How to stay motivated for weight loss
Let’s get one thing straight: being healthy isn’t just about the number on your scale. There are tons of other factors that affect your health besides your weight, and everyone is built differently. However, if being overweight is affecting your day to day life, sometimes weight loss is the goal. Unfortunately, even if you know how to lose weight, finding the motivation to actually make those healthier choices can be another story! Whether you’ve been in a rut for a few months or many years, we’ll help you find the weight loss motivation you need to finally make a change for YOU! Here’s how to get motivated to lose weight today.
1. Find Your Why
Weight loss motivation starts with figuring out why you really want to lose weight in the first place. Maybe it’s to to have more energy, to keep up with your kids, to lower your cholesterol, to live longer or to fit into your favorite pair of jeans! Find that “WHY” for weight loss, and remind yourself of it every single day. The clearer you can be about your reasoning, the more motivated you will be. Long term payoffs like disease prevention are great, but some people also need an immediate payoff. Think of how great you feel about your body right after a tough workout or a day of healthy eating—that can be your why, too!
2. Write Down Specific Goals
Studies show that writing down your goals makes you more likely to achieve them, so get out a pen and paper and get specific! How much weight do you actually want to lose? And how will you make it happen? Maybe your goal is to do cardio three times per week and strength train twice a week. Or maybe one of your goals is to eliminate all soda and sugary beverages from your diet. These are concrete goals that will help you lose weight. Tackling weight loss one goal at a time makes it more manageable and realistic, too.
3. Seek Out A Supportive Community
Passing on party foods or spending more time working on your health can be isolating and discouraging if your friends don’t understand. It’s scenarios like that can leave you saying “I have no motivation to lose weight at all!” You know what? Trying to pull yourself out of a rut and make positive changes can be a lonely journey sometimes. This is why finding a supportive, positive community is so important. Join a gym, enlist a workout buddy, hire a health coach, or join an online fitness community of other people who are putting a renewed focus on their health. It will motivate you to keep going even when you encounter challenges or setbacks!
4. Approve Of Yourself Just As You Are
Focusing on your goals is great. But withholding your own approval “until you lose weight” is not a good plan. Self-love starts and ends with you, and no number on the scale can give you the internal validation you need to believe in your own worth. You have to love yourself TODAY because of the beautiful person you are, not withhold your own approval until you reach your ideal weight. Coming from a place of self-loathing will NOT motivate you to be healthy; in fact, it can lead to shame spiraling and negative associations with exercise and eating right. There’s that saying “I workout because I love my body, not because I hate it.” Know that you are good enough just as you are, and view your journey to better health not as a punishment, but as a reward—you are treating yourself the way you deserve to be treated.
5. Create a Positive Daily Affirmation
Weight loss is not just a physical challenge, it’s a mental one. Even before you start your weight loss journey, create a morning mantra that you recite to yourself to get yourself motivated. Maybe it’s “I’m worthy of self-care, and working out and eating right are part of that self-care.” Or maybe it’s as simple as “I will make healthy choices today.” Whatever mantra you feel connected to, develop one and repeat it to yourself. Build up your mental toughness and your self-confidence so that when push comes to shove, this mantra can get you through days when you don’t feel like working out or are feeling low.
6. Establish A Rewards System
Human beings are hardwired for positive reinforcement, so giving yourself healthy rewards along the way can do wonders for your weight loss motivation. (As long as you’re not rewarding yourself with a binge day of ice ream and junk food after a week of healthy eating, of course.) Maybe it’s a relaxing pedicure if you get all your workouts in that week, or a new cookware set to make some healthy meals. Maybe you decide you’ll purchase a new workout outfit after a month of accomplishing those specific goals you set. You don’t have to spend a ton of money, just put some little rewards in place to motivate you to get moving.
7. Stop Making Excuses
The best way to get motivated to lose weight is to stop making excuses as to why you can’t start right here, right now. During the holidays, we often tell ourselves “I’ll start in the New Year.” It’s the same on weekends, saying “I’ll start eating healthy next week.” There is no time like the present, and if you want to lose weight, you need to cut the excuses and recognize that the time is now. You have the power with every moment, every choice, to do something good for your health. Don’t let another opportunity slip through your fingers.
8. Expect Progress, Not Perfection
Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by seeking perfection. You will have days when you muddle through your workouts and others where you feel on top of the world. Try to avoid “all or nothing” thinking, where you totally scrap a day if you eat a cookie or miss a workout. Follow the 80/20 rule of looking at your weight loss journey: aim to eat right and workout 80% of the time and absolutely expect that 20% of the time you are a human being (and not a robot!) and life will get in the way of your ideal plan.