How many before and after photos with workout results have you seen looking for a Certified Personal Trainer? Dozens! You won’t find many of those, if any, at Emily Ackart Fitness and Nutrition. I believe those photos don’t tell the real story. They set unrealistic expectations for everyone because most people can’t achieve those results. With my programs, I emphasize a positive mindset. It may require mindset shifts to lose weight and create a healthy lifestyle.
Mindset shifts for fitness
Fitness goals are always focused on losing weight, losing inches, and big transformations. Think about the popular TV Show, “The Biggest Loser.” It’s all about dramatic weight loss. The more weight lost by the contestants, the better off they are. If they don’t lose enough weight, they go home.
Of course, you’re never going to lose that much weight that fast unless you have a personal trainer and nutritionist at your service 24-7.
However, we all focus on losing weight. I think it’s the wrong mindset. It sets a goal that creates an artificial ending point. With fitness, though, it’s a lifestyle. There is no finish line if you want to maintain your health. You always have to work at it.
That’s why small, sustainable goals are better than one big goal that you may or may not achieve.
Losing weight is important, but it’s not a lot of fun if you’re eliminating the food you love and working out too hard. Instead, shift your mindset. Let weight loss be a byproduct of finding something that brings you joy, time and time again. When you create a positive mindset with fitness, you’ll be motivated and sustain your success.
5 Weight Loss Mistakes You’re Making
All of these make it hard to keep the weight off for good:
- Focusing on losing weight, losing inches, or your clothing size.
- Looking at before and after photos from personal trainers.
- Setting expectations that you’ll change your life and feel better after just a 21-day or 90-day challenge.
- Eliminating carbs, milk, or gluten from your diet. Don’t do this unless there’s a medical reason.
- Counting calories.
9 Healthy Mindsets
- Find an activity that brings you joy.
- Move every day.
- Focus on how you feel when you do that activity.
- Believe in yourself.
- Find an accountability partner.
- Eat what you love but in moderation.
- Give yourself grace for a cheat day.
- Create lifelong, healthy habits.
- Celebrate sustainable goals, milestones, and victories.
Let’s get real. Inches and weight are important, but when you focus on them with before and after photos, your mindset is not in the right place.
I train mostly with women, and it’s so I want to tell you that you’re so much more than the number on the scale or the size pants that you wear. However, it often gets lost when you walk in with a trainer and do a 90-day program. You expect life to be so different.
You focus hard-core for 90 days. You’re motivated and restricting yourself from things you love. Perhaps you’re following a strict meal plan and unable to go to parties that you love. Or you go to parties but you’re miserable because you don’t feel like you can drink, or eat the food because it’s going to throw you off and hurt your results.
I want you to know that there is no end!
When you start a new fitness workout, you can’t just quit after 90 days. You can’t hit your 90 days and then go back to your old eating habits or inactivity level. You can’t do that. It’s life. You always have to be mindful of what you’re putting into your body. You still have to try to move your body in some fashion every day. Whether that’s a 5-minute walk around the block, a little stretching, or a HIIT workout, or strength training, sometimes when we put these big goals or restrictions on ourselves, we can’t sustain that forever.
You can’t always workout 5-days a week or eat only the most healthy meals.
My desire for you is to love your body and what it’s capable of doing. Are you going to feel that much better losing those ten pounds? Is that going to make you feel that much different about yourself? Often the answer is no because now you have to keep living this life that feels restrictive.
So, let’s flip the switch. Instead of a 21-day challenge or a 90-day challenge, find something that you enjoy doing.
If you come to me and say I hate working out, I hate coming here; it takes too much of my mental energy then you probably are not going to stick with it. So, find joy in something that moves your body.
There are so many things you can do. You can try kickboxing, a personal trainer, small group training, at-home workouts, biking, or Pilates.
How does that activity make you feel? Focus on that. If it’s motivating to you, write it down.
Need some more motivational quotes? Hang these inspirational quotes up in your at-home gym or save them to your Pinterest feed to look at when it’s time to move!
Next, find an accountability partner whether it’s a small-group training class, an online personal training program, or a group fitness class.
If you’re having a difficult time losing weight, you may need a workout program. Something that’s designed to keep you on track, and hold you accountable.
We have a community of woman at Emily Ackart Fitness and Nutrition that do small group training in Kansas City, and we have women all over the country who train online and hold each other accountable in our private STRONG By Emily group. You can join us too for FREE!
In that group, we’ve been focusing on movement every day! Whether it’s the workouts delivered to members phones through the TrueCoach app, or getting out of the house. Movement doesn’t always have to be a workout.
I recently shared this post to my private accountability group. Sometimes it’s the simple things that bring us joy, while still getting us to move.
