We start out sticking to a healthy diet and exercise with plenty of zeal. But then, something happens and we fall off the wagon. Enthusiasm wanes and the motivation to lose weight slowly disappears.
It’s hard to get started and harder to stick to any weight loss plan. This article list 7 tips to help you get and stay motivated to lose weight.
1. Know Your Whys
Motivation comes much easier when you know why you want to lose weight.
You probably have more than one reason to slim down and change your body and writing them is important.
A written list will help keep your focus on everything you have to gain from making the necessary changes to lose weight.
Write all the whys you can think of, and tape the list on your refrigerator, dressing mirror, car, and any other places that you can’t miss.
Getting specific and clear on why weight loss is important to you personally helps your subconscious motivate you to success.
2. Weight Loss Goals Become Motivators
Trying to lose weight without goals doesn’t really make sense because you won’t know where you’re going, or when you arrive.
If you can’t stay motivated to lose weight — goals should be your very first step.
It’s easy to have some idea of the weight or clothes size you want to reach in the back of your mind. Of course, that is a goal “of sorts”, but will never provide the motivation you need when cravings popup.
The best motivation for losing weight is taking the time to map out REALISTIC monthly and weekly goals. (All research suggest that losing 1-2 pounds a week is healthy and a realistic goal to set.)
Some weeks will naturally be harder with less weight loss, others may prove to be 3 or 4 pound weeks. But, writing the goals and posting to them at least once a week let’s see your progress, if your falling back, and the hooray weeks.
Now purchase a white board, write the goals on it, and hang it in the kitchen.
A white board in the kitchen is ideal for long and short term goals, keeping track of your progress, and other info.
3. Reward Yourself
Rewarding yourself for meeting a goal is the surefire motivator for building a habit, as well as sticking to your weight loss program.
For a reward to motivate you to stay on track it needs to be thought out ahead of time and written down so it becomes real to you.
A good time to think out your rewards is at the same time your calculating and writing your weekly and monthly weight goals.
Rewards make the hard parts much easier to face and persevere through to the end. They can become your biggest motivation to turn away from the foods that add weight.
How often you reward yourself for a job well done is up to you.
You might give yourself any reward you can think of every week you reach your goal, and every month you crush it?
Penalties for Failing to Stay the Course?
I’ve heard of successful dieters that used a penalty to motivate themselves, too? They promised someone they knew x amount of money if they didn’t reach their goal. Paying up for failing isn’t a reward, but could be a strong motivator?
Rewarding yourself for reaching goals motivates, encourages, and builds self esteem. Don’t neglect to take credit for your efforts.
4. Take a Picture of Yourself Before You Start
Looking better is the motivation most people have for starting a weight loss diet.
Why not take a picture of yourself before you ever get started?
If you can, get a picture in a swimsuit or anything that will really display your body and how it looks.
Pin the picture somewhere you can’t miss it, and take a new one every month. If you’re sticking to the diet plan, you will start seeing a different body each month.
If you keep putting the new pictures on your bathroom mirror, you’ll be elated with the changes in your body and how your clothes fit.
Taking and keeping pictures of yourself as you lose weight, tone, and slim down will motivate you to make the best choices everyday.
5. Exercise Motivates Your Weight Loss Efforts
Losing weight is not magic! It happens because of a very simple and direct formula:
You must consume less calories than you burn which is the same as burning more calories than you consume.
Here’s an important piece of information:
One pound = about 3,500 calories, so to lose one pound you will need to burn or deprive yourself of about 3,500 calories.
How do you do that?
- Exercise 30 minutes to an hour 5 days a week and burn 200-900 calories a day depending on which exercise you choose.
- Depending on your weight, cut 500-1000 calories out of your normal diet DAILY to lose 1-2 pounds in a week.
Of course you can see right away that if you cut your calorie consumption and exercise regularly, the results are much better.
—> Exercise is More Than Calorie Burn Alone
30-60 minutes of exercise daily works wonders as a morale booster when you are dieting.
Besides, burning calories, toning muscles, and tightening loose skin left from being overweight, exercise lifts your mood.
Something as simple as walking 30 minutes a day will soon produce noticeable changes in your body. As your mood increases and you see changes in your body, you are naturally motivated to pursue your weight loss goals.
Exercise may be the easiest and most natural motivator of all. As you develop the habit of regular exercise, you will feel much better physically, emotionally, and mentally.
6. Recruit a Weight Loss Accountability Partner
Dieting and changing lifestyle habits is hard work. Someone to encourage and hold you accountable provides the motivation to persist and pursue the goal.
Plan on being taxed physically, mentally, and emotionally, especially in the first weeks.
Getting through to the finish line calls for all the support you can get. Someone that motivates you when the times get tough.
Something to think about when choosing an accountability partner:
If your cheerleader isn’t pursuing their own weight loss, or successfully done so in the past, he/she may not know the best ways to motivate you.
If your partner doesn’t have any experience here, maybe you can help them encourage you down roads they’ve never traveled.
Either way, a friend or mentor to encourage and motivate you to greater heights is invaluable to your efforts.
A friend to exercise with, share ideas about what to eat, and discuss the highs and lows of dieting will make life more fun.
7. Other Peoples Weight Loss Journey
If you know someone else that’s had their own successful weight loss journey, ask them for tips.
You might be pleasantly surprised at how much other dieters like to talk about how they overcame common obstacles. (Remember to be respectful about where and how you open the conversation)
Another great way to find inspiration is reading about other peoples journey. The web is full of those stories on Facebook, Google, and forums.
You probably don’t want to try to follow their exact plan, because we’re all different, and every plan doesn’t work for everyone.
Instead, use their personal stories for your own motivation and inspiration for weight loss.
Whether you read or converse personally with someone who has experienced sticking to a weight loss plan you will gain invaluable insight into the process.
Weight Loss Motivation Comes From New Habits
How much you weigh, your level of fitness, your health, your relationships, personal hygiene, motivation — it’s all based on your habits.
Essentially, you are the sum total of the habits that control your life.
When you come to grips with that, it’s much easier to get off the diet cycle and maintain a healthy weight naturally.
The best way to change your bad habits is to directly replace them with new ones. When you create a habit, your brain creates new neurological pathways allowing you to more easily use those habits.The Positive Psychology People
The fact is — you can’t just stop bad habits. The only answer is to form new and better habits. Your new habits will eventually become stronger than the old habits and become built in motivators.
We all have to eat, and if you’re reading this page there’s a good chance you need little motivation to eat.
I’ll tell you something interesting. You may or may not agree with this at first, but with a little thought you might find it true for yourself.
Most of us who are overweight have lowered our standards of life, health, and how we look. Somehow we got to the point that we simply didn’t have the motivation to raise those standards.
Everyone of the 7 tips in this post will help you think more of yourself, raise your self esteem, look better, and feel better. And by far the best way to find the motivation to lose weight is to raise your standards and how you think of yourself.