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One day you’re all fired up for your future sexy self with that perfect body. The next, you find yourself binge eating chips and slacking on the couch. You’re not alone. We’ve all been there. The reality is no one can stay motivated all the time. Even the most active people sometimes just want nothing more than to ditch their training. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re destined for failure. Motivation is something you can work on. So next time you catch yourself thinking about slipping, try some of these tips on how to stay motivated to lose weight and exercise.
- 1 8 Tips to Stay Motivated to Lose Weight
8 Tips to Stay Motivated to Lose Weight
Find All Your Reasons For Losing Weight
To find your weight loss motivation, first of all, start by clearly defining why you want to lose weight in the first place. Whether it’s becoming healthier, having more energy, looking your best for an event, remaining in your kids lives well into old age or becoming more self-confident, find your personal reasons.
Make a list and remind yourself of these reasons every single day and it will help you stay committed to reaching your weight loss goals. Also, the more specific you can be about your “whys’, the better.
Set Goals And Track Progress
According to research, you’re more likely to stick to your weight loss plan if you determine your goal and write it down. So get out a pen and paper or use a spreadsheet on your computer and jot down your specific goals.
Make sure to set realistic expectations since achieving these goals will give you the feeling of accomplishment. Unattainable goals, on the other hand, will just leave you feeling frustrated and cause you to give up.
Remember also to be specific and time-based. And in addition to outcome goals, set process goals. Ask yourself: How much weight do you want to lose? How will you make it happen?
For example, you want to lose 5 pounds this month and you will exercise 4 times a week.
You can also use a fitness app for this purpose, such as Lose It! or PlateJoy. You can also try Stickk. There you can set your goal, choose a time period that will take you to achieve it and the amount of money you’re willing to lose if you don’t. You can also choose where that money would go, such as to a charity, a rival football team, etc.
Rewarding yourself once you’ve reached your weight loss goal is a great idea. But reaching the big goals take months or even years. Don’t wait that long and instead give yourself healthy rewards for shorter goals.
For example, if you’ve followed up on your workout and food plan for the week, reward yourself with a trip to a spa, a bubble bath, getting a relaxing manicure or just having a lazy Sunday watching movies in bed.
With these small rewards, you can celebrate your success. This will hardwire you for positive reinforcement and will help you stick to achieving your long-term goals.
Find a Support Crew
Another great motivator for sticking to your goals is social support. It can be your family or friends. It can also be an online fitness community or a health coach. Find people who will support you and give you positive feedback.
Many people also find it helpful enlisting a workout buddy. You can exercise together, share your challenges, encourage and keep each other accountable.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
Don’t seek perfection and avoid “all or nothing” thinking. You can try following the 80/20 rule: aim to eat healthily and exercise 80% of the time and expect that 20% of the time life will just get in the way.
There’ll be challenges and setbacks but you just need to develop proper coping skills. Avoid beating yourself up if you make a mistake. You’re just a human after all and making such big lifestyle changes is very difficult. Instead, forgive yourself and focus on how to continue with the progress.
Try to also silence your inner critic. Self-criticizing engages the part of the brain that generates the fight-or-flight reflex. This leads to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol and makes you crave fatty and sweet foods. To avoid this, instead of criticizing yourself, take a few deep breaths and try to silence the negativity.
Give Yourself Some Tough Love
This doesn’t mean self-criticizing. Instead, this means imagining what your life will be like if you don’t follow with your fitness goals. Think of what your life will be like in a 1, 5 or 10 years if you skip your weight loss plan. Think of what you’ll miss out on in life. How will you feel? This will help you to avoid sugarcoating things and will give you the motivation to stay on track.
Build a Workout Program That You Enjoy
When people think of losing weight, they imagine eating boring food and running for hours on a treadmill. However, it doesn’t have to be like that. Just find the exercise that you enjoy and you’ll have an easy time sticking to it.
Try out different types of exercise and see which of them you find fun. For example, you can try yoga, CrossFit, Pilates, weight lifting. You can also find fun activities to do outside, such as hiking, biking or running on a nearby forest trail. Finding the type of exercise you love will help to keep your motivation high and you’ll always look forward to the workout.
However, if you find a particular exercise that you enjoy, you might still come to a point when it’s not as exciting anymore. If you do reach this point, try to spice up your routine by including other fun sports and activities.
The same goes for food. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. There are plenty of healthy yet delicious food recipes that you can try. Experiment with your cooking and find the meals that you enjoy.
Remember That Motivation Is Fleeting
Many people think that motivation has to always stay at an all-time high. Otherwise, they think they’re failing. However, this is not the case and motivation also has its natural rhythm. It will always go up and down. But the more you try to catch, the more elusive it becomes. So just accept that some days you’ll have less motivation and allow it to run its natural course.
The secret is when you feel the motivation wearing off, find ways to reinvigorate yourself with more. You can do this by listening to podcasts on being healthy, joining a community with similar health goals or reading books on the topic.