Starting and sticking to a healthy weight loss plan can sometimes seem impossible.
Often people simply lack the motivation to start or lose the motivation to continue. Fortunately, you can work to improve your motivation.
This article discusses 16 ways to motivate yourself to lose weight.
1. Determine why you want to lose weight
Clearly state all the reasons why you want to lose weight and write them down. This will help you stay committed and motivated to achieve your weight loss goals.
Try to read them daily and use them as a reminder when you're tempted to deviate from your weight loss plans.
Your reasons may include preventing diabetes, spending time with your grandchildren, looking better for an event, boosting your self-esteem, or because you wear a certain pair of jeans.
Many people start losing weight because their doctor told them to, but research shows that people are more successful if the motivation to lose weight comes from within.
Summary:Clearly define your weight loss goals and write them down. Make sure your motivation comes from within for long-term success.
2. Have realistic expectations
Many diets and diet products claim quick and easy weight loss. However, most practitioners recommend losing only 1-2 pounds (0. 5-1 kg) per week.
Setting unattainable goals can lead to frustration and giving up. Conversely, setting and achieving achievable goals leads to a sense of accomplishment.
Additionally, people who achieve their weight loss goals are more likely to maintain their weight loss in the long term.
A study using data from several weight loss centers found that women who planned to lose weight were the most likely to drop out of the program.
The good news is that even a small weight loss of 5-10% of your body weight can make a big difference to your health. If you weigh 180 pounds (82 kg), that's only 9–18 pounds (4–8 kg). If you weigh 250 pounds (113 kg), that's 13–25 pounds (6–11 kg).
5-10% of body weight can be lost:
- Improve blood sugar control
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Reduce cholesterol levels
- Reduce joint pain
- Reduce the risk of certain types of cancer
Summary:Set realistic expectations for weight loss to increase your sense of accomplishment and prevent burnout. Even a moderate weight loss of 5-10% can have a serious impact on your health.
3. Focus on process goals
Many people try to lose weight only with goals or goals that they want to achieve in the end.
Typically, the ultimate goal will be your final target weight.
However, focusing only on the bottom line can demotivate you. They often seem too far away and you feel overwhelmed.
Instead, you should set process goals, or what actions you plan to take to achieve the desired outcome. An example of a process goal is to exercise four times a week.
A study of 126 overweight women participating in a weight loss program found that those who focused on the process lost more weight and were less likely to deviate from their diet than those who focused only on the results of weight loss.
Setting process goals includes:
- in time
Some examples of these goals include:
- Next week I will walk fast for 30 minutes for five days.
- I'm eating four servings of vegetables every day this week.
- I will only drink one soda this week.
Summary:Setting process goals can help you stay motivated, while focusing only on end goals can lead to frustration and demotivation.
4. Choose a plan that fits your lifestyle
Find a weight loss plan that you can stick to and avoid plans that will be nearly impossible to stick to in the long run.
Although there are hundreds of different diets, most are based on cutting calories.
Reducing calorie intake will lead to weight loss, but dieting, especially frequent yo-yo dieting, is a predictor of future weight gain.
Therefore, avoid a strict diet that excludes certain foods. Research shows that people with an all-or-nothing mindset tend to lose less weight.
Instead, consider creating your own custom plan. The following dietary habits have been proven to help with weight loss:
- Reducing your calorie intake
- reduce portion size
- Reducing the frequency of eating
- Cut back on fried foods and desserts
- including fruits and vegetables
Summary:Choose a meal plan that you can stick to long term and avoid extreme or crash diets.
5. Keep a weight loss journal
Self-control is critical to motivation and weight loss success.
Research shows that people who watch their food intake are more likely to lose weight and keep it off.
However, in order to properly keep a food diary, you must write down everything you eat. This includes meals, snacks, and candy that you eat from an employee's desk.
You can also record your emotions in a food journal. This will help you identify specific triggers for overeating and find healthier ways to eat.
You can keep food journals on pen and paper, or use a website or app. All of them have proven their effectiveness.