Foods to avoid when working out
Ready for this answer? None!
A lot of trainers will tell you to watch what you eat.
I don’t think you should eliminate things from your diet unless there’s a medical reason. If you’re intolerant, make adjustments.
However, if you don’t have an intolerance to gluten, then you don’t have to follow a gluten-free diet. If you’re not lactose intolerant, then you can eat dairy. Pay attention to your body. Maybe it does make you feel gassier or more bloated when you eat that so then it makes sense to avoid eating that. But, don’t just avoid eating these things just because it sounds like a healthy thing to do.
Carbs. Eat them!
The Keto diet is amazing, but it is tough to sustain and adhere to that type of rigid diet. It is very hard. For most people, that is probably not going to be the way to go.
When you get fed up with Keto, which you will because it’s restrictive, you’re probably going to rebound. Sometimes people gain more weight because they finally feel like they eat again.
You lose that mentality of balance when you avoid foods when working out and follow a strict diet plan, whether it’s Keto or Whole 30. These trendy diets focus too much on not stuffing your face with all the things you’re not supposed to have because you’re feeling weak.
If you’re going to watch what you eat, exercise too! Many of these popular diet plans don’t focus on the exercise component. You need proper nutrition and exercise to lose weight and feel good about yourself.
How to stop focusing on food
By creating a positive mindset, you can stop focusing on food. You do this by creating balance in life. Work out just enough and eat a balanced diet.
Don’t count your calories because at the end day that takes a lot of work to log it all in.
Perhaps an easier thing to do is focus on portion control. Look at your plate. Don’t load it up. Make sure you have a healthy balance of protein, fat, and carbs.
When you stop dieting, you can still lose weight by doing this — MOVING every day!
I know this all sounds loosey-goosey and oh just move your body and don’t count calories. But, listen to your body. If it doesn’t feel good, make changes. Perhaps you don’t need to follow this restrictive Keto diet. In fact, stop dieting and start living!
Finding an exercise or workout you love, and move more!
Do things you can sustain and that you enjoy.
Eat some of the foods you enjoy. Give yourself grace for cheat days. You don’t have to perfect all the time. That’s not the way to live.
When you focus on food, you’re also telling yourself oh I’ll be perfect until I reach this point and then I’ll relax after 30 or 90 days. But, then you go way the other way, and it bites you in the butt.
Instead of cutting out a bunch of foods from your diet, focus on making healthy recipes. Clean out your pantry and swap the junk food for healthy snacks.
Perhaps meal planning is a good choice for you. That way you always have healthy food on hand, and you’re not thinking at 5 PM what’s for dinner. Grab what you prepped and eat a healthy meal at the dinner table or on the go. Get started with meal planning with my FREE meal plan guide, packed with tips and healthy recipes!
*There may be affiliate links in this blog. If you click on them, I will receive compensation at no cost to you. I only recommend products I personally use.
How to create a positive mindset
When you’re setting fitness goals, don’t focus on the number on the scale or the inches. Remember, focus on that feeling of joy and exhilaration when you complete a workout, try something new, or your pants fit. Set realistic goals.
If you need help finding time to eat right and exercise, create a 3-word mantra for yourself. When you create a positive mindset and surround yourself with motivation and inspiration, you’ll stay on track with your fitness goals.
That’s why I don’t share a lot of before and after fitness photos. I want you to experience what it’s like to be strong. What it feels like to chase after your kids and not feel exhausted. To have more energy to chase your kids.
Find other ways to set goals and other milestones. And other victories that make it feel like this is worth it. It makes a difference in how you feel now and ten years from now. If you’re healthy now and maintain it, ten years from now, you may not need as much medication.
The chance of diabetes and heart disease go down when you take care of your body now. So, start now before the problem arise. When you wait too long and are set in your ways, it’s difficult to make changes. Slowly, make changes. Find other ways to measure your success. Share those milestones.
Nothing makes me happier than when someone tells me they were able to run a 5K with their daughter. Or, I get a testimonial like this from one of my TRX clients.
There’s nothing more satisfying as a trainer, as knowing they’re motivated to workout even on the days they don’t feel like it! Get up, and move!
Don’t get me wrong I love it when people lose weight. I’m proud of those clients. I think it’s an awesome byproduct when you focus on some of the other things.
If you want a good read, consider Mindset Matters Most. These tips will help you create strategies to improve your fitness and reach your life goals personally and professionally.
If you’re exercising and eat right and still not losing weight, I’m happy to evaluate what you’re doing to get you on track. I believe in you and know the weight will come off when you’re having fun and moving your body the right amount of time. It’s going to happen.
I hope some of this resonates with you. Let me know your thoughts. What are some of your big wins?