It is no surprise that losing weight can be hard (very hard). However, the one thing that may come as a pretty big surprise is the fact that the dieting, and the working out are not the hard parts, not even close. For a lot of people the most difficult part of their weight loss journey is the never-ending battle to keep yourself motivated.
The struggle to find a good enough reason in any given moment to maybe say no to that donut, or get no whipping on your holiday latte.
It’s snowing? Go to the gym anyways. These little moments that can add up to ruin any weight loss plan are less moments of weakness, and more moments where you are lacking the proper motivation.
“the most difficult part of the weight loss journey is the never-ending battle to keep yourself motivated”
You have no need to worry anymore, though. Here are 20 ways to help keep yourself motivated, and achieve your ultimate weight loss goals:
Unfollow the Super Skinny Ones
Whether you are male or female, following, pinning or posting pictures of super thin, or super muscular models as motivation for yourself can actually backfire. Scientists have found that images of super skinny models actually end up discouraging a lot of women from losing weight because of the unrealistic standards it posses them to set for themselves. While fitness accounts and blogs can sometimes be good motivation, the unrealistic body images may not be helping you out.
Feeling Over Numbers
More often than not, when it comes to losing weight, we are hyper-focused on a number – how many lbs to lose, or our goal weight – when really we should be focusing on a feeling, like feeling good, or happy. When you start to feel your motivation lacking, try working towards those feelings, instead of the number on the scale, or the numbers on the bar you are lifting.
You Can’t Catch Lightning in a Bottle
If you start to feel the weight of trying to motivate yourself to stick to your weight loss program mounting, and that pressure is causing you to lose even more motivation the answer is simple: Take a break. Take a moment to step back from the dieting and exercising and give your body and mind a day or two to reenergize itself. It is amazing how quickly your motivation find its way back to you.
Clean The House
If you start to feel the motivation for sticking to your weight loss program wain, you can help kick it back into high-gear by bringing some hard work and integrity into other aspects of your life. If you just can’t find the motivation to work out, maybe try cleaning the house, organizing you closet or making good on a promise you made to a family member. These self-affirming actions will kick-start your motivation in no time … and you will have a clean home!
When you are feeling uninspired, or down in regards to how you look, you can always try to shift your mindset into a more self-appreciative mode. There is no need to be too hard on yourself if you missed a weekly weight goal. Instead, you can try focusing on the positives in what you have done. One of the ways you can do this is by changing your focus from what you look like to what you have done, focusing on all of the hard work you have put into the process.
Lack of Motivation, or Fear?
Sometimes a lack of motivation can actual just be fear dressing up. If you find that you are not going for your nightly run, or have been avoiding the gym for the last little while, maybe you need to ask yourself why? Is it truly a lack of motivation or is there more to it. Sometimes things like embarrassment of your body, or shame can cause you to miss work outs. One of the ways to overcome this is by creating a list of alternatives that still allow you to work out, but maybe avoid those situations.
Don’t Tie All Your Goals to the Scale
There are times where the scale just will not have moved. This does not mean that you did not do all the right things, or did not work out hard enough for that time period, it is just how losing weight goes. While it is natural, it can also be discouraging. This is why you need to set yourself some goals that are not directly tied to the scale, such as packing your lunch instead of buying it for a week, drinking 64 ounces of water a day, or going to the gym four times a week.
Help Others Help You
It is important to know we are not alone on our path to weight loss, and by bringing your friends and family in on the adventure with you, you can help avoid a loss of motivation. One of the cutest ways of doing this is by giving a few of your friends $20 and asking them to each use it to buy you a little gift, then, for each 10 lbs you lose (or whatever your goal may be,) a friend can reward you with a gift.
Know Why You’re Doing It
We all want a beach body, but sometimes goals like that are not enough to keep us motivated through the difficult times. While it is very important to have long-term goals, it can be equally important to know why you want to lose weight. To help motivate yourself when your goal is not enough to do so, try making a list of all the things you would like to do, or wear when you reach your target weight.
There’s an App for That
Face it, we all have our phones in our hands for a solid 70 percent of the day already, so why not use that to our motivational advantage. With all of the apps out there, it is easy to find the motivation to cook an easy and healthy meal with apps like BigOven. If you need a little more motivation there are even some fitness games (like Zombies, Run!) that incorporate fun story telling with exercise.
You’re Your Worst Critic
A lot of people resort to using self-criticism in place of proper motivational tools and, unfortunately, this tends to rear its head most often when it comes to weight loss goals. While it may seem like it works, negative self-criticism in place of proper motivation can be damaging to your efforts. Sometimes this kind of mentality can engage our fight-or-flight reflex which just increase stress and causes us more damage than good.
An Instagram Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Using your social media page, you can create an easy weight loss motivation gallery with the click of a button every morning. You can track your progress by creating a weight loss diary on any social media platform and posting a daily photo either in the morning or after your daily workout. Having these photos to go back and look at will give you better insight on changes that are occurring that you may not notice by looking in the mirror each day.
A Better Life Between the Sheets
Everyone likes sex, and losing some weight helps with your sex life. Not to mention the fact that sex, itself, is a great workout. If you are ever feeling a lack of motivation, maybe a little sex is what you need to kick start your system.
Let Your Money Talk
If you have purchased a gym membership, but find yourself unmotivated to go to the gym, try letting your wallet dictate your actions. You are paying for this service, so you might as well be using it. However, even if you do not have a gym membership, you can still let your money motivate you by signing up for classes and lessons and paying in advance. This way, even if you don’t feel like going, you will probably find the wasted money a worse alternative and go anyways.
Talk Yourself Up
Talk about your weight loss. The support of friends and family is very important when it comes to the adventure of losing weight, and there is no better way to get their support than to talk about your struggles and achievements with them.
Ditch Your Daily Date with the Scale
When you are trying to lose weight the scale is obviously an important tool, but stepping on it every single day can become a drain and sometimes has the effect of draining your motivation when you see the same number day after day. Try using a week-by-week weight check-in to keep yourself positive.
Why Are You Really Doing This?
You’re working out to lose weight. And you are losing weight to look good, right? Well, maybe not. Why are you really trying to lose weight? Knowing the true motivational factors that drive you is a great way to hang onto that special thing when things get tough. Are you looking to be healthier to live longer with your spouse? To be able to play with your kids, or eventual grand kids? Knowing helps with the battle!
See Healthy, Be Healthy
While you may not be at your target weight, you can help motivate yourself to get there by building a home that reflects the you you want to be. Stock your fridge with health snacks, have fruit displayed in decorative bowls on the counter. You can even go as far as keeping your workout gear placed prominently in their place, such as your running shoes on the top of the shoe rack, or your gym clothing in the top drawer. When your weight loss program is visually important in your home, you will feel it in your spirits, as well.
Don’t Wait, Be Happy Now
We set a lot of goals for ourselves, and we link a lot of them our weight. While this can be helpful, sometimes it hinders the process. If you are waiting to do something, or visit someone until you reach you goal weight, but are finding your motivation slipping, why not live as if have achieved your goal. This is called living out your goals, and it helps you be happy and motivated by allowing you to live in the glow of your goal while not treating the work as a punishment, or sacrifice for having it.
Bonuses Along the Way
While setting long-term goals is a great way to build a successful weight loss plan, the fact that the reward is so far away can sometimes become a drag, and make you lose motivation. You can keep the goal within sight by planting a carrot half way, which is to say, plan something special to do for yourself as a reward for reaching the halfway mark of your long-term goal. This will help keep your goals ever in sight.