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3 Mindset Mistakes You Need To Avoid To Lose Weight And Keep It Off For Good!

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, 8 min read

3 Mindset Mistakes You Need To Avoid To Lose Weight And Keep It Off For Good!

If you’ve recently decided to embark on a weight loss journey, you may be anxious about failing - perhaps due to previous unsuccessful attempts or not knowing what to expect. 

We’re here to let you know that weight loss doesn’t need to be daunting and there are mindset shifts you can put in place that will make it easier for you to reach your goals!

Together, let’s explore 3 mindset mistakes to avoid in your weight loss story to ensure you kick start weight loss the right way and feel confident you can overcome any roadblock along the way. We will also provide practical tips and tricks that you can start implementing today, to make your journey easier and more effective.

Starting anything is hard, so why not avoid having to restart your weight loss over and over again?! 

Aiming For  Perfection

Despite what you may have been taught or believed in the past, your weight loss isn’t going to be a straight line to success - no matter how good that sounds! On your weight loss journey, you can expect to encounter lots of high and low points that you will need to learn to navigate through. 

An important thing to remember is that setbacks such as missing a workout or eating more than you planned at one meal don’t erase your progress. In other words, perfection isn’t required for you to reach your goals!

It’s natural for us as humans to be hard on ourselves when we think we’ve “messed up”, but chances are that this guilt-induced thinking will create a domino effect. When this occurs, one small “mistake” is followed by a series of other actions that sabotage our progress.

The all-or-nothing approach to health is where we believe we either need to do everything right or it’s not worth doing it at all, the equivalent of being “on or off the wagon”! Learning to be flexible with your diet and exercise routine will mean that even though life will inevitably get in the way sometimes, your weight loss plan won’t be aborted and you won’t have to start again from zero!

On the contrary, a lack of flexibility may lead you to get caught up in the binge-restrict cycle or burnout, causing you to go from one extreme (overeating) to another (heavily restricting on food). 

The same can be experienced with exercise, where you go from following a rigid workout plan to quitting altogether - neither of which are supportive of long-term weight loss. This pattern of behaviour is unsustainable, can leave you feeling hopeless and have a negative impact on your confidence. 

A few examples:

ScenarioApplying the all-or-nothing approachBeing flexible
Craving a biscuit

Feeling guilty for craving food that is “off plan”, having the whole pack, and restarting your weight loss plan on Monday, because all progress is “lost”. 


Having a couple of biscuits, fulfilling your craving and moving on feeling satisfied and guilt-free. Continuing your weight loss plan as normal.
Missing your lunchtime walk because you had to take a lunchtime meetingSkipping your evening walk because you believe you won’t be able to reach your daily step goal now and therefore going on a walk is meaningless.Going for an evening walk knowing any exercise is beneficial, even if you don’t reach your step goal for the day.

If we’re able to find compassion for ourselves and understand that slip ups are an inevitable part of the journey, we can get ourselves back on track and refocus on our goals at the first opportunity, instead of throwing in the towel.

Comparing Yourself to Others

“Comparison is the thief of joy” – the only person you need to compare yourself to is who you were yesterday. The truth is, we are all unique and even if we ate the same and exercised the same as those we aspire to be, the likelihood is we will still look different - due to different genetics, age, and changing body composition, among other factors.

We often focus on one element about someone, rather than seeing them on a whole. There will be parts of you that others admire, but you may fail to notice. Noticing your unique strengths and any progress that you have made from one week to another will help you stay motivated rather than discouraged, which is what happens when we compare ourselves to others

A study of adult women showed a significant reduction in how satisfied they were with their bodies when comparing themselves to those perceived to have “a more desirable” body shape than themselves (upward comparison). Interestingly, comparing themselves to those perceived to have a “less desirable” body shape (downward comparison) didn’t have a positive effect either! What we can learn from this is that comparing yourself to others doesn’t work - but what can we do instead?

Instead of praising someone else’s appearance, praise the effort they put into their goals and then apply this to the context of your own journey. Be inspired by others and take notes, rather than measuring your self-worth and progress against anyone else’s!

