Weight management

When trying to lose weight, make sure you have the right mindset

Perhaps, like millions of Americans, you've made a resolution to lose weight or keep it off. It's a positive goal that all health care providers want to help patients reach.

Eating right and being physically active are the keys to maintaining a healthy weight. But don't forget the third important factor: mindset.

People who succeed at losing weight and keeping it off realize that it's not a temporary process with an ending. It’s a long-lasting change in lifestyle.

Mindset is especially important around those times of the year when people become a little more aware of their need to lose weight—especially around New Year’s Day and when the weather gets warmer. We have a cultural tradition of making resolutions at times like that. We also have a strong tradition of not sticking to those resolutions.

Eating right for a lifetime

The best time to make change is today, no matter what day today is. You don't have to wait for any special day. You eat to live every day, so every day is an opportunity to start making the small, gradual, long-lasting lifestyle changes that lead to long-term weight management.

A good mindset helps you stop thinking in terms of dieting and start thinking in terms of eating less or eating better. What we normally think of when we think of a weight-loss diet is a short-term commitment to quick weight loss. Instead, you should try to think about a long-term change in how you eat and move every day.

Put your provider on your team

Your primary care provider can be your ally in weight management.

Tell your provider how you feel about your weight. Being honest and open about what has kept you from losing weight in the past can help you overcome embarrassment, fear, or concerns.

For example, some people have existing physical problems that keep them from exercising. For them, it’s better to focus more on what they eat rather than on exercise.

Your provider can help you develop an approach based on your personal background, lifestyle, and work.

Whether you're working to lose weight, keep weight off, or even just figure out how to get started, it's a good idea to see your provider first.

Last reviewed: 
March 2021

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