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How To Stay Motivated During Weight Loss
Losing weight is about more than choosing the right diet and exercise plan.
Your shot at success depends completely on your ability to stay motivated and stay on track.
Motivation is easy at first. Holding on to it may breed a little challenge. Please know that this is normal. You will have days where motivation is at its all time high, and other days where motivation is at an all time low.
Even if you’ve started and stopped countless times before, you can still make weight loss happen. By putting some important skills to use, you will find it a little easier to stay motivated, stick to your weight loss efforts and reach your goal weight.
In this article, we’ll look into some of the best ideas on motivation to lose weight and keep it off for good.
Here are 10 ways to stay motivated to lose weight.
1. DETERMINE YOUR "WHY".
Motivation comes a little easier when you determine the reason for wanting to lose weight.
What is/are your motivating factors for losing weight? It is important to understand your “why”, no matter how small.
Do you have a special event coming up that you want to feel your best at? Has a health issue flared up and encouraged you to make healthy changes? Or do you just want to improve your overall health and fitness?
You must clearly define all the reasons you want to lose weight and write them down. This will help you stay committed and motivated to reach your weight loss goals.
There are going to be times during your weight loss journey when that voice in your head that says “give up” will be louder than the one that says “keep going.” That is when having a strong PURPOSE of why you started this difficult journey will keep you moving forward even in times of setbacks.
Setting your intentions and understanding your motivation for wanting to lose weight helps keep you focused on what you need and want out of the journey, so that you never lose sight of what matters most: your health and happiness.
2. Make a Weight Loss Plan According To Your Lifestyle.
When you’re making a weight loss plan, it’s wise to opt for one that will meet your needs and set you up for long-term success. When losing weight, it’s important to establish realistic goals and finding a diet and exercise regime that is suitable for you. Ultimately a good, solid systematic and connected strategy between the food you eat and the exercise you undertake is most important element when it comes to successful weight loss.
Broadly a weight loss plan has following 5 steps.
- Find out your ideal weight using a BMI calculator. After entering your height and weight, it will give your current and ideal BMI. Make a weight loss plan according to it.
- Set small realistic goals. The best path for success involves setting reasonable goals, and that’s especially true if you have lots of weight to drop. Ideally you should commit to losing 1-2 pounds a week. Once you reach that goal, establish a goal for the next month.
- Exercise. Regular exercise is a must-have for losing weight. Plan for moderate to intense exercise at least 2-3 times a week.
- Follow a healthy diet plan. Clean out the junk and choose a clean eating lifestyle that focuses on fresh foods, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
- Keep a track of your progress. That’s it! Your weight loss plan is ready.
3. Set Small Realistic Goals.
Fast weight loss, like trying to lose 10 or 20 pounds in one week, is not only unrealistic but also unhealthy. A realistic weight loss goal is to lose one to two pounds per week.
Going slow is the only healthy way to lose weight, and that takes time, so don’t plan to drop 25 pounds in as little as two weeks. At one to two pounds per week, losing 25 pounds will take you a little more than 12 weeks, or 3-4 months. To lose weight in a healthy manner, you should cut 500 to 1,000 calories a day by eating less and exercising more.
Without the short term goals, you don’t have check-in points along the way and reminders that you’re on the right track.
Setting and hitting smaller goals can keep you motivated to keep going for the longer haul. These goals can even be things like working out three days per week or making each meal 50 percent vegetables, logging in your food journal for consecutive 7 days. Even if these don’t translate to weight loss right away, you can still be proud of the healthy habits that you’re adopting.
4. Keep a Food Diary.
One of the most important things to do in your weight loss journey to help you stay motivated and on track is to maintain a food diary. Write down everything you eat or drink in a food diary.
A smartphone app like Lose It! or MyFitnessPal can be very effective tools.. These apps also offer information on calories and other nutrients.
A recent study showed that women who kept food journals consistently lost about 6 lbs. more than those who did not. This was likely because they held themselves responsible for everything they ate. Food journaling isn’t easy or convenient, but done consistently, it can help steer dieters to more healthful choices since it allows people not only to keep track of calories, but also to keep a check on the overall quality of their diet.
Accuracy and consistency are two secrets for successful food journaling.
So what should you include in a food diary.
What are you eating? Write down the specific food and beverage consumed. Include any sauces, condiments, dressings, or toppings.
How much are you eating? List the amount in measures (cups, teaspoons, tablespoons) or in ounces. If possible, it is best to weigh and measure your food, otherwise ,do your best to estimate the portion.
When are you eating? Noting the time of the day when and what you are eating can be very effective in identifying and eliminating unhealthy eating patterns.
5. Positive Self-Talk
Did you know – You can think and lose weight. Yes! That’s true.
To quote Mahatma Gandhi –
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
So, if you want to change your destiny – or your body, in our case – you must first change your thoughts.
If you wish to lose weight, you’ll need to get your thinking straight. Your belief that – “weight loss can be achieved” and “I can do it” will have to be ingrained in you. You’ll need to repeat it and believe in it again and again. You must program yourself to be thin with positive self talk.
Self-talk is one of the most effective ways to reprogram our mindset and develop healthier thinking. Remind yourself by using weight loss affirmations,that you are the one in control, and focus on building self-esteem. Every day is an incremental step forward, every time you practice positive self-talk and weight loss affirmations, you strengthen the paths in your brain which lead to positive outcomes.
When we spiral downward with negative thoughts about body image or food, the root of the issue is actually something deeper and more meaningful. An emotion, fear, unresolved relationship or altered perception are more likely at play here. It is when you conquer this area of doubt that you may then start to positively impact your self-talk, self-worth, shed the baggage and probably even some physical weight along the way.
