I’m writing this on Monday morning, when I know that some of you may be peeling yourself out of bed. I noticed that twitter was trending with #MotivationMonday, so I selected how to motivate yourself to lose weight as my topic for today. Getting motivated to accomplish your goals is half the battle. When we lose our motivation is when we tend to backslide and feel like our efforts are futile.
There are many factors that are involved in good health. Many people claim that they feel great even at a bigger size. However, extra weight has many detrimental effects on your overall health. If you are overweight, losing the weight should be a goal. Many people have learned what they need to know about how to lose weight, but they struggle to find the motivation to make those healthier choices in their lives.
Whether you’ve been in a rut for years or you’re just starting off on your weight loss journey, these are some great motivation tips that will help you make a change. Here’s how to get motivated to lose weight fast!
1. Find Your Reason
Self-help gurus call this finding your “why,” but I never liked that phrase. You do need to understand the reason that you desire to lose weight. What are you working towards and how will it benefit your life? By defining these things, you can visualize what life will be like once you hit that target weight.
Some great reasons to lose the extra weight are to have more energy, lower your risk of disease, live longer, keep up with the kids and to fit into your favorite skinny jeans! Your particular reason will motivate you more than one someone else creates for you, so take some time to sit down are really think about the reason that is most important to you.
Once you’ve found your reason, remind yourself of it every single day. This helps to solidify your commitment to your goal in your mind. As you become more clear about your reasoning, you will become more motivated. It can be difficult to focus on the long term benefits of weight loss. You may want to focus your mind on the shorter term goals and think about how great your body will feel after a day of healthy eating.
2. Commit it to Paper
When you write down your goals, it makes you more likely to achieve them! Get out a pen and paper and write out your goal. You will want to also write down the intermediate steps that you are going to take along the way to reach that goal. Seeing that you are achieving the smaller goals each day makes it much easier. It’s like my mother used to say, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” If you keep taking small steps towards your goal, eventually you will get there.
Some great goals daily goals for weight loss are making sure you hit your protein target, reducing your carbohydrate intake to twenty grams. One goal could be to eliminate all sugary beverages from your diet. These are some concrete goals that will help you on your journey to lose weight. As you accomplish one goal at a time, you start to realize that your big goals are manageable and realistic.
3. Find A Supportive Community
You may not want to tell your friends and family that you are trying the latest diet craze or that you’re joining a gym. There is sometimes the fear of judgment from friends and family. I know that in my past, I haven’t always followed through and was embarrassed when friends brought up my unattained goals. Don’t let this stop you. There are people who are supportive and will help you!
When you are trying to lose weight, it can be difficult initially to pass on unhealthy party foods. Going to the gym alone can be an isolating and discouraging experience if you don’t immediately see results. There are other people out there that are in the same boat as you. I have found it very helpful to join a supportive, positive online community that is working towards the same goal. You can hire a health coach, join a gym, or find a workout buddy. Many of the online workout programs also have an online forum or community where you can share your struggles and successes. Often someone else’s words of wisdom can turn into your motivation. This simple step can motivate you to keep going even when you feel like quitting!
4. Accept Yourself
There has been a lot of emphasis in the media lately on loving yourself despite your body size. Whitney Thore of My Big Fat Fabulous Life created a whole campaign around having no body shame. It is important to love yourself enough to recognize that losing weight is important. You should not wait until you lose the weight or look a certain way before you start adopting healthy habits.
Loving and accepting yourself today can help you focus and enhance your ability to improve your health. Stop the negative thoughts of “I’m too fat…” or “I’m ugly…” Your thoughts become your reality, so it is important to change your internal voice to be something positive. Use phrases such as, “I love who I am and I’m working to become better.” “I love my body, it is strong and getting stronger.” Start to view this journey toward better health not as a punishment for gaining weight, but as a reward for being an amazing human being.
