When people are asked about the best ways to lose weight they will usually say "diet and exercise" but they are ignoring an important third component. Your mindset is also an important factor when you want to lose weight. It is important to address diet, exercise and mindset if you want to lose weight effectively.

plate of saladMost people think about diet as being an eating regime that restricts what you eat and that you have to endure to lose some weight. However, it is better to think about what you do eat, not what you don't eat. Spending all your time feeling resentful or unhappy because you "aren't allowed" to eat certain foods is not a good way to manage your weight. Instead, think about the benefits of eating nutritionally balanced food that will help you to achieve your goal.

One big mistake people make when they want to lose weight is to cut back too much on what they eat. If you restrict your calorie intake too much then your body will go into starvation mode and start storing fat - which is the opposite effect to what you want. So, though it might be tempting to think that a lack of food will mean a lack of fat it is not true. You can actually eat a lot of food and still lose weight if you are eating the right types of food.

exercise weightExercise will help you to lose weight as well. The right type of exercise will be different for everyone depending on age, weight and gender. If you are very overweight then take advice from a personal trainer before you start exercising because you don't want to put too much strain on your body as it could cause damage. Spending some time and money with a personal trainer, even if it is only for a short time to get you started, is a good investment because it will help you reach your goal much faster.

A lot of people don't like the thought of going to a gym because they are worried about what other people will think about them. Remember, that everyone is there for the same purpose - to keep fit and healthy and everyone will be at different levels. The person you really envy because they look so trim could well be the person who came in a couple of years ago very overweight. You don't have to go to a public gym to workout, there will be some trainers who will come to your home or who have a private gym. Even if you don't feel the gym is for you, include more exercise into your daily routine, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift, leaving your car at the back of the car park or going for a walk at lunchtime.

person thinkingYour mindset is what will help you with both diet and exercise. It helps you to keep motivated to eat healthily and to exercise. If you find it difficult to stay motivated then join an exercise group, an online weight loss forum or weight loss group or start your weight loss with a friend. Alternatively you could listen to weight loss CDs or get help through techniques such as hypnosis or cognitive behaviour therapy.

With the right mindset you will find it much easier to do the things that help you lose weight and then maintain it, not just for a month or so but for life. It won't seem like a restriction, you will enjoy the benefits and think of your healthy eating and exercise plan as part of your life.