Nutrition Articles

6 Things Successful Dieters Have in Common

People Who Lose the Weight Have These Core Beliefs

3.   I am disciplined. Despite not always wanting to do what needs to be done, I do it anyway.  There are plenty of times I don't feel like working out, or taking the time to prepare my meals.  Whether it's exercise, skipping dessert, or cooking a healthy dinner rather than calling in for take-out, I do it.  My mind is always focused on my vision. It's not about how I feel right now. It's about what I want for my future self.
4.   I share my goals and plans.  My friends and family are aware that taking good care of myself and keeping the weight off is a core value of mine. I stand up for myself without apology.  Sometimes I'll miss happy hour with the gang to go to the gym, or request that we change the restaurant choice because I won't go to a buffet—I am not embarrassed or sorry for speaking up. I also know I don't need to go it alone.  When I am feeling vulnerable, I ask for help
5.   I am resilient. When I stumble or fall down, I pick myself up and creatively figure out how to move on. Life throws curveballs all the time, but they aren't reasons to throw my healthy habits away.  I know that soothing myself with food or TV won't solve my problems.  I deal with the reality of the situation and creatively work toward overcoming adversity.
6.   I have self-compassion.  I'm only human and there are times when things don't go as well as I'd like.  I just do the best I can. When I slip up, I look at it as one individual episode, not a pattern that will lead to disaster. A "lapse" does not mean collapse. I just get right back on track. I do not beat myself up if a few pounds creep back on.  The scale does not define who I am. It doesn't make me good or bad.  It only tells me whether or not I am on track to reach my goals.  If I am not, I recalculate.    
Sustained weight loss requires a new mindset.  In order to be successful, you must resist looking in the mirror and still seeing the old you.  Permanent success requires you to think and act like a thin person even before you reach your goal. If it initially feels awkward, remember the old adage, "Fake it 'til you make it." The more you behave and think like a successful dieter, the sooner you will be one. Being healthy and thin will become part of your identity.  It's time to leave the old one behind.
Dieci, Edward. 1995. Why We Do What We Do. London: Penguin Books.
Fletcher, Anne. 2003. Thin For Life. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. 
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About The Author

Ellen Goldman Ellen Goldman
Ellen founded EnerG Coaching, LLC to help individuals struggling with health issues that can be impacted by positive lifestyle change, such as weight loss, stress management, exercise, and life/work balance. As a professional wellness coach and certified personal trainer, Ellen holds a BS and Masters in Physical Education and is certified by ACSM, AFAA, and Wellcoaches Corporation. Visit her at Get her complimentary report, 52 Tips, Tools & Tricks to Permanent Weight Loss Without Going on a Diet, at

Member Comments

  • CATHY2147
    I plan to re-read your article often and share with others when appropriate. If someone tells me he or she wants to begin a healthy eating plan, I would like to mention that he or she might find this information helpful. This is very well-written and concise. Thank you! - 7/26/2015 1:38:25 PM
  • I too enjoyed and learned from this article. Clearly its message is timeless...the mental part of healthier living is no joke. For me, I need to work on being proactive...while I may log and track everything, having a plan prior to eating is honestly a missing piece in my healthy living puzzle. Just need to keep it simple, the old baby steps plan a meal, log it, eat it. From there I can build to looking a day ahead, and then build to thinking about a week at time. Oh my...this could be a game changer for me! WaHoO, and thank you! - 7/25/2015 8:39:55 AM
  • “Exercise and eating healthy aren't things I do when it's convenient; they are what I have decided to do no matter what.”

    Great! - 7/24/2015 2:43:55 PM
  • MARSHA1107
    I realy want to lose weight and I think I found the right place to do it
    - 7/24/2015 2:21:42 PM
  • Thank you. I always have said fake it till you make it but I have never applied that to weight loss. You have given me a new perspective.
    - 7/24/2015 1:19:45 PM
  • All I will Say is WOW and Thank you!!

    - 7/24/2015 11:46:17 AM
    On a day like today I really needed this great article. It explains exactly how I feel and gives me that extra boost to keep on trach despite falling back a little, Well done! - 7/24/2015 10:11:40 AM
  • I felt I just had to leave a comment for this article - this is a GREAT article!! Well done!! - 7/24/2015 7:25:39 AM
  • This is a great article and I am so glad I read it. These are attitudes I want to begin to cultivate before reaching goal. - 7/24/2015 12:23:02 AM
  • this was the motivation i needed today thank you so much - 7/10/2015 5:05:46 AM
    This is an excellent article. Right on the money. The hard part for me is the discipline. I'm working on it. - 6/4/2015 12:27:31 PM
  • A lapse does not mean collapse... I love that quote. - 3/30/2015 1:49:56 PM
    One of the better, more realistic articles available. - 3/5/2015 3:58:44 PM
  • This was fabulous and so true! I actually just finished my thesis about students who persist and achieve more to having a growth mindset. It sounds very similar to this. Thanks for writing this! - 1/27/2015 5:16:05 PM

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