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Your mindset impacts your nutrition habits and behaviors by influencing your relationship with your self-image, and how you approach challenges and respond to setbacks. You can see greater success by cultivating what psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck coined as a growth mindset. In this blog, Stronger U’s Registered Dietitian, Noelle Schleder, breaks down how the qualities of a growth mindset differ from a fixed mindset. Her tips help you shift your frame of mind for the Transformation Challenge and your life.

How a Growth vs. Fixed Mindset Impacts Your Nutrition

Stronger U’s nutrition coaches support a diverse range of individuals, each bringing unique thoughts and beliefs to their health journey. What sets our successful members apart is their embrace of a growth mindset, a concept developed by psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck. Those with a growth mindset are perpetual learners, willing to explore new recipes and strategies, even stepping outside their comfort zone. They believe in the potential for change in strengths and weaknesses over time. For instance, when facing challenges like frequent dining out, they trust their coach to guide them towards necessary adjustments. Flexibility and a growth mindset facilitate experimentation and positive experiences, making setbacks and failures a natural part of the journey.

In contrast, individuals with a fixed mindset resist change, often due to ingrained beliefs about themselves. A fixed mindset leads to rigid approaches, heightened stress, and perfectionist tendencies, hindering their progress. Fear of failure and a lack of flexibility contribute to an all-or-nothing mentality with nutrition, causing them to fall off track on weekends, holidays, or when the scale’s number increases.

At Stronger U, we guide members toward flexibility and self-compassion. As someone who transitioned from a fixed to a growth mindset, I am confident anyone can make these changes by applying the tips below. 

1. Understand that thinking something doesn’t mean it is true. Start to look for thoughts that align with a fixed mindset, such as: 

  • “I don’t know why I’m bother; nothing ever works for me.”
  • “I failed again; I will never be able to do this right.”
  • “The scale is up; this program isn’t working.”

2. Flip a fixed mindset thought to one with a growth mindset when you catch it occurring. For example:

  • “The scale fluctuates, so I won’t worry about the day-to-day trends.”
  • “Something has to work for me, so I’ll keep trying until I find what does.”
  • “That method didn’t work well for me; I’ll message my coach to see if there’s something else we can try.”

3. Embrace failure. We will encounter setbacks and failures with any new skill we are trying to build, including living healthier. Total acceptance of this makes it easier when a setback inevitably happens.

4. Know that this is a lifelong journey, and there is no race to the finish line. Being a healthy human never has an end date, so we can make slow and steady steps without needing to rush anything.

5. Recognize that your body or health won’t change if you don’t change anything. If you choose to work with a Stronger U nutrition coach, expect suggestions and feedback on things you can tweak to see progress. 

6. Let go of the need to prove yourself. You don’t need to prove anything to your coach, partner, family, friends, or gym buddies. You are already worthy by living and breathing; everything else you do is a bonus.

7. Stop seeking approval from others. Instead, give yourself approval often. Even if it feels fake, keep giving it until it feels normal. You give your power away each time you rely on someone else to tell you you’re worthy, and you get it back each time you do it yourself. 

Mindset shifts take time and effort; the first step is believing it’s possible. Take it slow and high-five yourself each time you identify a thought aligning with a growth mindset approach.

As Stronger U Coaches, we are experts at helping members reframe their mindset and shift their perspectives for a more positive experience during their nutrition journey and beyond. To learn more about what it’s like to be a Stronger U member, schedule a free consultation with a Coach Concierge to discover program benefits and get matched with a coach who aligns with your needs and preferences. 

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