You cannot change your diet until you change your weight loss mindset. Why? Because until you are willing to compromise on a decision or belief that has caused you to practice eating certain things in a certain way at a certain time, nothing in your diet is gonna change!
To that end, here is an example of a successful weight loss mindset change by my lovely wife, Oksana. She has been trying to lose a few pounds. She is an avid exerciser,follows a relatively low carb diet, never eats fast food, and eats a little chocolate on the weekends. Like a lot of people in this situation, the question becomes “what more can I do?”
And that is where I was consulted. I asked Oksana to write down everything she ate for a week. After all, I can’t help anyone without getting a pattern of their daily life to dig for improvements. Here is what a typical day for her looked like.
The total calories came to 1,200 to 1,400 per day which is about right for her height, weight, and activity level. Notice that none of this is exact. While I would have preferred something like “10:30 am, had 3 ounces of hummus and 1 cup of baby carrots,” even this daily synopsis did reveal something to me that is crucial.
Those 900 calories of food that she would eat before dinner would ensure she would not be ravenous by nightfall. A protein shake really would be all she would need, and she would have more energy and less hunger even though she’d be eating less. When I asked Oksana what she really liked to eat, she said “cheese. But it’s so high in calories, even though it is one of my favorite foods.”
I pointed out to Oksana that cheese is of course part of a low carb diet, and that her favorite snack, a sheep feta, is actually more protein than fat, meaning it is only 80 calories per ounce and more filling compared to most cheeses that are 110 calorie per ounce and contain less protein. In other words, she could have fresh mozzarella or feta cheese with tomatoes and basil every day and lose weight. And with that, my wife agreed.
You see, Oksana was struggling with her diet by trying to deny herself her favorite foods because she thought they were too high in calories. And she was not eating enough during the day, trying to save calories. Her mindset change was to do the opposite. Instead of avoid cheese, deliberately eat it every day, but in a measured portion. And instead of trying to not eat too much each day, eat more each day, but again in a measured portion. This subtle change is from running what you fear yet desire to embracing what you want and no longer being afraid. That is what this weight loss struggle was really about.
And before she could ever agree to this, she had to see how she was struggling and agree to change that. That takes courage, and I congratulate my love and my biggest client for what she’s done.