The role of self-worth in the context of health has been well-documented and generally speaking - those that have higher levels of self-efficacy (the belief they can take the necessary steps towards achieving a goal) are more likely to achieve weight loss.

A few practical tools to help you increase your self-efficacy:

Practice self-gratitude Taking time to acknowledge what you appreciate about yourself, as well as what your body does for you on a daily basis will help increase your feeling of self-worth and confidence on your weight loss journey. 
Set achievable goals Setting small and attainable goals will allow you to achieve steady progress that you can build upon.

Reflecting on past successes will allow you to acknowledge how far you’ve already come in your journey and increase motivation going forward.

Similarly, reflecting on setbacks will help you learn and improve your weight loss strategies going forward.

Limiting social media Limiting the consumption of social media will help you avoid the comparison trap and instead focus on your own health journey.

Having a Short-Term View to Weight Loss

Another important thing to remember when starting your weight loss journey is that you’re in it for the long run. A plethora of weight loss advice online, some of which is dished out (pun intended) by unqualified individuals and profit-oriented brands, can be misleading in that it makes us think there are such things as short-cuts to long-term weight loss. 

This often involves extreme measures such as fad diets or rigid and unsustainable workout plans, which may only work short-term. What is more, some of the above mentioned approaches can seriously damage your relationship with food or even harm your physical health. Quick fixes don’t work long term so instead, we need to implement long-lasting behaviour changes.

In order to avoid having to restart your weight loss over and over again, adopt a long-term view of weight loss. Instead of trying to follow strict rules and set rigid timelines in hopes of rapid weight loss (which often results in yoyo dieting), set yourself manageable daily goals that you can remain consistent with in the long-run. 

This way you’re more likely to enjoy the process rather than waiting for that one day in the future when the weight is gone, which isn’t going to do any favours for your emotional health or day-to-day motivation. Once again, understand that slow and steady weight loss is better!

Examples of short term vs long-term approach to weight loss:

Short term viewLong-term view
Attempting rapid weight loss so you can look a certain way in time for your beach holiday or wedding, and regaining it afterwards (yoyo dieting).Giving yourself as long as you need to achieve slow and steady weight loss that you will be able to sustain long-term.
Cutting out certain foods (e.g. fruit) and food groups (e.g. carbohydrates) to speed up weight loss.Consulting a healthcare professional about a healthy weight loss diet, to ensure you don’t miss out on any nutrients.
Engaging in everyday intense exercise to burn as much fat as you can, fast.Allowing yourself sufficient rest between exercise, to prevent burnout and health complications.
Skipping meals to decrease food intake, hoping to speed up weight loss, even if it has a negative impact on how you feel.Ensuring you have regular meals that will provide steady energy throughout the day, supporting your daily activities.


Once again, setting yourself up to a rigid plan will increase your chances of failing. But this doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you human!

This article explored some mindset mistakes you can avoid on your weight loss journey and provided tips on how to reprogram your mind for long-term success. By setting yourself a plan which allows you to enjoy life while on a weight loss journey, you are much more likely to stick to it without feeling like you’re missing out.

At eMed, we’re here to support you through your weight loss and ensure that you have the knowledge to be able to overcome any obstacles with confidence, allowing you to accomplish your desired health goals.


  • Eating and Weight Disorders. Does comparison of self with others influence body image among adult women? Link 
  • Canadian Family Physician. Role for a sense of self-worth in weight-loss treatments. Link 
  • Science Direct. Self-efficacy Theory. Link
  • Japanese Psychological Research. Seeing Things in Black-and-White: A Scoping Review on Dichotomous Thinking Style. Link 
  • Appetite. Rigid vs. flexible dieting: association with eating disorder symptoms in nonobese women. Link
  • Journal of Eating Disorders. Processes and pathways to binge eating: development of an integrated cognitive and behavioural model of binge eating. Link
  • Frontiers in Genetics. Physiological and Epigenetic Features of Yoyo Dieting and Weight Control. Link

The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of a doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never delay seeking or disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read here.

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