This article looks at how to find the motivation to lose weight.
Finding the motivation to lose weight can be tough. However, when it comes down to it, losing weight involves setting goals, then consistently working towards accomplishing them.
For example, you could set out to lose ten pounds over the next three months. If you are determined, with the proper diet and exercise program and the help of a calendar and a bathroom scale, you could easily do this.
On the contrary, simply telling yourself that you want to lose weight is a goal that’s destined to fail. That’s because it’s a goal with no defined measure of success and no deadline.
So before you even start, decide how much weight you want to lose and how long you would like it to take. Be realistic. Challenge yourself, but not to the extent that you are aiming for the impossible.
Keep reading for seven tips that will help you stick to a plan and find the motivation to lose weight.
7 Tips for Finding the Motivation to Lose Weight
1) Lose weight for yourself
There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight to look better, fit into a smaller clothing size, or boost your self-esteem if this motivates you. However, lose the weight for yourself, not to impress a potential partner or to try and hold onto one. This rarely works. If it fails, you will be demotivated. You could then go back to your old lifestyle, undoing all of your hard work. Besides, would you really want to be with someone that superficial!?
2) Make health and fitness your priority
Perhaps the best tip I can pass on to help you find the motivation to lose weight is to make health and fitness your primary aim. If you do this, you will be less prone to overeat and more likely to stay the course.
Research has shown that losing just 5 to 10% of your body weight if you’re overweight has multiple benefits.
Included among these is a reduction of “bad” cholesterol, an improvement in blood sugar levels, and blood pressure regulation. These benefits automatically lower the risk of a heart attack and stroke. Other positives from losing your excess pounds include a lower risk of some cancers and less stress on the joints.
3) Set a realistic goal
Don’t fall into the trap of overestimating how many pounds you need to lose. This is common, particularly in the younger generation, due to the ideaological culture we live in that overemphasizes the importance of appearance.
Seeing photos of celebrities with perfect bodies on social media everyday doesn’t help. The images are often photoshopped, even those of celebrities with personal trainers and chefs to help whip them into shape. Setting a weight loss goal that you won’t be able to achieve without starving yourself is discouraging. An eating plan that is too restrictive can also endanger your health.
So before embarking on a diet and exercise plan, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor, who can evaluate and define a healthy weight for your gender, age, height, and body type.
4) Decide how often to weigh yourself
Deciding how often to weigh yourself is an often-overlooked factor that can impact your motivation to lose weight.
Diet experts used to tell us that when losing weight, we should not get onto the scale once a week at the most. Conversely, recent research indicates that people who weigh themselves daily find it easier to stick to a diet.
Each has pros and cons.
Weight fluctuates from day-to-day, sometimes by a few pounds. If you’ve stuck to your diet and fitness plan, in most instances, your weight should be on a downward trend for a week, but not necessarily from one day to the next.
This means that jumping on the scale daily expecting the number to go down every time, could be discouraged when it doesn’t. If you are struggling to stick to your diet, this could be enough for you to give up, thinking it isn’t working.
For some, the benefit of a daily weigh-in is that if the number doesn’t drop, or it reads higher, they are motivated to try harder.
Only you know which method will be the best for you. Start with a weekly or bi-weekly weigh-in, and adjust this up or down to suit.
5) Find an exercise you enjoy
Regular exercise is an important component of weight loss. Along with burning calories, working out or playing a sport improves heart health. It tones the muscles, strengthens the bones, and helps to prevent or manage certain medical conditions.
Exercise also imparts a feeling of well-being, particularly if you choose a sport or workout that you enjoy. While any exercise can help you to lose weight, the wrong one can negatively affect your motivation to lose weight.
For example, if you choose an activity because it burns a lot of calories, but you hate doing it, you will look for excuses not to do it. On the other hand, by choosing one you love, you will look forward to your sessions, so sticking to a regimen will be easy.
It may take some trial and error to find an exercise that you truly enjoy. Start by thinking about whether you’d prefer to exercise indoors or outside. Then decide if you’d like to work out in a group setting such as a gym or in the comfort and privacy of your home.
Many people find group classes help to keep them motivated. Another option is to hire a personal trainer to help keep you on track. However, this can be expensive.
If you decide to exercise at home, try using the time you work out to watch your favorite television show or listen to music that you enjoy. You will look forward to your workouts and associate them with feeling good.
In fact, one study on the effect music has on exercise performance showed that when exercising while playing motivating music, the participants were inclined to work out for longer and with greater intensity.
6) Keep a weight loss and exercise journal
Numerous studies have shown that dieters who track their daily food intake are more successful at losing weight and keeping it off.
Write down or record online everything you eat at each meal, plus any snacks you have. Noting how you felt that day is also helpful as it will help you identify triggers that may have resulted in overeating. With this information, you can seek more manageable ways to deal with stress, anger, or other negative emotions.
Record your food intake will also help keep you accountable.
The same goes for exercise. I’ve been noting my exercise schedule for many years. It really helps me to stay on track.
It’s also a good idea to photograph your progress. Do this weekly, monthly, or on the schedule of your choosing. We see ourselves in the mirror every day, which can make it difficult to see small changes. Being able to look at photos taken along the way can be very motivating.
7) Reward yourself along the way
Reward yourself every time you reach a new milestone. Depending on you much weight you have to lose, this could be every time you lose another two pounds, five pounds, or whatever you designate.
Alternatively, reward yourself every week that you stick to your diet and exercise program.
The reward could be going to the movies, buying that new book you’ve wanted to read, or that new lipstick you’ve been admiring.
Plan a bigger celebration for when you get down to your desired weight. This could be a trip to a day spa, a weekend away with your significant other, or that handbag you’ve been eyeing for months. You deserve it!
Finding the Motivation to Lose weight Summary
With any goal, be it to lose weight, run a marathon, or even tidy out your garage, it’s essential to be realistic. Start small, but make your goal explicit and achievable.
Achievable does not mean easy. Challenge yourself enough to see consistent weight loss, but not so much as to expect the impossible. Sure, you could lose 20 pounds in a month, but this would not be easy, so you would be more likely to give up. It would also likely be unhealthy.
Equally important is that you set your goal for the right reasons, this being for yourself. If you do this, finding the motivation to lose weight will probably be easier than you imagine.