Summary:Keeping a food diary can help you measure your progress, identify triggers and focus on yourself. You can also use the website or app as a tracking tool.
6. Celebrate your successes
Losing weight is hard, so celebrate all your successes to stay motivated.
Give yourself credit when you reach your goal. Social media or weight loss sites with community pages are great places to share your progress and get support. When you are proud of yourself, you increase your motivation.
Moreover, remember to note changes in behavior, not just a certain number on the scale.
For example, if you aim to exercise four days a week, take a bubble bath or plan a fun night out with friends.
Additionally, you can further increase your motivation by rewarding yourself.
However, choosing the right reward is important. Don't reward yourself with food. Also, avoid rewards that are so expensive that you will never buy them, or so insignificant that you will allow yourself to receive them anyway.
Below are some good examples of rewards:
- Get a manicure
- Let's go to the cinema
- Buying a new treadmill
- Take cooking classes
Summary:Celebrate all your weight loss successes. Consider rewarding yourself to boost your motivation.
7. Find social support
People need regular encouragement and positive feedback to stay motivated.
Tell your family and friends about your weight loss goals so they can support you on your journey.
Many people also find it helpful to find a weight loss buddy. You can train together, hold each other accountable, and support each other throughout the process.
It can also be helpful to get your partner involved, but make sure you get support from other people, such as friends.
Also, consider joining a support group. Both in-person and online support groups have been helpful.
Summary:Having strong social support can help you hold yourself accountable and stay motivated to lose weight. Consider joining a support group to boost your motivation along the way.
8. Make a commitment
Research shows that those who make public commitments are more likely to accomplish their goals.
Share your weight loss goals with others. Tell your family and friends and even consider sharing on social media. The more people you share your goals with, the more accountability you have.
Additionally, consider a gym membership, training package, or $5K down payment. You're more likely to stick with it if you're already invested.
Summary:Making a public commitment to lose weight can help keep you motivated and accountable.
9. Think and speak positively
People who have positive expectations and are confident in their ability to achieve their goals lose more weight.
In addition, people who use "change" are more likely to follow through on their plans.
Change discussions are statements of commitment to the behavior change, the reasons for it, and the steps you will take or will take to achieve your goals.
So start talking positively about your weight loss. Also talk about the steps you are going to take and speak your thoughts out loud.
On the other hand, studies show that people who spend a lot of time just fantasizing about their dream weight are less likely to achieve their goals. This is called mental indulgence.
Instead, you have to do the contrast mentally. For a mental contrast, take a few minutes to visualize achieving your goal, and then spend another few minutes imagining any possible obstacles you might encounter along the way.
In a study of 134 college students, they mentally met or mentally challenged their dietary goals. Those who were mentally challenged were more likely to act. They ate fewer calories, more exercise, and less calorie-dense food.
As this study shows, mental resistance is more motivating and leads to more action than mental satisfaction, which can trick your brain into thinking you've already succeeded and cause you to never take action toward your goals.
Summary: Think and talk positively about your weight loss goals, but make sure you are realistic and focus on the steps you need to take to achieve them.
10. Plan to overcome difficulties and failures
Everyday stressors will always show up. Finding ways to plan for them and developing the right coping skills will help you stay motivated no matter what life throws your way.
There will always be holidays, birthdays or parties. And there will always be stressors at work or in the family.
It's important to start problem solving and brainstorming potential weight loss problems and failures. This will keep you on track and motivated.
Many people seek comfort in food. This can quickly cause them to give up on their weight loss goals. Developing appropriate coping skills will help you avoid this.
Research shows that people who manage stress better and have better coping strategies lose more weight and keep it off longer.
Consider using some of these techniques to deal with stress:
- Practice square breathing
- take a bath
- Go outside and get some fresh air
- Call a friend
- Ask for help
Don't forget to plan vacations, social events, and restaurants. You can research the restaurant menu beforehand to find a healthier option. At parties, you can bring a healthy meal or eat small portions.
Summary:It is very important to plan for failure and have good coping techniques. If you are using food as a coping mechanism, start practicing other ways of coping.