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 Personal Positive Affirmation
Sticking with a new diet and exercise program is not simply a physical change, but a mental one as well. Every action in our lives will either lead us towards or away from our goal. Before we take that action, we have thoughts about the outcome. Shifting your thoughts to focus on health and wellness is a task in and of itself.
A great thing to do is to find a morning mantra that gets you motivated. Recite it to yourself when you are looking at yourself in the mirror each morning after a shower or getting ready for the day. It can be something as simple as, “I love eating healthy and working out!” “I will make healthy choices today.” Create a mantra that is personal to you and that resonates with you. You will feel more connected to it if you create it. Repeat it to yourself daily. This will help you to build up mental toughness whenever challenges come your way. It will increase your self-esteem and confidence for those times when you don’t feel like working out.
6. Develop Some Short Term Rewards
We love positive reinforcement and hearing that we are doing well. However, when it comes to weight loss, patience plays a role. Giving yourself positive reinforcement and short-term rewards along the way can increase your motivation to make those positive, healthy changes that lead to weight loss. Just make sure that your rewards don’t focus on the foods that led to weight gain, such as cakes and ice cream.
Some great examples of appropriate short-term rewards for weight loss could include a relaxing pedicure, a night out to the ballgame, a new cookware set to create more healthy meals. Buying a new workout outfit can also be a great way to reward yourself for working out consistently and motivate you to continue. When you look great, often you feel great and want to continue doing what got you to feeling great.
7. Eliminate Excuses
Excuses are one of the main reasons that people aren’t achieving their goals. They have found a way to excuse a behavior that led to weight gain. However, that excuse becomes an obstacle when it comes to achieving goals. It is nearly impossible to stay motivated when you focus on the reasons you can’t achieve something. Let go of the excuse. There is no reason why you can’t figure out a way around the excuse. No time? Rearrange your schedule or drop something out of it. No money? Healthy foods aren’t as expensive as processed ones.
There is no time like the present. Don’t procrastinate weight loss. You’ll still have the same mental and physical issues if you wait until New Year’s. It is better to start now and be half-way to your goal by New Year’s. Don’t allow another opportunity to slip through your fingers. Make the decision to change now.
8. Realistic Expectations
It is nice to think that when you set out on a diet, you’ll start to see results quickly. You’ll start to have that perfect six-pack within a month or two. Unfortunately, erasing a lot of deep set bad habits and damage done with one too many donuts doesn’t quite work that way. Don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting immediate results and perfection. There will be days when you just don’t make it to the gym. Don’t beat yourself up over it, bounce back and commit to going the next day. Some days you’ll slip up on your diet, and while it isn’t ideal, it isn’t the end of the world. The most successful people make mistakes. Weight loss is a journey. If you are eating right and working out at least 80% of the time, you will eventually achieve your ideal weight.
9. Develop A Routine
When you have a routine that is second nature, you don’t need to worry too much about motivation. You get yourself into the habit and you simply DO it! Make it EASY on yourself and develop a routine that will fit naturally into your schedule. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to do the same workout, but having a set aside time in the morning or the evening to workout makes it much easier than trying to motivate yourself and change up your current routine. When you don’t have to constantly make the decision to workout because you’ve already made it and scheduled it in, it becomes a no-brainer.
Having a weekly menu and only healthy foods can develop the routine of eating healthy. When you don’t have unhealthy foods on hand and you have a routine of preparing healthy meals for the week, it gets ten times easier to eat a healthy diet than when junk foods are in the house and tempting you. You don’t need motivation when the temptation isn’t there.
Set yourself up for success with health promoting routines. You’ll easily stay motivated on your journey to weight loss and better health!
10. Make it Fun
If the thought of working out and eating healthy just isn’t appealing to you, you need to find a way to make it fun so you will continue to do it. There are exercises and sports for everyone. If you don’t enjoy the exercise that you are doing, maybe it is time to try a different type of workout. You can take a class at the recreation center. Yoga, Pilates, spinning, kickboxing, tai chi, there truly is a workout for everyone!
Finally, stay optimistic that you’ll reach your goal.
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. Helen Keller