How to Lose Weight: Even Though You Can’t Stick to a Diet

How to Love Your Body (1)

When you hear the words weight loss, what’s the first thought that comes to mind?

Here’s what most of my clients say.

Weight loss = restriction
Weight loss = deprivation
Weight loss = starvation

Why does it matter what you think?


“Eighty percent of success in anything is psychology, the other 20% is mechanics.” ~ Tony Robbins.

So if you think weight loss equals restriction, deprivation, and starvation…do you see how you’re doomed from the start?

  • Why trying to lose weight without addressing mindset is like driving with the emergency brake on
  • Why diet and exercise are only 20% of the solution and what to focus on instead
  • Why thinking about your body negatively is more damaging than binge eating
  • A simple 30-second exercise you should do morning and night that will re-wire your brain 

Video Transcription

We have an emotional connection between our bodies and food.

That’s one reason why diets don’t work.

Diet and exercise are the mechanics of weight loss—the physical how-to’s—only 20% of the solution.

If we don’t address the other 80% of weight loss (which is the mindset component) here’s what will happen.

1. You won’t lose any weight at all.

2. If you do lose weight—it will feel like a never ending struggle.
Achieving your goal weight and maintaining it will be next to impossible.

3. You’ll constantly self-sabotage.
You’ll diet and exercise Monday through Thursday— then binge eat on Friday, curse yourself out Saturday and Sunday, and start again on Monday.

My hand’s raised for all three. Been there!

Trying to lose weight without addressing mindset is like driving with the emergency brake on.

Whenever you have a thought, neurons fire in your brain and connect to other neurons to form a neuro-net. I have a minor in psychology so bear with my nerdiness!

These neuronets are where you have thoughts, feelings and ideas and they have a long-term relationship with one another, because we know that nerve cells that wire together, fire together.

So if you’re constantly telling yourself:

  • I’ll never lose weight.
  • I’m fat.
  • I’m ugly.
  • I’m unworthy of love.

You’re re-wiring those neuronets on a daily basis which will then form a long term relationship with all the other nerve cells. In a nutshell, these negative thoughts begin to affect your identity. They become you!

Here’s the kicker. We know, without a doubt, that the body follows the mind. It’s scientific fact. So, if in your mind you think losing weight is hard…guess what, it will be.

What if in your mind you associated weight loss with freedom and letting go of this burden that’s been on your back for years, instead of associating it with frustration and deprivation?

You’d be unstoppable because your mind (the 80%) will finally be in alignment with what you’re doing for your body, such as eating right and exercising…the other 20%.

So, in your mind, we need to break the long term associations between weight loss and negative body image.

rewire your mind with this exercise

Create a mantra for yourself that describes who you want to be or how you want to feel.

Say your mantra 20 times before you go to bed and 20 times when you wake up. Doing this fires new nerve cells to create a new identity.

For example:

“I’m light, fit and energetic.”

Another one is:

“I love and accept myself as I am.”

You come up with a mantra that’s most meaningful to you. The only requirement is that it must be in the present tense.

So don’t say, “I will be light, fit and energetic.” Rather “I am light, fit and energetic.”

Now you.

In the comments below this video, let me know what your mantra is.


  1. Joy

    I believe in this 100%. Way to go Mariah! I’m trying to help my daughter reach a running goal and I suggested she chant the time she wants to reach over and over as she runs. My hope is that it will help her achieve her goal time. I also use this same technique when saying good night to my kids. I’ve whispered the exact same affirmation to them every night of their life. I believe they need to hear those words in order for them to believe it about themselves.

    • Mariah Dolan


      What an awesome mom you are! Mantras really do work, and I’m glad you’ve already incorporated them into your family!


      ~ Mariah

  2. Dan Mendilow

    Love this post – most dieters think all they need is an aggressive diet and the weight will fly off, but they’re missing something. A great mindset us usually the difference between fitting back into those skinny jeans and cheating on your diet after 1 week.

    Mindset isn’t just how we think about ourselves, though, it’s about how we think about our food. If our mindset is “junk food is a reward” then we’re going to have a hard time losing weight. But if our mindset is “healthy food is a reward because it makes me feel strong, light, and amazing” then sticking to a diet will be the easiest thing in the world.

    Thanks for the wonderful post!

    • Mariah Dolan

      Exactly, Dan! That’s exactly why I spend so much time on this with my clients.

      You can’t diet – exercise – do all the right things while simultaneously calling yourself fat every time you look in the mirror. The body follows the mind. Science backs this up without question. So you have to find your self worth NOW no matter what size or shape you are.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

      ~ Mariah

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