Do you have an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to your diet? If so, you are not alone! But, all-or-nothing thinking can be a huge barrier to long-term weight loss success.
Now that we’re in the new year, you may be setting new health goals which may be weight-related. But, this sudden surge of energy and motivation to change is usually accompanied by all-or-nothing thinking.
Many of my clients claim this black and white perspective helps them stay in control and structured. However, I see over and over again how this mentality actually fuels yo-yo weight cycling and sets them up for weight re-gain over and over again.
Wondering if this is you? Have you ever found yourself in one of these situations:
- You’re doing great at your new diet… until you enjoy a treat. Once you enjoy that treat, your eating starts to feel like it’s spiraling out of control. You feel like you’ve already blown it at that point, so why bother?
- You don’t have time for the 60-minute workout you had planned so you just skip the workout altogether.
- Your rules and restrictions seem to be working well at first, but eventually you find yourself burnt out, injured, or just plain frustrated… so you quit.
If any of these situations resonates with you, you probably approach your health goals with all-or-nothing thinking. This self-defeating mindset is all too common in my clients. I coach my clients on how to break this mentality so that they are no longer setting themselves up for failure. The good news is that there’s a better way!
This blog teaches you my top 6 ways to stop the all-or-nothing mentality with food and exercise so you can crush your 2021 goals without having to start all over again.
1. Embrace progress, not perfection
Accept that there is no such thing as perfect. It is not humanly possible to be perfect all of the time. I’ve never done it and so I don’t expect that of my clients either.
Even my most successful clients embrace moments of imperfection. So if perfection is unattainable, why do we keep striving for it?
Instead, recognize that your goals can be met even when you are not perfect. Learn more about how perfectionism can hinder your progress here.
Research shows it’s consistent effort, rather than perfection, that leads to the most weight loss success! Enjoy the journey and focus on the amazing habits you are building.
2. Something is always better than nothing
Which is better, a 10-minute walk or a 0-minute run? Or, is it better for you to have a side salad with your burger or splurge for the fries?
When you see the choices presented that way, it feels really obvious what the healthier choice is. But in the moment, you might be stuck thinking that if you can’t go for a 30- or 60-minute run, exercise isn’t worth it at all today. Or if you’re at a burger place, you might as well go all in and have the fries and soda.
Instead, make at least one healthy choice, even if you can’t be all-in. Every little bit counts!
3. Small changes add up to big results
Many of my clients naturally want to make ALL THE CHANGES all at once. This is unrealistic and makes it so much harder than it has to be!
Instead, think about the small changes that you can make and can truly stick with. Is it that side salad instead of fries? Or adding in a 5-minute walk after dinner? Consistency with small changes wins every time.
Once you become consistent with one habit, then you can move onto the next one. This is the most effective way to build sustainable, healthy habits into your life.
4. Remove the word “cheat” from your vocabulary
Perhaps you’ve heard of the 80/20 rule? This concept suggests that 80% of the time you should make the healthier choice, and 20% of the time you choose more based on flavor or enjoyment.
What is so powerful about this mentality is that your “indulgences” are built into your day, and don’t build up to be such a big deal come the weekend. Instead of that piece of chocolate being considered a cheat food, it’s just part of that 20%.
When you’re not avoiding those foods or labeling them as “off-limits,” you aren’t tempted to throw in the towel. When it comes down to it, there are no “good” or “bad” foods, there are only habits that serve you or that don’t.
5. Stop starting over
Speaking of throwing in the towel, how many times have you stopped and started a diet, a healthy eating plan, an exercise regimen, or any other healthy habit? More times that you can count? You’re not alone.
Remember that just because you took a detour in the road doesn’t mean that you have to start your journey all over.
If you’re going on a road trip, you plug your destination into your GPS. Let’s say you take a wrong turn 2 hours in. You don’t go back home to start over, right? You just re-route yourself back on track.
It’s the same concept when it comes to your health journey. Just re-route yourself and keep going. I help my clients figure out exactly how to do this so they don’t go backwards, fall off track, and they lose weight permanently.
6. Work with an expert
Re-routing yourself can be easier said than done. Sometimes the all-or-nothing mentality is fueled by trying to go it alone and looking at what everyone else around you seems to be doing.
Working with a nutrition expert can help you set realistic expectations, problem-solve when you hit a bump in the road, and point out behaviors or mindsets that are making the journey harder on you. Most importantly, a nutrition coach holds you accountable and serves as your biggest cheerleader.
If ditching the all-or-nothing thinking with food and exercise is on your list for 2021, start the process today! Contact me to schedule your free video consultation to see if my program is a good fit for your needs.