6 Mindsets to Avoid if You Want to Lose Weight

Christian Coulson
Updated: June 14, 2020
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While exercising and a healthy diet are important for losing weight, they might not be as important as having the right mindset.

The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right.


Weight loss, just like anything else in life, comes with its ups and downs.

If you want to get through the rough patches, however, you must learn how to master your mindset.

Here are 6 mindsets to avoid if you want to lose weight.

1. The “I’m going to try” Mindset

By not being confident and secure in what you speak, you’ve already set yourself up for failure.

“I’ll try,” gives you the option of not doing it, instead of speaking with such ambiguity, speak with definitiveness.

Practice saying things like “I will lose those 20 pounds,” “I will be at the gym tomorrow at 6:00 am,” or “I will eat 1 cup of vegetables at each meal.”

I found that whenever I went to bed unsure about whether or not I was going to go to the gym the next morning, I never went.

Whenever I said things like “if the alarm goes off and I feel good, I’ll go,” or “I’ll decide tomorrow morning when I wake up,” I almost surely never went.

However, whenever I made up my mind before going to bed, I would always wake up confident and ready to hit the gym.

Here are 6 night-time habits for weight loss.

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2. The “I want to reach my goal by the end of the month” Mindset

Unless your goal is to lose only a few pounds, and you’ve actually done it successfully before, chances are it won’t happen.

I’m all up for a positive and optimistic mindset, but this will only work if you have a definite plan on how to accomplish this and take action.

Most of us want things fast, heck, Amazon even has same-day delivery, isn’t that crazy?

The issue is, most things worth having take time, and sustainable weight loss is no different.

Weight loss takes time, there are many things that happen in your body that make weight loss difficult.

Most fad diets that promise quick results make a drastic cut to your calories, which often leaves your metabolism in a bad spot, making it easier to gain back the weight.

Here’s an article I wrote about why diets tend to fail.

3. The “I have to give up my favorite foods” Mindset

Image of an overweight woman pushing away unhealthy foods. "How to Avoid Feeling Stressed by Weight Loss"

Most people believe that in order to lose weight all they can eat is chicken and broccoli, luckily, this isn’t the case.

Having a flexible approach to dieting is crucial for long-term success, the key to sustainable weight loss is to build healthier eating habits, not just cut certain food groups.

In fact, studies have shown that depriving yourself of foods you love increases your cravings for the foods you’re trying to avoid.

As long as your diet is mostly based on whole/nutrient-dense foods, you should be okay with enjoying some pizza here and there.

That’s why I encourage people to adopt the 80/20 rule for weight loss.

Another option is to find low-calorie versions of the foods you like, such as cauliflower crust pizza, spaghetti squash, or whey protein brownies.

You’d be amazed at the amount of mouthwatering low-calorie recipes there are on the internet.

Here’s a recipe for cauliflower rice and a few iced coffee protein shake ones, if you’d like to explore them.

4. The “I have to do a lot of running to burn calories” Mindset

While running can be a great tool for weight loss, it isn’t the most efficient.

Resistance training is a better option for those wanting to burn off some pounds.

Not only does resistance training burns more calories than cardio, but it also helps you build (or retain) muscle mass, which will boost your metabolism and prevent you from looking saggy.

You can explore this article about how to prevent losing muscle during weight loss.

Besides running, there are other fun activities you can do instead, such as

  • Zumba
  • yoga
  • rollerblading
  • dance
  • cycling
  • swimming
  • hiking
  • aerobics
  • weight lifting
  • CrossFit

5. The “I hate how my body looks” Mindset

While it’s completely okay to want to change how your body looks, having a more positive outlook towards it might be a little better.

So instead of saying that you have to lose weight because you hate your body, say that you’re losing weight because you love your body and want it to be healthy.

Focus on what you will gain out of eating healthy and exercising, not on what you’ll lose.

In fact, studies (1) have shown that having a negative attitude about your weight negatively affects your workouts.

Focus on the little day-to-day improvements.

That’s why I recommend keeping a workout and progress journal so you can keep track of your improvements and build confidence.

6. The “I Failed” Mindset

Another one of the mindsets you want to avoid to lose weight is the “I failed mindset.”

Truth is, you only fail when you stop trying. So keep your head up, champ, you can do this!

I hope you loved this article about the 6 mindsets to avoid if you want to lose weight.

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