Motivation is always the key in achieving goals, including weight loss. Attaining your weight loss goals is keeping up with the program, from the start until you have attained your goals. This means sticking to your weight loss diet and fitness routine until you have reached your new shape.
Know why you want to lose weight.
Define the reasons you want to lose your weight and jot them down. Your reasons may include preventing diabetes and other related illnesses, wanting to cope with kids or grandchildren, aiming to look best for an event, improving confidence, or fitting into a particular dress or pair of pants.
Read your list everyday and use it as your reminder when you are challenged to deviate from your weight loss plans. Many people begin losing weight because their doctors recommend it but a research result show that those who successfully achieve their weight loss goals are those who are motivated within.
Always set realistic expectations.
Many weight loss diet plans and products motivate you to lose weight easily and quickly. But most of weight loss practitioners recommend aiming at losing only 1 to 2 pounds (or 0.5-1 kg) each week.
Aiming at unattainable weight loss goals may result to frustration and causes you to give up. But when you set achievable goals, you can attain them and will feel accomplished. There is a study that used data from weight loss centers show results that women who expected to lose weight the most weight tend to give up weight loss programs.
Losing a little weight loss of about 5%-10% of your body weight can give a huge effect on your health. For example, you weigh 180 lbs (that is 82 kg), that is aiming to lose about 9 to 18 lbs (or 4-8 kg). If you weigh 250 lbs (or 113 kg), you can aim at losing 13-25 lbs (that 6-11 kg). Weight loss practitioners claim that losing about 5% to 10% of your weight can:
Minimize your risks of heart diseases
Reduce cholesterol levels
Improve blood sugar control
Minimize risks of some cancers
Reduce joint pains
Just set realistic and achievable weight loss goals to boost feelings of achievement and prevent stress. A moderate weight loss of about 5-10% is enough to give you huge effect on your health.
Stay focused on your weight loss goals.
Most individuals may attempt to lose weight with set of goals they want to attain. Generally, the results are your final target weight. But when you try to focus only on the end results, this can be so stressful and lower your motivation. In the middle of the proces, you may see your goals so distant making you feel overwhelmed.
Weight loss experts recommend that you should set process goals or specific actions to attain your desired results. For example, a process goal of exercising 4 times each week. A study was made with 126 overweight women who participated in a weight loss program. It was found out that participants who focused on process tend to lose weight. They were less likely to deviate from their diet.
In setting your weight loss goals, try SMART:
A sample of setting goals using SMART can be:
I will walk briskly for 30 minutes, 5 days next week.
I will only drink 1 soda next week.
I will eat 4 servings of veggies daily next week.
Using SMART process goals help you keep motivated. Focusing only on your end goals can cause frustration and reduce your motivation.
Choose a weight loss plan that fits best your lifestyle.
Yes, look for a weight loss plan that you can adhere to and avoid those programs that you feel are impossible for you to follow in the long term. There are hundreds of weight loss diet and many of these are based on cutting or reducing on calories.
Minimizing your intake of calories can help you lose weight, but dieting especially those yo-yo diets, are found to be venues for future weight gain. Avoid very strict diets that fully reject some foods. It was also found out that people with “all-or-nothing” mindset are less likely to lose weight. Instead, try to create your own customized plan, basing on these dietary habits:
Minimize portion sizes
Include veggies and fruits
Minimize frequency of eating snacks
Reduce desserts and fried foods
Keep track of your goals with a weight loss journal.
Self-monitoring of your weight loss goals is essential to keeping your motivation high and success. For example, in keeping a food journal properly, you must jot down everyday that you eat, including your meals, snacks, (and that candy bar you ate).
Records also your emotions in your food journal to help you determine some triggers for overeating. This will also help you find healthy ways to cope. Also, keep your journals on paper and pen, or you can use some online app that are proven effective.
Find your social support group.
Whatever we are doing and no matter what our journey, we need regular group support and positive feedback to stay motivated.
Start by sharing with your family and close friends about your weight loss goals so that they can help support you. Some individuals find it helpful to have a weight loss buddy where they work together, hold each other responsible, and motivate one another throughout the process of losing weight. It can be very helpful if you can involve your partner, aside from your buddies and friends. Try to join a support group with the same goals.
Celebrate and keep motivated!