6. Prepare for Temptations and Setbacks.
At some point in your weight loss journey you’ll undoubtedly confront the urge to regress into old ways. Its best to be prepared for such a time. The most effective strategy to handle the temptation is to steer clear of situations that you’ll find tempting in the first place.
You function from two parts of the brain: your primal brain and your sophisticated brain. Your primal brain wants instant gratification and to keep you alive. Your developed brain wants you to reach your goals and to dream big.
When faced with temptation – like your favorite chocolate cake or chips – your primal brain will want that chocolate cake at any cost. You may even start drooling. Thoughts of how wonderful and great that cake tasted last time will start popping up. At this point, resistance is futile. The more you resist it, the more you will want it. Instead, you can calmly acknowledge that although you see the cake and you want it, but you are not having it today… and here’s the most important part… tell yourself you can have it another day. It’s always available, and you can have it whenever you want. Once you give yourself permission to eat that tempting food, it’s amazing how quickly your primal brain will calm down.
Weight loss is a process filled with ups and downs on the scale and bumps in the road. In fact, even with great support, your weight loss journey may not be smooth all the time. People who have lost and maintained weight loss goals through healthy lifestyle changes have learned to manage setbacks instead of throwing in the towel.
In case of a setback like losing and then gaining back a few pounds or going on a binge – The important thing to do right away is not make things worse. No matter how bad it is now, it can always get worse. You should have some gratitude for wherever you are, even if it’s not where you want to be.
Mistakes and setbacks cannot be viewed as failures, instead think of them as learning experiences. Identify what led to the slip up, and use this data to prepare yourself, and prevent similar slip ups in the future.
7. Reward Yourself. Celebrate Every Small Success.
Reward yourself whenever you hit an important milestone or achieve a specific goal.
If you have embarked on a weight loss journey, sometimes you need some tangible rewards along the way to keep you motivated and to celebrate major milestones. It’s like the proverbial carrot dangling in front of you. Except in this case it should not be a food based reward.
Besides the intrinsic benefits that come from feeling better and reaching new goals, rewarding yourself for your healthy efforts will reinforce your new habits and inspire you to continue your journey.
Whether you’ve reached a weight-loss goal of 5 pounds or 50 pounds — or somewhere in between — little rewards can help motivate you to continue losing weight or to maintain a loss. And most rewards have the added benefit of serving as stress relievers, which can make it easier to continue your efforts. After all – studies show that the less stressed we are, the easier it is to lose weight. Moreover, It’s fun to have things to look forward to and it’s great for keeping you on track!
It only makes sense to not treat food as either a reward or a punishment during your weight loss journey.
There are lots of effective and motivating non-food ways to reward yourself (both large and small).
- Buy a new workout outfit.
- Buy yourself a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
- Get a new pair of running, walking, or hiking shoes.
- Buy a new water bottle.
- Get a massage.
- Get a pedicure.
- A new haircut, maybe.
- How about a fitness tracker.
- Buy new yoga pants.
- Buy a food scale.
- A bubble bath.
- Watch an extra episode of your favorite Netflix show.
- Watch your favorite movie once again.
- A spa day.
- Call someone who makes you smile.
- Take a guilt-free nap.
The list can be endless as there are countless ways to reward yourself, and while it may seem trivial, research shows that rewards that are personal to us do in fact help us stay motivated and establish long-term habits.
8. Lean on Friends and Family - Social Support.
Being accountable to another person and receiving social support is vital in motivating you to lose weight and keep it off.
Tell your family and friends that you would appreciate their help, and let them know specifically how they can help you. For example, you might ask your partner to walk with you and your best friend to be there when you need to vent.
Your weight loss program can be easy to stick to if you have emotional support – a shoulder to lean on, for the times when you are feeling down and discouraged. An exercise partner who will inspire and push you to do your best and someone to look after your chores while you are exercising and working towards your goals. All this can be provided by one person or many different persons depending on how social you are.
9. Don't Compare Yourself To Others.
“She just doesn’t put on any weight. I wish my butt looked big. Her butt looks nice in those jeans, my butt is flat. She said she took these pills, I will try it too. Her Instagram pictures look amazing, she looks so skinny.. Her life seems fabulous since she lost weight. Why can’t I look like the Instagram models or at least her….” STOP. Please stop doing this to yourself.
One of the worst things you can do when trying to lose weight is to compare yourself with literally anyone else. In the age of the Internet, information about other people’s experiences with losing weight is more available than ever before. The great temptation is to assume that just because it happened a certain way to someone else, it should happen that same way to you. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Stop comparing yourself to others weight loss journey because you may have just started your journey 1 month ago and the person you are comparing yourself to may be 6 months or even 1 year in to their journey so you can’t compare your 1 month to someone else’s 6 months
No matter what anyone tells you, we are all in many ways – different. We are all different shapes and sizes. We think differently and even the rate at which we lose weight what our bodies look like after weight loss are different.
10. Don't Be Too Hard on Yourself.
Unless you’re some kind of robot, you have human tendencies. Humans are hardwired to reject things they don’t enjoy and gravitate towards those they do. Working out and healthy eating in the first 6 months can be challenging for the best of us. Human beings — even those with the strongest willpower — are known to have weak moments. So, whatever the reason is that caused your diet to go off track or you gained back a few lost pounds; – It’s really and truly OK.
Embarking on a healthy weight loss program should inspire you, energize you and make you feel proud of yourself. It also takes time and patience. This can be a tall order, but remember—when you begin a weight loss process from a place of self-love and acceptance, you are more likely to set realistic goals and allow for the little setbacks and disappointments that are a common stumbling blocks along the way.
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