Starting and sticking to a weight loss or fitness program can be challenging. If dieting and other weight loss programs were easy, nobody would need to lose weight. The fact is that they are difficult and trying to stay motivated every day of the journey is even the hardest part. The benefits are, however, worth it if you stick to the plan. Sometimes you might start a diet plan and not finish due to various reasons. Often, people lose the motivation to keep going. Lack of motivation emanates from outside pressure or might not be ready to lose weight yet. Luckily, you can always work to increase motivation. The key to weight loss motivation is that you do not always need it to be full, but you need to keep it from running empty.
The most common reason for weight loss failure is setting unrealistic goals and following programs and diets that do not yield results. Other people set unattainable goals, then get impatient when they do not see results fast enough. Some people who start dieting give up within the first week and others do not reach 2 months on a diet. Besides following setting realistic goals, and sticking to the plan, and celebrating your successes, you need to exercise virtues such as patience, endurance, and kindness to yourself. Acknowledge that it will be difficult, but you will do it anyway. Have a positive mindset and boost your motivation every time it runs low. Do not let it run empty. Here are seven tips on how you can keep yourself motivated throughout the journey.
Focus on progress goals
Many people who are on a weight loss journey set their final target weight only. However, having your eyes fixed only on the ultimate goal can derail your motivation. Such goals can often feel too distant, and they might leave you feeling overwhelmed. Instead, set progress goals, or actions that you are going to take to achieve the desired outcome. An example of a progress goal is proposing to work out five times or to eat for six servings of vegetables in a week. Consider setting specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based goals.
You can convert your weekly goals into progress goals. Make sure the goals are realistic and attainable within a week. Do not set weekly goals of things that can only be realistically achieved in three weeks. You will not achieve them in a week, and you will be left discouraged. For better accountability and to stay on track, you can set weekly check-ins with a supportive family member or friend. When you achieve your set weekly targets, be sure to reward yourself. The reward does not have to cost you money. It could be anything from taking a guilt-free day of your exercise schedule or a long bath. Sharing your weekly target and goals with your loved might also land you encouraging gestures like a paid day at the spa for your achievements. Keep off people who think weekly achievements are insignificant and that you should not celebrate them. They might discourage you when all you need and deserve is a boost of motivation.
Find social support
Research shows that people who declare public commitments have higher chances of following through with their goals. People also need constant support and positive feedback to remain motivated. Talk to your family and friends about your diet plans and weight loss goals so that they can support you on the journey. Many people also find it helpful to have a weight loss buddy. You can share diet plans, work out together and generally encourage each other and hold each other accountable throughout the process. Involving your partner might also be helpful, but gather support from other people too, especially your friends. Another option in acquiring social support is joining a support group. It can be online or in-person, but it is bound to help you stay motivated. Consider sharing your journey on social media. Keeping more people in the loop heightens your accountability. Investing in a gym membership, exercise package, or diet plans can also be a great way of keeping the motivation high because you are more likely to follow through with something that you have made a financial investment in.
You can also find social support online by connecting with like-minded people from all over the world. Online communities can be a great resource when you are on a weight loss journey. There are millions of people across the globe trying to lose weight, and you can connect with them online to share ideas and motivate each other. Join groups of people online discussing a range of topics from exercise and fitness with diet and nutrition, for support and tips. There are even groups with sections for pure motivation. Staying in contact will like-minded people will give you the boost you require on days when your motivation is running low.
Writing down your goals, setbacks and successes can be a good way of self-monitoring and supporting yourself. You can write down in a notebook, on a blog or even do videos of your journey. Sometimes writing down your struggles and reminding yourself why you are on the fitness journey might be all you need to kick start yourself. Keep a food journal to help you monitor your diet better. Keeping a food journal involves writing down everything that you consume, including snacks and pieces of candy. You can also note down your emotions in your journal. This will come in handy in identifying certain triggers that cause you to overeat and healthy ways to cope with that. With a journal, your entire diet and weight loss journey will be on the record, and with this, you can identify triggers, measure progress, and hold yourself accountable. You can also use a fitness app or website as a tracking tool as well.
