Limiting Beliefs About Weight Loss

Losing weight can be a difficult and frustrating journey for many people. It often involves facing numerous challenges and doubts, such as feeling like you’re not fit enough, not having enough time, or not knowing enough about nutrition. 

These limiting beliefs can prevent us from taking the necessary steps toward achieving our health goals. 

In this blog post, we will discuss familiar limiting beliefs people may have when it comes to losing weight, as well as strategies and resources they can use to help overcome them. 

We will cover topics such as shifting your mindset towards action-oriented thoughts, reprioritizing your time, understanding basic nutrition principles, and finding healthy ingredients. 

By addressing these issues head-on with practical solutions backed by science-based facts, we hope this post provides readers with the insight they need to take control of their health journey!

What are limiting beliefs, and how do they affect weight loss 

Limiting beliefs are self-imposed mental constructs that can have a powerful influence on our behavior and decision-making. They stem from negative self-talk and can take the form of “I’m not fit enough,” “I don’t have enough time,” and “I don’t know enough about nutrition to make good choices,” to name a few. 

Limiting beliefs can have a detrimental effect on weight loss goals. They create an invisible barrier that prevents us from taking the necessary steps to achieve our goals, such as starting a fitness routine or making healthy choices when it comes to food. 

Fortunately, there are strategies and resources available to help us overcome our limiting beliefs. By addressing these issues head-on and reframing our thoughts in a more action-oriented way, we can make significant progress in our weight loss journey. 

“I’m not fit enough already, so I might as well give up.” 

It is common to feel frustrated with your current fitness, diet, or health journey, or that you don’t have the time or willpower to won’t have the will power to continue. 

However, these limiting beliefs can be detrimental and prevent us from seeing the bigger picture. Fueling and training your body makes you strong and healthier, which over time, helps you live a long and healthy life.  

To help shift your mindset and combat these beliefs, try to focus on taking small steps each day that will compound over time. Celebrate the progress you have made and track it so you can see how far you have come. 

It is also important to remember that everyone starts somewhere. Keep in mind that even if all you do is walk around the block every day, you are making progress, and it will pay off as long as you keep going. 

“I don’t have enough time to commit to a fitness routine.” 

Many of us struggle to find the time to commit to a fitness routine. It can be challenging to reprioritize our time when we have family and work commitments, as well as other activities that take up our days. 

However, it is possible to make small changes in your lifestyle to incorporate more physical activity into your day. 

Consider breaking up exercise into smaller chunks of time throughout the day and finding activities that fit with your lifestyle, such as interval training or taking a walk with a friend. Also, try to find something you enjoy doing, like kickboxing or yoga.

Read more about How To Live A More Active Life Style.

“I’m too busy with other commitments to exercise.” 

Our lives are limited, so it’s essential to prioritize. That’s why I urge clients and everyone else alike always to remember what their priorities indeed are in life. There is no feasible way to learn, see, or experience everything on this planet – that much we know! 

So instead of trying to find ways to fit everything into your day, shift the way you think and make exercise a priority. Exercise can be incorporated into our days: 30-minute workouts, walking around the block during lunch break, or doing yoga first thing in the morning. 

Struggling to find the motivation for an active lifestyle? Check out this article and learn how you can start leading a more active life today!

Prioritizing yourself should always be at the top of your list, and I like to emphasize that you are number one! 

“I can’t keep up with the latest trends or techniques in exercise and nutrition.” 

It can be overwhelming having to sift through the vast amount of online nutrition information, especially given that much of it is not backed by scientific research or evidence. Social media platforms have made it easier to access this information but also more challenging to differentiate between trustworthy sources and those offering misleading advice. 

If you are looking for the best advice on nutrition and exercise, then look no further than scientific literacy. Mastering how to read and interpret studies is essential to stay informed—you then conclude. 

“It’s too hard and overwhelming to make lasting lifestyle changes.” 

Nutrition and exercise is a complex field that requires an understanding of numerous components such as macro- and micronutrients, metabolism, energy balance, physical activity guidelines, and food labeling. 

With so much to learn, it can be challenging to make informed decisions about how best to maintain healthy habits or achieve long-term lifestyle changes.

Making a big change can initially seem daunting, but it’s important to remember that success starts with small steps. Start by setting realistic and achievable goals, such as aiming for a 10-minute walk after lunch or adding more fruits and vegetables to your meals. Once you have achieved one goal, you can set the next. 

Read more about Setting Goals For Weight Loss.

“I can’t stick to a diet long enough to see results.” 

One key to success in changing our diet and making lasting lifestyle changes is to focus on the process, not just the result. While setting goals is essential, it is more important to focus on why you want to achieve these goals and the steps you are going to take to get there.  

If you are striving to eat healthier, determine your motivation for doing so. Then start incorporating small daily habits that will help achieve this goal.

“I don’t know enough about nutrition to make good choices.”

It can be hard to stay motivated and make good choices when you don’t have the knowledge or resources to make informed decisions. To make matters worse, the internet is flooded with fad diets and obscure health claims.

