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Why Mindset Matters When It Comes to Weight Loss

By Stephanie E - Jenny Craig

You’re eating healthy, hitting the gym a few times a week, getting enough sleep … your weight loss routine seems to be on point. But then, it happens. Whether you start to lack motivation or get stuck in a weight loss plateau – your mind starts to play games with you. Negative thoughts can start to bubble up and try to derail your progress.


If you’ve ever experienced a situation like this, you’re not alone. While having the right meal plan and exercise program are key to supporting your weight loss — your mindset is just as important. Learn how your mindset plays a role in helping you achieve your weight loss goals and a few tips for overcoming those all-too-common bumps in the road. Remember, you’ve got this!

1. Find the positive in setbacks

Losing weight is like learning a skill: There’s no such thing as ‘perfection,’ and adopting new habits can feel challenging, especially when you’re first starting. There will be days when you plan to exercise – but accidentally sleep through your alarm. Don’t let it throw you off-track, just reschedule or sneak some activity into your day!


Rather than being hard on yourself when you don't follow your meal plan exactly or if the scale won't budge, seek out the positives. Take pride in the pounds you have lost and the healthy habits you’ve learned. If you’re feeling stuck, don’t be afraid to ask for help – research suggests weight loss programs that include structure and support can make all the difference when it comes to reaching your goals.1 As a Jenny Craig member, your consultant is there to help motivate you and plan for your week ahead, so you can feel prepared in any situation!


Mindset-Matters-Yoga_edited.jpgBeing optimistic isn’t just good for your outlook — it may even benefit your physical health. Research indicates optimism could help you stay healthier, have better cardiovascular health and even experience less stress.2 If you try and find the silver lining in even the most challenging situations — we bet you’ll feel more motivated than getting hung up on the negatives.

2. Think health, not weight

Instead of thinking about a number — whether that's pounds or a jeans size — try focusing on your health. This mindset shift may help you stick to your weight loss plan and potentially see better results than if you’re only concerned with the number on the scale, according to one 2016 study.3 When researchers interviewed 20 women who practiced yoga (almost half who had been previously overweight or obese), they reported the practice helped them focus on their health instead of their weight, which in turn helped them feel more confident about their ability to lose weight and maintain their healthy lifestyle.

3. Focus on the future

When you have a tough day and feel like giving up, reflect on why you want to make this change. Is it because you want to have more energy and sleep better? Or is it because you want to keep up with your kids? Keep your weight loss “why” in your back pocket for when you need some extra motivation. Remembering why you started this journey will help keep you moving toward your goals.

4. Be patientMindset-Matters-Balanced-Meal-Healthy-Salad.jpg

Who doesn’t want a quick fix? While you may lose weight quickly when you first start a weight loss program, you’ll want to think long-term when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off. Rather than falling prey to a fad diet, find a weight loss program that is sustainable and realistically fits your lifestyle. You don’t need to cut out whole food groups and deprive yourself either — Chocolate Lava Cake and Margherita Pizza can still be a part of your plan with Jenny Craig.

5. Do it for yourself

While a special event might help fuel your motivation to stay on track, losing weight for yourself may be even more motivating (and rewarding!). According to self-determination theory, there are two types of motivators: extrinsic and intrinsic.4 Extrinsic goals are motivated by outside influences (such as physical appearance and social recognition), whereas intrinsic goals are more self-driven (such as better health and personal growth). Studies suggest that people who are more intrinsically motivated tend to maintain their weight loss than those who are extrinsically motivated.5 So find your “why” beyond the scale — and know that you are making healthy changes for yourself and your overall well-being.


We get it: weight loss isn’t easy — there will be days when you feel like throwing in the towel — but there will be other days when you may feel better than you ever have before. Use these tips for when your mindset starts to waiver. Remember: you can and will succeed if you put your mind to it!

Do you have a mindset trick that helps you stay on track with your weight loss goals? We want to know! Share your comments below!



[1] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2702878

[2] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-science-behind-behavior/201607/4-reasons-why-optimistic-outlook-is-good-your-health

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4995338/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3323356/

[5] https://ehps.net/ehp/index.php/contents/article/download/1659/pdf_159


Stephanie Eng-Aponte

Stephanie Eng-Aponte is a copywriter for Jenny Craig, based in Carlsbad, CA. They’ve focused on writing within the health and wellness space for the last several years, but have dabbled in the tech and environmental industries. Stephanie graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Media Studies. Stephanie employs a “eat first, write later” approach to food blogging and enjoys the occasional Oxford comma. Outside of writing, you can find Stephanie photographing a muttley crew of rescue pups, brewing kombucha, or exploring San Diego.


Favorite healthy snack: Green apple slices with sunflower butter.



This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and is written by experienced health and lifestyle contributors and reviewed by certified professionals.


Our goal at Jenny Craig is to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics, so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All articles undergo an extensive review process, and depending on the topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy.


This article contains trusted sources including scientific, peer-reviewed papers. All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source. 


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