Wednesday 17 January 2018

8 ways to change your mindset and shed the pounds

Forget the faddy diets. Successful weight loss is about changing your frame of mind.

Succeeding with fat loss takes a truck load more than mindlessly following a diet.
Succeeding with fat loss takes a truck load more than mindlessly following a diet.

Dr. Karen Coghlan

Use your mind and change your body for the better with Dr Karen Coughlan's 8 tips for a healthier mindset.

By changing your mindset, you will create a foundation that will positively influence the outcome of your behaviours.

Succeeding with fat loss takes a truck load more than mindlessly following a diet. It takes freeing your mind. It takes patience and an acceptance that it will take time.

It also takes consistency and finding a balance that works for you. It takes setting achievable, realistic goals. It takes ridding yourself of unnecessary expectations. It takes giving yourself a break. It takes eating a Mars Bar every now and then.

Nothing is off-limits

Don’t eliminate whole food groups. You will only feel like you’re being deprived and missing out. Instead, choose to eat whole unprocessed foods 90pc of the time, but every now and then allow yourself to indulge in a fun food that you enjoy. Give yourself the choice and feel the mental struggle disappear.

Set realistic goals

Set behaviour goals that you can control. For example, you can set a behaviour goal of having vegetables with every meal because that is something you can control. An example of a goal that you cannot control is losing two pounds a week. You can choose your behaviours but you cannot choose how your body will react to them. Focus on the behaviours that you can control consistently over a period of time and the body will follow.

Listen to your body

Eat when hungry and stop when satisfied. Ask yourself are you really hungry? Or are you eating for some other reason? Get to know your hunger cues.

Find a nutrition plan

Find a nutrition plan that works for you and stick to it consistently. Even if progress is slow, progress is still progress. Be patient.

Be kind to yourself

Stop beating yourself up if you fall off plan every now and then. Life happens, and we should not punish ourselves for that. Give yourself a break.

Empower yourself

Applied knowledge is power. Find a mentor who will teach you why you are making certain decisions about food. If you understand why you should be eating certain things, you are more likely to choose to do it. You are making an informed, conscious decision to get one step closer to your goals.

Focus on the positive

Instead of focusing on the negative — “I must run three miles to burn off the Mars Bar I ate” — focus on the positive. Remind yourself why you’re exercising: “I am exercising to improve my health and fitness, to enhance my body composition, to make my body stronger.”

You deserve to succeed

Say to yourself over and over again “I deserve to reach my goals”. You deserve to make progress, to feel good and in control. If you stay on plan you will feel great and ultimately reach your goals.

Dr Karen Coughlan is a qualified personal trainer and nutrition coach. For further information, see or email


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