Gaining an understanding of basic nutrition principles is essential for making informed decisions. I recommend searching out dietitians you algin with and start listening to their podcasts, reading their blogs, and beginning your nutrition education journey that way. 

You can also fast-track yourself to success by working with a nutrition coach. Check out how we can work together. 

“It’s too hard and time-consuming to cook healthy meals.” 

It is easy to fall into the trap of eating fast food because it’s quick and convenient. But this often means missing out on essential nutrients or getting too many other nutrients. 

The good news it’s possible to whip up nutritious meals without sacrificing too much time or effort. Here are three tips to help you:  

  1. Have a plan: The key to saving time and effort has a meal plan in place. Plan out your week’s meals so you know what ingredients you need, which cuts down on last-minute trips to the store or takeout orders.
  2. Stock up on easy-to-prep ingredients: Buying frozen veggies, pre-cooked meat like rotisserie chicken, and pre-cut fresh vegetable can save you time in the kitchen. 
  3. Make meals ahead of time: Make large batches of your favorite meals on the weekends and freeze them for easy reheats during the week. 

“Healthy food isn’t worth the expense.” 

One of the best ways to make healthy meals on a budget is to plan out your meals in advance. Creating a meal plan that includes easy-to-make meals and utilizing grocery store sales and deals can help you save money while still eating healthy.

Some tips for meal planning on a budget include: 

  1. Stocking up on pantry staples like grains, legumes, and canned goods during grocery store sales. Buying in bulk is often much cheaper. 
  2. Making bulk meals that can be portioned out and frozen for later. 
  3. Utilizing seasonally available produce as much as possible – they are usually much cheaper than out-of-season fruits and veggies. 
  4. Utilizing grocery store loyalty programs to take advantage of discounts. 

“I don’t have enough willpower to resist unhealthy foods.” 

Tools for building self-discipline over temptation-triggering food cues such as stress or emotional eating include visualization and mindful eating. 

Visualization can involve picturing yourself in a situation where you are resisting an unhealthy food choice or imagining the positive outcomes of a healthy choice. 

Mindful eating involves being present at the moment and observing physical sensations such as hunger and fullness levels, recognizing cravings without acting on them, and noticing how different foods make your body feel. 

Additionally, avoiding dieting and fad diets that require drastic changes to your lifestyle can help with self-discipline over food cues. Instead of following rigid meal plans, focus on developing healthy habits like planning meals ahead of time and having regular meals throughout the day. 

 “I don’t know how to meal plan and make grocery lists.” 

Meal planning and grocery lists are essential for staying on track nutritionally. Creating an actionable plan around what you should be eating each day, week or month can help you make healthier decisions and save time in the kitchen. 

Here are a few steps to get started: 

  1. Make a list of all the meals you enjoy that are easy to make. 
  2. Choose one or two days a week to plan out your meals. 
  3. Make a grocery list of items you need for the upcoming week based on your meal plan. 
  4. Use apps or websites to help you find recipes and organize your grocery lists. 
  5. Plan for snacks and meals on the go when needed. 
  6. Invest in meal prep containers to make packing your meals easier. 
  7. Plan for leftovers, which can be used in other meals throughout the week. 
  8. Make large batches of your favorite meals on the weekends and freeze them for easy reheats during the week. 

I have created an instructional article for monthly meal planning which includes a year-long monthly meal planning guide. Download your copy today. 

Strategies for Overcoming Limiting Beliefs

1. Shift your mindset towards action-oriented thoughts.

When it comes to weight loss, the power of positive thinking can have a profound effect on your success. Instead of focusing on all the negative aspects, such as “I’m not fit enough” or “I don’t have enough time”, try reframing your thoughts in a more action-oriented way.

For example, instead of thinking, “I don’t have enough time to commit to a fitness routine,” try thinking, “What small changes can I make today that will help me get closer to my fitness goals?”

2. Reprioritize your time.

Making time for healthy habits can be a challenge, especially when you’re balancing work, family, and other commitments. However, by reprioritizing your time and dedicating yourself to your weight loss goals, you can make significant progress.

For example, try scheduling time for physical activity into your daily routine. Even if it’s just 15 minutes daily, that can make a huge difference in achieving your goal.

3. Understand basic nutrition principles.

Nutrition plays a massive role in weight loss, but many people feel overwhelmed by learning about it. Fortunately, many resources are available to help you understand the basics of nutrition and make healthy choices.

The podcast, dietitian websites, and youtube are great places to start, as they provide simple and actionable advice on nutrition, physical activity, and weight management.

Final thoughts

Losing weight is hard enough, but with limiting beliefs, whether about time, knowledge, or capabilities, it feels almost impossible.  The good news is that with the right strategies and resources, it is possible to overcome these limiting beliefs and make meaningful progress toward your goals. 

I will leave with a quote from David Goggins, “What If.” What if you did that workout, what if you meal planned for the week, what if you traded the sweet for the healthy – just think about the possibilities and focus on taking action. 

Good luck, and get after it. 

Noah Quezada is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist located in Denver, Colorado. Over the course of more than a decade, he has gained extensive experience in helping clients manage their weight through in-person sessions. Noah is also the 2023 President of the Colorado Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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