As we all know, losing weight is very difficult task. And each time we attain a specific task, it is just right to celebrate with your family, friends and your support group. Share your success, no matter how small it is.
As a sample, if you achieved your task of exercising for 5 days each week, invite a fun night with your friends or family. This will improve your motivation by rewarding yourself.
But it is also important to choose the appropriate rewards. This means avoiding food rewards. Avoid also rewards that are very expensive. Good sample of rewards can be:
Getting a new running tops
Getting a manicure
Taking cooking sessions
Going to movies
And tap your yourself, saying, “You are doing just great!” And honestly, because you are.
Avoid aiming for perfection and forgive yourself.
One does not have to be perfect to lose weight. If you are very restrictive, you may tend to say, “I had a burger and fries for lunch, so I may have pizza for dinner as well.” Rather, say “I have a big lunch, so I should have a healthier dinner.”
Don’t be harsh to yourself when you make a mistake. Those self-defeating thoughts will somehow deplete your motivation. Rather, forgive yourself and remember that a single mistake will not going to destroy your progress.
Remember that when you target perfection, you will tend to lose your motivation. Be flexible, forgive yourself, and stay motivated throughout your journey in losing weight.
Plan and prepare for challenges.
Stressors will always come to challenge your goals. Be ready by creating ways on coping with these challenges that will keep you motivated. Just as normal, there will be birthdays, holidays, and other social occasions to attend. Plan to keep you focused on your goals and your motivation high while enjoying the company of others.
Studies show that people who can handle stress and those with better coping strategies tend to lose more weight and keep it off longer. Here are some ways of coping with everyday stressors:
Look for an exercise or any physical activity that you love to do.
Physical activities, lie swimming or exercise is important in losing some weight. Apart from helping you burn those unwanted calories, it can also improve your well-being. Choose an exercise that you enjoy and can stick to.
There are different types and ways to exercise. It is also good to try various options to choose one that you really enjoy. Think also of the place that you want to exercise. It can be inside or outside your home. Or, you may prefer to do workout at a gym.
Consider also if you want to do your exercise alone, or with a group. These days, group classes are famous that help people stay motivated. But if you do not enjoy group classes, exercising alone is just as good.
To stay motivated in exercising, you can also listen to music. Research also claims that people tend to exercise longer while listening to music.
Exercise makes you feel better. Look and choose an exercise that you enjoy so it can become part of your weight loss routine.
Learn to appreciate and love your body.
Research shows repeatedly that those who love their bodies tend to lose weight more. And those who have better body image tend to choose a diet that they could sustain and do activities that could help them achieve their weight loss goals.
Below are some activities you can try to help boost your body image:
Appreciate what your body can do
Quit comparing yourself with others
Look in the mirror and say positive things that you like about yourself – loudly
Encircle yourself with positive people
Wear clothes that you like and that fit you best
Treat yourself, like getting a manicure or massage
Boost your body image and see how it helps you stay motivated. Also, try some activities to improve your body image.
Find yourself a weight loss role model.
Another research learns that having a role model helps you stay motivated, but you have to choose the right kind of role model. This means that you have to find a role model that you can easily relate to, like somebody you know who lost weight. Or, find inspirational blogs or weight loss stories.
Find a dog as your weight loss companion.
Research show that having a dog can help you stay motivated to lose weight. Dogs can boost your physical activity, maybe because they also enjoy physical activities. Dogs are also wonderful social support. Having pets as your companions also improve overall health and well-being.
Seek for professional help when necessary.
Find professional help to guide you when your weight loss efforts failed. People who feel more positive in what they know and what they can do tend to lose weight. You can also consult a licensed dietitian who can coach you on certain foods. You may also ask for advice from an exercise physiologist to help you choose exercise. These weight loss professionals can help you achieve your goals and keep you motivated.
To recap today’s topic,
Being motivated (and keeping motivated) to lose weight is essential for a long term weight loss success. Since individuals are unique, each of us have our own factors that motivate us or keep us motivated. Hence, it is very important that we know what keeps us going – through “thick-and-thin.”
As we through our weight loss efforts, it is also important to be flexible and celebrate little successes along the way. With the right plan and support, I’m sure we can find the right way to stay motivated that will help us reach our weight loss goals.
And of course, let us seek professional help when necessary.