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Negative Thoughts That Stop Weight Loss

4 Mental Roadblocks That Sabotage Weight Loss

It's not just about putting in time at the gym and eliminating certain foods; your mental state has a huge influence on whether you hit your weight-loss goals. Old thought patterns can seem unbreakable, but moving forward is more possible than you think. Find out if these negative thoughts are holding you back from success.

You always put yourself down: Feeling bad or shameful about food choices or your body does not make for a healthy lifestyle; it actually hinders your ability to succeed. Health psychologist and Stanford lecturer Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. explains, "If you focus on self-criticism, you'll be like a laser on it." Instead of focusing on putting yourself down, draw attention toward what you want to fix and accomplish. Above all else, treat yourself with kindness.

You can't picture the new you: For women who have struggled with their weight for years, the idea of a lighter and healthier version of themselves might be difficult to fathom. Feeling confident about your ability to succeed is a start, but a more concrete project can be a huge help, too. You might not be able to find the words right now, but creating a tangible reminder, like a healthy vision board covered in inspirational images, will help you start to recognize what your dreams look like.

You're too focused on a number: Sometimes you've got to stop with the scale; it's not all about the number of pounds you're losing. Instead of feeling dismayed when that number doesn't drop, start celebrating other accomplishments — both big and small. When you feel more comfortable in your clothes or have more energy all day long, know that it happened because of your commitment and best efforts. When you realize what you're capable of accomplishing, it's like a domino effect: the positivity just keeps on rolling in.

You're just stressed out: According to Sports Club/LA trainer and lifestyle coach Julie Barrett, MS, RD, losing weight boils down to one thing: stress management. When our bodies are under stress, we pump out excessive amounts of the hormone cortisol that reduces our ability to burn fat. Even habits that seem healthy can hinder your body from reaching your goal weight. If you're overtraining or overanalyzing every bite of food you take, you can be doing more damage than good. Do your best to find balance in food choices, and keep up with a sustainable workout schedule. These shifts will make a huge difference in the long run, both physically and mentally.

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