change your mindset

Change Your Mindset – How You Think About Food & To Stay On Track

April 27, 2022

Mindset is a very interesting word. How do you see yourself? How do you think about the foods that you choose to eat? How do you perceive your lifestyle? You may need to change your mindset.

Change Your Mindset About Food and Stay On Track

This is a very loaded question.  Perception is NOT always reality.  Sometimes, we need to teach ourselves to think differently than we are programmed.  We need to change our mindset so that we can progress and reach our goals. I speak to patients all day long that think they are not doing well with their regimen. 

Once we start talking and really looking at their day, I can show them how they really are making better choices and are doing better than they perceive.  When we feel we are not in control, we can risk getting off track with our plan.  When we notice that one meal or one day of eating wasn’t perfect it can derail us. 

When we promise ourselves to include exercise weekly into our lifestyle, and life gets in the way, we tell ourselves and believe that all is lost. 

What we NEED to do is improve our self-talk.  That inner voice can either derail you or motivate you.  “Mindset” or the self-perceptions that we believe about ourselves, that determine our behavior, mental, and emotional attitude can be changed!  To truly live a life with a Positive or Growth Mindset means you can control the outcome of your life, you can reduce your stress, and improve your health. 

Time to embrace a Growth Mindset to help maintain a positive focus on your health and live that healthy lifestyle we are aiming for.

Fixed MindsetGrowth Mindset
I am either healthy or I am notI can improve my health with practice
It’s too late for me.  I have gained and lost weight my whole lifeI have the ability to learn new healthy eating skills
Avoid challengesEmbrace challenges

How Do We Live with a Growth Mindset?

So, now that we are committed to living our lives with a Growth Mindset how do we do it?  It is easy.  We first must think of ourselves as a work in progress.  We must embrace that not every day will be perfect.  We must take on new challenges, know our goals, and reflect on where we have been so we can know where we are headed.  We must add this very small, but important word into our daily vocabulary “yet”. 

This powerful word helps us realize that even though we may find something difficult it does not mean we cannot conquer it.  “Yet” gives us hope that tomorrow will be better for us.  For example- I can’t do this…yet!   I cannot find time to exercise on the weekends…yet!   I am not good at this…yet!  “Yet” means that something you struggle with is achievable.  It doesn’t mean it is going to be easy.  It may take work, but it can be done.  It also means that you are back in control of your progress and your life.

Now that we are the main character in our own lives again, we can start to think about what choices we want to make for ourselves.  It does not mean that we are being selfish to take the time to improve ourselves.  It means putting your health first.  Now all the decisions we make planning, prepping, and executing our day will be for improving our lifestyle. 

Start with a Plan for Our Day

Let us start with a plan for our day.  Let us think about our positive expectations for that day.  Maybe it will be to plan your 3 meals before the day begins, consume 64oz of water today, have a healthy snack, or incorporate exercise.  Come up with a goal for the day.  Focus on completing that one healthy goal.  Keep your goals realistic. 

If you are having a busy day with meetings and feel you may skip lunch- bring a healthy protein drink to replace lunch that day.  If you just don’t have time to get to the gym-Google or U-Tube a relaxation video or do some stretching at home.  Once that goal has been completed, mentally check it off in your brain and feel the power of success.  Now let us go one step further.  Planning a healthy snack goal for the day. 

Another Great Way to Enhance Your Positive Mindset

Here is another great way to enhance your Positive Mindset.  Let’s think of foods as “forward” food or a “backward” food.  It is easy to see the difference.  We are aiming to always propel ourselves forward, to reach our weight loss goals and healthy lifestyle.  To help us get from I have not accomplished this “yet” to I have accomplished this!  “Forward” foods move us forward and closer to our goals.  “Backward” foods digress us.  

So, common sense says to fill your day with “Forward” foods and feel better, and get closer to your goal weight and maintain it.  “Forward” foods will also provide us with better energy and focus for your day.  Who wouldn’t want that?!  These great foods meet our 5% rule for fat and carbohydrates. 

In case you need a reminder- every product you are consuming should be 5% or less in total fat and total carbohydrates. 

Foods like colorful fresh vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean moist meats, seafood, whole grains, beans, lentils, seasonings, and spices will all help you keep moving forward in the right direction.  Products that do not meet the 5% rule, are filled with preservatives, baked goods, high-fat meats, white bread, pasta, ice cream, high-fat dairy, or products made with cream and/or sugar may put you in reverse and further away from good health.  Always remember- that food selection is always based on stage-appropriate foods after surgery as advanced by your Doctor, PA, or Dietitian. 

I think the real lesson here is that only you have the capability to embrace your day in a Positive Growth Mindset that will keep you moving towards your goals for health.  You can open the door to your full potential.  Reach a goal weight and maintain it long-term.  Live that healthy lifestyle that you deserve.  Realize that you have not achieved it….” yet” and you are on your way!

Sharon George, MS, RD, CDN  has dedicated her career to Bariatric Nutrition for the past 15 years at the New York Bariatric Group.

change your mindset


Sharon George, MS, RD, CDN received her B.A. in Psychology from Syracuse University. She completed a second Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition at L.I.U.C.W. Post and received her Master’s degree in Community Counseling from Hofstra University. She has been published in OH Magazine and Bariatrics Today. Sharon has dedicated her career to Bariatric Nutrition for the past 15 years at the New York Bariatric Group.
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