11. Don't strive for perfection and forgive yourself
You don't have to be perfect to lose weight.
If you have an all or nothing mentality, you are less likely to achieve your goals.
When you're feeling too restricted, you might say, "I had a hamburger and fries for dinner, so maybe I'll have pizza for dinner. " Instead, try saying, "I had a big lunch, so I should aim for a healthier dinner. "
And don't beat yourself up for making a mistake. Suicidal thoughts will only hinder your motivation.
Instead, forgive yourself. Remember that one mistake will not destroy your progress.
Summary:When you strive for perfection, you quickly lose motivation. By allowing yourself flexibility and forgiving yourself, you can stay motivated throughout your weight loss journey.
12. Learn to love and appreciate your body
Studies have repeatedly shown that people who don't like their bodies are less likely to lose weight.
Taking steps to improve your body image can help you lose more weight and keep it off.
Additionally, people with a better body image are more likely to choose a diet they can stick to and try new activities that will help them reach their goals.
The following activities can help you improve your body image:
- Appreciate what your body can do.
- Do something for yourself, like a massage or a manicure
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Stop comparing yourself to others, especially models
- Wear clothes that you like and that fit you
- Look in the mirror and say out loud what you like about yourself
Summary:Improving your body image can help you stay motivated to lose weight. Try the steps above to improve your body image.
13. Find an exercise you enjoy
Physical activity is an important part of weight loss. Not only does it help you burn calories, but it also makes you feel better.
The best kind is exercise that you enjoy and can do.
There are many types and methods of exercise, and it's important to explore different options to find what works for you.
Think about where you want to train. Do you prefer to be inside or outside? Do you prefer to work out in the gym or in the comfort of your own home?
Also, decide whether you prefer to train alone or in a group. Group classes are very popular and help many people stay motivated. However, if you don't like group lessons, you can study on your own.
Finally, listen to music while you exercise as it can increase motivation. People also exercise longer when listening to music.
Summary:Exercise not only helps you burn calories, but it also makes you feel better. Find an exercise you enjoy so it can easily become part of your daily routine.
14. Find a role model
Having a role model can help you stay motivated to lose weight. However, you need to choose the right role model to keep you motivated.
Hanging a picture of a supermodel on the fridge will not motivate you over time. Instead, find a role model that you can easily relate to.
A positive and positive role model will help you stay motivated.
Maybe you know a friend who has lost a lot of weight and can be your inspiration. You can also find inspirational blogs or stories about people who have successfully lost weight.
Summary:Finding a role model can help you stay motivated. It's important to find a role model that you can easily relate to.
15. Get a dog
Dogs can be the perfect companion for weight loss. Studies have shown that owning a dog can help you lose weight.
First, dogs can increase your physical activity.
A Canadian study of dog owners found that people who owned dogs walked an average of 300 minutes per week, while people without dogs walked only 168 minutes per week.
Second, dogs are excellent social supports. Unlike your exercise buddy, dogs almost always enjoy physical activity.
As a bonus, pet ownership has been shown to improve overall health and well-being. It was associated with lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and reduced feelings of loneliness and depression.
Summary:Owning a dog can help you lose weight by increasing physical activity and providing more social support along the way.
16. Seek professional help if needed.
Don't hesitate to seek professional help to help you lose weight if needed. People who are more confident in their knowledge and abilities will lose more weight.
This may mean finding a registered dietitian to teach you about certain foods or a physiotherapist to teach you how to exercise properly.
Many people also like the responsibility that a professional perspective gives them.
If you're still having trouble getting motivated, consider finding a psychologist or nutritionist trained in motivational interviewing, which has been proven to help people achieve their goals.
Summary:Specialists such as nutritionists, physiologists and psychologists can help you increase your motivation and knowledge to help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Motivation to lose weight is important to long-term weight loss success.
People find different motivations, so it's important to find out what motivates you.
Remember to be flexible and celebrate small successes on your weight loss journey. And don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
With the right tools and support, you can find and stay motivated to achieve your weight loss goals.