Hint: it isn’t lack of exercise or the half gallon of Ben and Jerry’s you wolfed down.

Everyone knows that losing weight isn’t easy. But if you find your weight loss journey is particularly challenging, you may want to take this into consideration: the real reason you’re not losing weight as quickly or effectively as you want to may not be because you’re eating too much or not exercising enough. Sometimes, weight loss efforts are hindered by your current mental state, i.e. how you think about yourself and your weight loss journey. Here’s three hidden reasons why your weight loss efforts may be ineffective and what you can do to bring the weight loss dial back down in your favor.

You Blame Others/Play the Victim

Nothing will rob you of your weight loss goals faster than harboring a victim mentality—the blaming of others for your unhappiness and believing that life circumstances are beyond your control. At one time or another, we have all experienced a life situation that made us feel helpless and incapable of making the situation any better. But with a victim mentality, these feelings aren't related to an occasional life situation; they’re an everyday state-of-mind that often leads to weight loss struggles, relationship difficulties and self-esteem issues.

If you suffer from a victim mentality, there are some self-help techniques you can use to leave the blaming behind and to change your perception of yourself as a victim. One such technique involves thinking of an incident in your life that resulted in you blaming others. Think of the incident, and then take a moment to realize that you were a part of that incident too, if even just a little. By realizing that you took part in the situation, you gain the freedom to see yourself as someone who can accept responsibility and who can take control of their feelings, actions, and ultimately, their weight loss efforts.

You Don't Know About the Law of Attraction

Law of Attraction experts, such as Bob Proctor, John Assaraf, and Joe Vitale, will tell you that “thoughts become things.” What you spend most of your time thinking about is what you will attract into your life. If the majority of your time is spent worrying about how much weight you still have to lose or thinking negative thoughts about your body, you will be attracting mostly difficult situations, weight loss struggles, and undesirable outcomes in your life. In short, your weight loss attempts won’t have a chance to come to pass if they’re constantly eclipsed by a stream of negativity.

The good news is, however, that positive thoughts can manifest in your life just as quickly and easily as negative ones. Instead of immediately worrying about an unpleasant situation in your life, like your imperfect body or stalled weight loss attempt, try this: take time to think about a positive outcome for the situation and envision the situation turning out exactly as you want it to turn out. This may not be easy to do at first, so start with something small and manageable. For example, instead of thinking “I’m so fat," take a moment before bedtime to envision yourself waking up the next morning feeling thinner, healthier, happy and energized. Don’t worry about how you will achieve this state, just focus on the end result. Do it every night, and combine it with a true belief that you will no longer be overweight or unhealthy. Before long, you will start to see positive results in your weight loss efforts, energy levels, and overall happiness.

You Don't Appreciate What You Already Have

Wanting more is not always a bad thing and it doesn’t always make you unhappy, but it can make you unhappy if you find yourself wanting more simply because you don't appreciate what you already have. What you have, where you are in life, and everything you've experienced collectively contribute to making you a unique an amazing individual. And it's all worth appreciating! People who appreciate who they are and everything they have generally feel more in control of their lives, have higher self-esteem, and are better equipped at handling situations when the going gets tough—all really important qualities to have when you’re trying to lose weight.

So how can you become more grateful and help boost your weight loss efforts? You could take a moment to think of someone who is less fortunate than you, and then take it a step further and do something to make that person's life a little better. Perhaps you could donate your family's gently used clothes, coats, and shoes to a charitable organization, or you could volunteer at a food pantry or homeless shelter. Or perhaps you could write a letter of gratitude to someone special in your life (your spouse, your child, a great co-worker, or even your dog) who has brought you a lot of joy and who has made your life better simply by being a part of it. Once you realize you have a lot to be thankful for, it's virtually impossible to suffer from ineffective dieting.

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