Contributed by: Jane Sandwood

Losing weight is a challenge that nearly millions of people all over the world struggle with. Without a healthy mind set, losing weight may leave a negative impact on your mental health. With nearly 70% of Americans being overweight or obese, 77% of Americans are attempting to try and lose weight. However, for many, the success rate of weight loss is rather low.

People with serious mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, depression, or schizophrenia are 50% more likely to develop obesity than the general population. While proper diet and exercise should be on their agenda to mental healing, it is often pushed behind. If you’re ready to fight the cravings and shed pounds, not only will you need to prepare your body physically but mentally as well. Here’s how to conquer the mental side of weight loss.

Create Healthy Habits
Get rid of poor eating habits and build rules around your eating. Establish a rule that demands no eating after 8 p.m. If you are an avid grazer, you can make a rule to never eat carbs alone. Instead, opt for more protein or healthy fat options in your snacks.  

Make Sleep a Priority
Having a good night’s rest is not only vital for your mental health but also for your weight control. Quality sleep helps the brain to function more effectively when the body is deprived of sleep, the lack of energy will make sugary and fast food options become more attractive. To avoid temptations, strive for at least seven hours of quality sleep every night.

Stay Positive About Exercise
Exercise allows you to build motivation and overcome obstacles in weight loss. When you exercise, your body releases those “feel good” endorphins, which improves your overall mood. Not only will you improve your mood but also benefit from common relief from stress, anxiety, trauma, depression, and ADHD.

If you hate certain physical activities like running, don’t run. You are not likely going to stick with something that you don’t enjoy. Instead, work out with friends or join a class. Not only will it help you stay motivated to continue but you may also see exercise as an enjoyable activity rather than a hovering chore.

Ditch the Diet
Labeling your healthy lifestyle as a “diet” may sound dreadful and often demotivating. Dieting is often related to a quick fix or a minor meal plan to lose weight. However, once you quit your diet and have finally lost weight you might return to your poor eating habits. As a result, you will ultimately regain the pounds you once lost.

Once you accept to improve your health and overall well-being, you will consider this as a lifestyle, rather than a diet. Using pure willpower will help you to overcome cravings and develop a healthier relationship with food. These changes will improve the way you eat and how you think about your overall health.