all the right things” 100 percent of the time, we wonder why bother at all. This is a common cognitive distortion known as “all-or-nothing thinking.” It’s one of the most important mindset shifts stopping women from losing weight and developing food and body confidence.
When it comes to losing weight and changing our lifestyle, some examples of all-or-nothing thinking include:
- We can’t work out for an hour as planned so we ditch the workout altogether.
- After cutting out alcohol for a few weeks, we drink a glass of wine with girlfriends. We feel like a failure and go back to drinking a glass or two every night.
- We tell ourselves we can only eat pizza on the weekends, so we binge on pizza on Saturday and decline a friend’s invitation to meet for pizza on a Wednesday (a friend we haven’t seen in forever). We tell ourselves weekends are for “fun foods” and weekdays are for “healthy foods.”
- We avoid eating cake at our bestie’s birthday party because we’ve cut out sugar and carbs for the next six months. And then we think about that missed piece of cake all day long (hellooo, food FOMO). We experience regret, shame, and guilt over not eating the cake. Sad truth: these feelings can be far more damaging to our health and well-being than the slice of cake itself.
An all-or-nothing mindset doesn’t just stop us from losing weight: this way of thinking (and eating) is associated with low body image, disordered eating, negative thoughts and emotions, and even anxiety and depression. My Nourish for a Healthy Weight program helps women to overcome this way of thinking, and instead, create nutritious, balanced, health-supportive meals without cutting out the foods (and desserts) they love.
Remember, small changes add up over time! Even if you can’t do “all the things” right away, doing something is so much better than nothing. Even when it’s as simple as adding an extra serving of veggies to your dinner plate!
2. You’re Living in the Past
As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, our bodies are not the same today as they were when we were younger. Our bodies change over time and so, too, should our eating habits and lifestyle. A diet or weight loss strategy that worked for us in our 20s or 30s may not work for us as a woman over 40. And that’s totally normal.
Instead of living in the past and focusing on what worked for you years ago, try to shift your mindset to focus on the present. What does your unique body need today to feel nourished, satisfied, and full? What do you need to do today to develop the food and body confidence you’ve been dreaming of (hint: it all starts with a simple mindset shift!).
3. You’re Looking for the Next Magic Bullet
Apple cider vinegar gummies. Fasting. Weight loss drugs. Low-carb diets. Supplements. These can all be used as “magic bullets” for weight loss: quick fixes that promise to help you lose weight, without having to change your current habits or your relationship with food.
Don’t get me wrong, when used as tools, these strategies very well might help you on your weight loss journey. But these tactics alone won’t balance your hormones, increase your metabolic flexibility, or fix your current eating habits or lifestyle. And they definitely won’t give your body the love, compassion, and attention she’s so desperately asking you for.
4. I’ll Start Tomorrow Syndrome
I’ll Start Tomorrow. The Last Supper. Plain old procrastination. Whatever we want to call it, the fact remains: there is no tomorrow. Tomorrow turns into someday and the cycle repeats. Then we’re right back where we started: stressed out, uncomfortable in our body, and confused about what to eat.
The truth is, every change (no matter how big or small) counts. Even if we can’t start everything today, there’s a chance we can do something. Small habits make a huge difference over time, and they’re often more effective than giant leaps!
So why do we succumb to I’ll Start Tomorrow Syndrome in the first place?
Some reasons for this might include:
- We’re eating our emotions.
- We’re not self-reflecting or doing the inner work.
- We keep thinking something will change tomorrow (it doesn’t)
- We believe something is preventing us from starting today (e.g. free donuts at the office, an after-work pizza party, a kitchen pantry stocked with cookies and potato chips, and so on).
Instead of thinking about what we can do tomorrow, why not focus on what we can do today? Can we enjoy that free donut this afternoon and eat an extra serving of veggies with tonight’s dinner? Can we still eat “healthy” at lunch even if we’re not eating “healthy” at dinner? Yes, and we can do both consciously and without judgment!
5. You’re Putting Everyone & Everything Else First
We as women are so used to putting everyone and everything else before ourselves, and this is so detrimental to our physical, mental, and emotional health. We spread ourselves too thin and neglect quality sleep, nutrition, physical activity, and self-care — all so we can be there for our children, partners, clients, employees, and everyone else who relies on us. I’ve been working with women for over two decades now, and I get it.
As a busy entrepreneur myself, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to make time for self-care! But in order to get exactly what we want out of life — whether it’s body confidence; a healthy weight, or a positive mindset — self-care and self-compassion are things we all need to prioritize. Self-care and self-compassion are not at all selfish. Rather, they’re essential.
Master These 5 Mindset Shifts to Achieve Body Confidence
These five mindset shifts aren’t just preventing you from losing weight: they’re also holding you back from living your life and nourishing your mind, body, and soul. Nourish for a Healthy Weight will help you to break free from these limiting food beliefs, so join now to receive the following:
- Six mindset-shifting training sessions.
- Six weeks of meal plans and recipes.
- Monthly coaching and support.
- Self-discovery and reflection exercises.
- Food and body confidence, once and for all.
Are you ready to change the way you think about food? Join Nourish for a Healthy Weight to master your mindset, feel empowered and confident without cutting out your favorite foods, and finally feel great in your unique body!