Seek out positive information
Read and listen to positive information all day. Sometimes all you need is someone to remind you that you are good enough, and that whatever you are doing is worth it. Positive information will act as a constant reminder that you are capable of achieving whatever you set out to achieve. During your weight loss journey you might encounter challenges that will discourage you. At such a time you might need something as simple as listening to a podcast, watching a YouTube video or reading weight loss quotes to get you back on track. There is a lot of content available online and in bookstores about motivation in a weight loss journey. Pick a book or browse the internet for such information.Additionally, you can read success stories of people who have been on the same journey as you and have conquered. You will get a confidence boost that you can also achieve. When people give their success stories, they detail out the challenges they faced and how they dealt with them. You might realize that the difficulties you are experiencing are not unique to you and this will boost your motivation.
Celebrate your successes
Sticking to a diet is hard so celebrating your accomplishments will keep you motivated. Even if you are the only one who knows of your achievements they should not go uncelebrated. Celebrate even the small wins. For example, if you win a marathon, you could celebrate by framing your medal. Not only does this feel good, but it also acts as a visual reminder of your progress, and this can keep you pumped as you proceed. Give yourself credit and share progress on social media dieting and weight loss community pages. When you feel proud of what you have achieved you remain motivated. Remember to not only celebrate reaching a certain number on the scale, but also accomplishing behavioral changes and targets. For instance, if you meet your goal of eating five servings of vegetables in a week, count that as a win and celebrate it. Another way to celebrate your successes is by rewarding yourself. However, avoid rewarding yourself with food and instead opt for things like getting a manicure, going to a movie, taking a cooking class or buying new exercise shoes.
Sometimes you might not be able to achieve your set goals in record time, and that is okay. Do not have an “all or nothing” mindset. You will lose motivation and be less likely to achieve your goals. You might also make mistakes and fall back on your commitments. When this happens, avoid beating yourself up and being too hard on yourself for making a mistake. Instead, allow yourself flexibility and forgive yourself. Remind yourself that a single mistake will not ruin your progress.
Think and talk positively
When you are full of confidence and have positive expectations, you have higher chances of achieving your targets. Use “change talk” as a technique of keeping yourself motivated. Change talk involves making statements regarding your commitments towards behavioral changes, the reasons and the steps you intend to take to achieve your goals. Commit to your thoughts and intentions loudly. According to research, people who spend a lot of time only dreaming about their target weight are less likely to achieve it. This is known as mentally indulging, and it happens to be less motivating because it tricks your brain into assuming that you have already accomplished. It might leave you without the urge to take action. Instead, you are supposed to mentally contrast. This means that after you spend a few minutes imagining achieving your dream weight, spend a little more imagining any possible challenges and obstacles that you might encounter. You will be better positioned to act on your thoughts. Often, take time to reflect on your journey and encourage yourself.
Get a dog
Dogs are perfect weight loss companions. According to studies, owning a dog can help you lose weight faster because they increase your physical activity and offer social support. Working out to stay fit might not be your favorite activity, but with your dog by your side, it will feel like less work and more quality time with your best friend. Dogs are almost always ready to exercise, and they will not bail out on you. You are their priority, and they are always ready to cancel their plans to join you on your workout. Start taking your dog along with you to your outdoor exercises. He will be excited about the chance to be out and about, to burn calories and spend time with you. Dogs enjoy both outdoor and indoor workouts. There are a lot of games that you can enjoy with your dog outdoors including fetch or chase. You can also go for a walk or morning run around the block with him for that extra push. When running alone the only thing that keeps you going is self-determination, and sometimes this is not enough. With your fur buddy hounding ahead of you, your workout is not only yours is his too. As long as he is still going, so are you. You can also enroll in a dog-friendly gym with classes tailored for dogs and their owners. You will not only be working out, but having fun with your dog too. Pet ownership is known to improve general health and well-being. It is linked to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and reduced feelings of depression and loneliness.
Staying motivated in your dieting and weight loss journey is essential. Without motivation, your set goals are going to be hard to achieve. People find different motivating factors, so it is crucial that you find what works for you. Some tips might work for other people and not work for you, and that is okay. Keep experimenting so that you figure out what gives you the boost. Remember to set realistic goals, allow yourself flexibility, and celebrate your little wins along the way. Do not shy about asking for help and support when you need it. With adequate social support and proper tools, you will stay motivated throughout your journey.