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  • Writer's pictureJessica Gerlock

How to Let Go of All-or-Nothing Mindset When it Comes to Losing Weight


A weight loss journey is a very personal journey that you have to be able to commit to for yourself. Having an all-or-nothing mindset in regards to losing weight is not a positive approach. All-or-nothing thinking refers to thinking in extremes. You are either a success or a failure. Being perfect when it comes to eating right and working out should not be your goal. It is important to find a maintainable and realistic balance and not just go all-or-nothing. Here’s how to let go of all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to losing weight:


Be Aware

Before you can let go of an all-or-nothing mindset you have to realize you are even thinking this way. A good give away is if you use words like “always” or “never.” It’s like thinking about how you are going to lose weight only in extremes like starving yourself or excessive exercise. Having this mentality will make your weight loss journey much more difficult and not longterm. Everybody knows themselves better than anyone else so really take a moment to think if you have an all-or-nothing mindset.

Don’t Make Foods Off Limits

To lose weight properly you don’t have to put yourself on a restrictive diet or make foods off limits. Restricting yourself of certain foods will only make you crave them more and eventually you will break. Having a treat once in a while is not going to make you fat. It goes back to focusing on consistency over perfection. It does not have to be all-or-nothing. I have heard many times of the 80/20 approach, that is, eating well 80 percent of the time and treating yourself 20 percent of the time. Just don’t restrict yourself completely because that won’t last long and could possibly cause eating disorders.

Don’t Think of Food as “Good” or “Bad”

Pizza is not bad. No one can ever say pizza is bad. Is pizza the most nutritious option? No. Should you eat pizza every day? No but it should not be considered “bad”. Categorizing food as either good or bad is part of the all-or-nothing mentality. You need to remember balance. Try to eat healthy most of the time and feel good about your eating so that when you do have pizza and indulge you enjoy and appreciate every bite of it.


Go Slow


The best way to start letting go of an all-or-nothing mindset is by going slow and changing one thing at a time. Focus on one aspect at a time, whether it be diet or exercise, instead of focusing on trying to change two or more habits at once and getting overwhelmed. That is exactly why most people don’t successfully lose weight and keep it off. Start slow, make one change at a time and turn it into a healthy habit. Once you’ve successfully got that, then move on to the next. Slow and steady wins the race.

Stop Starting Over

As I mentioned before, a weight loss journey lasts a lifetime but it is important to accept that it is okay to slip up. If you want to let go of that all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to your weight loss, stop starting over. If you slip up it really is okay. Try to make the next meal a better choice. You do not have to consider yourself a failure because you had a snack. Stop falling off and starting over. Continue with better choices and aim for consistency over perfection.

An all-or-nothing mindset is a fixed mindset, black or white. The people who are most successful with weight loss really aim for consistency over perfection. You can not think with an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to losing weight in a healthy way. Perfection does not last longterm especially with diet and exercise. We are all humans and all we can do is try our best. In the end, it is most important to remember to have a balanced weight loss approach and aim for consistency not perfection. Stay Strong!




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