Most of us go through the vicious weight loss cycle of despair.
You wake up motivated and convinced that TODAY is the day that you will make healthy choices to stay on your weight loss program. A few hours later, it only takes the sighting of one doughnut to glaze your resolve over. Again.
Why does this keep happening?
After all, no one needs to tell you why you need to lose weight – you know exactly how losing some weight will do you good. You know that losing some weight will keep you in better shape while improving your physical health and perhaps your mental health too… So why can’t you be motivated enough to stay on track?
Well, the good news is that lasting motivation for weight loss is only a few easy habits away.
If you’re reading this, congratulations – you already motivated to get started… and we’ll help you take it to the next level where you’re firing on all cylinders and smashing every single one of your weight loss goals!
So, let’s discuss the steps to increase your motivation for weight loss to reach your goals…
1. Understand your goal of wanting to lose weight
Why do you want to lose weight? Do you have a special event that you want to look stunning for? Or do you want to improve your health or have more energy?
Whatever your reason for wanting to lose weight, revisiting your original goal will help you stay on track. Because research shows that keeping your original goal in the forefront of your mind will keep you in a better position to cope with setbacks when they arise.
2. Write your weight loss goals
Research shows that people who set goals are more successful at achieving them.
Being specific about your weight loss goals makes them more realistic and achievable. The keyword here is specific. To be as specific as possible, use S.M.A.R.T. goals:
For example, a SMART weight loss goal could be:
“I will run for 30 minutes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the middle school track from 7:30 to 8:00 am.”
This goal is so specific, that you can practically already see yourself running, right?
Once you have your SMART goals written down, post them so that you get a visual reminder to boost your motivation to continue to reach your weight loss goals.
3. Set small, realistic daily goals
Instead of gunning for big, audacious weight loss goals, set smaller realistic targets instead. Daily short-term goals are easier to track and measure (10 mins of cardiovascular exercise each morning) than huge, arbitrary targets (lose 50 pounds within the next month). Realistically, you may not achieve your goals every single day, or you may find that you’re closer to hitting your targets on some days than others. Don’t worry. Small realistic expectations will help to boost your feelings of achievement and prevent you from burning out, so lower the bar and smash those goals.
4. Get a support group
Trying to lose weight can be a lonely journey, and it is much easier to fail on your own than to fail as a part of a strong, supportive group.
Do whatever you need to do to build a support system:
- join an online fitness community,
- hire a personal trainer,
- find an accountability buddy with similar goals or
- join a fitness group or gym.
Making sure that you build a stream of motivational and positive support around you to reduce your chances of finding yourself in the precarious position where there’s too much junk food and not enough willpower to go round.
5. Keep a food journal
“What gets measured gets managed.” The eternal words of Peter Drucker ring as true in management as it does in weight loss.
Writing in a journal isn’t an activity to be left to teenagers alone. Journalling how much you eat and exercise is a great way to record and reflect on your weight loss progress. Not only will recording your food intake help you to keep track of your progress, but it will help you to better understand your eating portions, habits and progress.
6. Reward yourself
A small reward for a job well done goes a long way to boost motivation. Even tiny rewards are enough to motivate people to go the extra mile, so there’s no better reason to reward yourself whenever you reach a milestone. Whether you buy yourself day at the spa, new yoga pants, or some time out with friends, rewarding yourself is a great “hack” to use the human inclination for positive inclination for good.
7. Talk positively
Because weight loss is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one, it is beneficial to create a regular mantra you can recite to yourself to keep you motivated.
A statement as simple as “I will make healthy choices today” could help you build your reserves of mental toughness and self-confidence when required to make important decisions.
People who speak positively about themselves are more confident in themselves and end up losing more weight. They are also more likely to follow through with their plans.
8. Pick a weight loss plan that suits you
In this day and age, there are a plethora of diet plans to choose from. It’s best to pick something that suits you as an individual, rather than what’s trending at the moment.
Making small changes to address the weak spots in your diet (such as late night bingeing or out-of-control portion sizes) could turn out to be more effective for you than cutting carbohydrates all together. There are many small changes you can incorporate into your diet to achieve your ultimate goal, such as eating more fruit and vegetables, reducing your portion sizes, decreasing your calorie intake and cutting out snacks.
The key thing to remember is that all of these steps require some forethought and planning. This shows that just by implementing these small changes and planning ahead, you can get motivation for weight loss to reach your goals!