Weight loss is not an easy nor a fast process, especially not if you are aiming for sustainable weight loss results or adapting to a new healthy lifestyle as a way to improve your mental and physical health. Often, we struggle to stay motivated in the middle of that very same process. That is exactly why we come here, bearing some useful tips and tricks that are meant to help you stay on track feeling more motivated than ever.
Ways to stay motivated during weight loss
Write down the reasons why you want to lose weight
Let’s start with the basics, and that means thinking of and writing down every single reason that makes you want to lose weight. Is it a way to boost your self-confidence? Or maybe you want the health benefits that come with regular exercise and a healthy diet? Maybe you have recently found out that you have a risk of developing a certain health issue, and you want this healthy lifestyle to be your friend in this upcoming battle. When it comes to our health, it turns out that it can be quite the motivator if we let it (1).
Whatever the reason may be, make sure to write it down. And while we are at it – write as many as reasons as you can think of so that you would be less eager to give up in the process. Now layout that list of yours in a place where you can see it each day. Take a few moments every day and read through your list. This is a great method that can help boost your motivation, especially on days when you feel like you do not want to go to the gym or eat that salad. It can make you remember why you decided to do this radical change in your life in the first place.
Set realistic goals for yourself
Who does not want to have the body of a famous model? A very few people, for sure. But ask yourself – is that a realistic goal for you? Maybe some people have it easy, being born with certain genetics to have a slim body, but most of them still have to work at the gym and eat healthy to let that body show off. So it takes them time, patience, and effort to earn that body and mindset as well as it will take you or anyone else.
Setting unrealistic goals for yourself can harm your mental state. This can cause anxiety, stress, and depression to become a part of your everyday life, and that is the last thing that you would like. So set some realistic goals for yourself. Did you know that doctors recommend losing only 1-2 pounds per week? Because this is what will get you those sustainable weight loss results (2). Do not rush this process. You want results that are here to stay without gaining back the lost weight in a number of days after this whole journey has finished.
Set small goals on the way
So maybe your goal is to lose 10 pounds in two months. That is a long time to wait and see the results of that completed goal of yours, not that you will not see any other results in the mirror or while trying out clothes that did not fit you right in the past. But until you get to see your goal weight on the scale, set smaller goals for yourself as well.
An example of a small yet meaningful goal can be exercising four times a week. Or eating three portions of fruits and veggies a day. Drinking 8 glasses of water a day can be a goal as well. All of these are examples of what a healthy lifestyle should look like – a lifestyle that is meant to help you lose weight, feel better, and look great.
Track your progress
Self-monitoring is one of the crucial techniques of the whole weight loss journey. A 2012 study showed that people who kept track of their weight and food intake were more likely to lose more weight and also maintain their weight loss results for a longer period of time (3). Get yourself a scale and start weighing yourself daily.
By weighing yourself daily, you can be aware of your weight loss progress, and it has even been said to encourage a greater weight loss (4, 5). In a study published in Obesity, researchers showed that the participants who weighed themselves six days a week consumed 300 calories less than those who monitored their weight loss progress less frequently (6). So invest in some quality scale and add stepping to the scale as a part of your morning routine.
Get a friend to join the gym with you
Having to go through all of these major changes alone will not be easy. We are humans, after all, and that means that we need some sort of support system. And what is a better support system than our own close ones? So instead of going to a spin class or to the gym alone, why not invite a friend or your significant one to go with you? Maybe join into the activities that they usually engage in and see how that fits you?
There have been quite a few studies showing that having a friend by your side as you peruse your weight loss goals may be helpful for weight loss. The results are especially encouraging while talking about participants who engaged in this weight loss journey with their significant other by their side who has similar healthy habits on their weight loss list (7, 8). One study showed that when it comes to couples when one person engages in a healthy lifestyle, it is more likely that the other person would join them as well, especially when it comes to exercising (9).
Get yourself a dog
If you wanted to get a dog now, you have the perfect excuse for it. Dogs can be the perfect weight loss buddies. In fact, owning a dog has been scientifically proven to be able to help you lose weight (10). If you think about it, having a dog means that you will have to go out and take it for a walk, at least two times a day. This will instantly increase your daily physical activity.
Plus, dogs are a great support system. They are the perfect buddy to take on a long hike, walk, or while running in the park. And not to mention all of the added health benefits such as lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and the reduced feelings of depression and anxiety that come with the act of owning a fuzzy little dog.
Find a weight loss plan that fits in your schedule
One of the reasons why people tend to give up while following a certain diet plan or exercise is because they are trying to fit their whole life around it when it should be the other way around. You need a weight loss plan that you will adjust according to your current schedule, including your work, school, family, hobbies, etc.
Of course, a calorie deficit is a must, but you need to plan that calorie deficit to fit three meals and one to two snacks a day – meals that you can prepare at home and take them with you to school or work if needed (11). Regular physical activity is also important while trying to lose weight; however, you need to find a way to fit it into your schedule (12). Maybe it will work for you if you get up a bit early and kick a quick workout session before work. Or maybe you will visit the nearby gym when you are done at the office.
Be prepared for the challenges that you will face
Life happens, and with life, everyday stressors occur. A lot of us face these stressors by engaging in binge eating junk food in front of the TV, smoking, drinking alcohol, and making unresponsible decisions that harm the people around us and us. All of this has a negative impact on our mental and physical health. This is exactly why it is important to find a plan that would include coping mechanisms that will do you some good for a change.
And if you will not do it for your mental health, then you might as well do it for your weight loss results. A 2002 study showed that people who are better at handling stress are more likely to lose more weight and maintain their weight loss results in the future (13). We would recommend going for a quick run or walk, getting a massage, trying out meditation and yoga, as some of the best stress-coping methods that you can rely on (14).
Join in a fitness class that you like
Physical activity is a must whether you are trying to lose weight, get fitter, or simply live a healthier life. There are multiple beneficial effects that come from a regular physical activity – from booster metabolism, better mood, lower risk of numerous health issues, leaner and stronger muscles, etc. (15).
But you should not have to engage in physical activity just because it is required. Exercise should be a part of your life because you like it. And the only way to do that is to find an exercise that you actually like. Maybe it will be yoga or pilates. Or maybe you will fall in love with the gym or a spin class. There are hundreds of different ways that you can be physically active, and you may need to experiment a bit until you find your favorite one. That way, it is less likely that you will quit and go back to being a couch potato.
Get professional help if needed
Learning all of these new things about weight loss, all of the do’s and don’t’s is a lot, and it can be overwhelming and cause additional stress that you do not need. But why go through all of these alone and risk quitting when you can get some professional help instead?
From dietitians to fitness trainers, there are a lot of people that you can consult that can provide you with the needed information while trying to lose weight and get fit. You can even talk to a psychologist to help you cope with stress and your binge eating, or any other health issue that may present itself as an obstacle along the way.
One way to motivate yourself to be more active is by investing in some nice workout clothes. It does not have to be anything fancy, but do look for some workout clothes that come with good quality. If you have the time to be physically active in the mornings, we recommend putting your workout clothes as soon as you wake up. That way, you will be all dressed up and ready to hit the gym or the fitness class of your choice and feel more motivated to do so.
How many times have you decided to start going to the gym and then suddenly gave up? Or maybe you have made a promise to yourself to start a diet plan, and then right in the middle of it, you find yourself sitting on the couch eating a whole bag of potato chips, thinking that it is not worth it? Yes, life is hard, and weight loss can be as well. But instead of giving up, you have to keep pushing. That is why today, we shared some very effective tips and tricks that are meant to boost your motivation and make you fight harder than ever for those weight loss results that you have been dreaming about.