Let's be honest, whether it's 10 lbs or 50 lbs, losing weight is hard. With obesity numbers rising rapidly each year, concern around weight loss to maintain a more optimal weight is also continuing to rise. After all, keeping a healthy weight is vital to our overall health. And we all know half the battle to achieving healthy weight loss is staying motivated.
Stress, certain health conditions, boredom, and unrealistic expectations are just a few of the reasons people lose motivation.
Are you struggling to stay motivated on your weight loss journey? We put together this guide to help you find ways to stay inspired to be a healthier you!
Finding motivation to lose weight
It's normal to have days where you are pumped to do all the things to move that number on the scale, followed by days you want nothing to do with diet and exercise. Incorporating these seven things into your journey can help keep you on track to reach your weight loss goals.
1. Identify your "why"
Sometimes people lose sight of why they started on a weight loss journey, and it causes them to be unmotivated to continue.
So ask yourself, why do I want to lose weight? A few reasons might be straightforward, but you may find most will be unique to you. Write your whys down and let them serve as a reminder to help you refocus on the tough days.
2. Find a weight loss plan that works for your lifestyle
Yes, your best friend's sister's husband's boss may have dropped 50 pounds by giving up carbs. But the reality is, dieting isn't one-size-fits-all. So before you swear off bread and pasta, ask yourself: is this diet something I can stick with long-term? If the answer is no, it's safe to assume you may lose motivation quickly and risk going back to unhealthy eating habits.
There are hundreds of different diets, from Keto to intermittent fasting. But the thing about "fad diets" is they can actually lead to weight gain once you stop dieting and fall back into unhealthy habits.
Instead, avoid strict diets which call for eliminating certain foods. Instead, look for a diet with customizable options that will ultimately fit better into your lifestyle, like:
Reducing calorie intake
Decreasing portion sizes
Reducing or eliminating snacks
Reducing or removing fried food and desserts
Increasing servings of fruits and vegetables
3. Set non-weight related goals
Yes, your overall goal may be to lose a certain amount of weight. But focusing just on numbers can set you up for failure.
Instead, determine process goals, steps you will take to get to your desired outcome and celebrate each of them along the way. Process goals can help change unhealthy behaviors and habits standing in the way of losing weight while keeping you motivated.
Some examples of process goals for weight loss are:
Replacing your daily soda with water
Exercising for 30 minutes every day
Decreasing frequency of desserts after dinner
Eliminating fast food
4) Accept setbacks
"To err is human." Life happens, and there will be times you feel like you are failing. It's ok to have not-so-good days. And having an extra helping of food at Thanksgiving doesn't mean you need to abandon your weight loss goals. But preparing yourself ahead of time for ways to cope with these setbacks can help get you back on track.
Studies have found that people with adequate coping strategies and stress management are likely to lose more weight and keep it off. So, if you find overindulging is your go-to, you may also want to look at other ways to deal with stress. This can include exercising, a hot bath, journaling, meditation, and talking to a friend.
5) Give yourself a break
Staying highly motivated at all times is nearly impossible and can lead to burnout. Don't look at a drop in motivation as a sign of failure, but rather that your body is telling you to rest.
Allow yourself a day or two off from your diet and exercise routine, and you may find it's just what you need to get remotivated. A couple of days off might also be a good time to evaluate and adjust your weight loss regimen if needed.
6) Don't compare your journey to anyone else’s
Social media can play a big part in helping people lose weight. From finding exercise inspiration to joking weight loss groups, it's a great way to connect with others who share similar goals.
On the flip side, social media can also make it easy to compare yourself to others. That can put you at risk of losing motivation and quitting. This isn't to say someone's weight loss can't be inspirational to you. But remember, just like your why is unique to you, so is your journey.
7) Talk to your doctor
If you find that your motivation for weight loss is dwindling, it's a good idea to consult with your physician. They are a great partner to help you identify roadblocks and keep you focused on your goals.
Some questions to ask your doctor in regards to losing weight:
Are there health conditions that can be affecting my weight?
Do any of the medications I currently take cause weight gain?
How much weight should I lose?
What other resources do you suggest for weight loss?
Your physician may also make recommendations for things like a dietitian or nutritionist, weight loss medication, or refer you to a specialist for your health issues.
Motivation is critical for successful weight loss, but it can also be hard to maintain long-term. Finding what motivates you can set you on a path to shedding the pounds and keeping them off.
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