Getting motivated to lose weight is an issue that many individuals struggle with and often times, fail to accomplish. In order to strengthen the motivation to lose weight, an individual must be ready and willing to make real, long-term changes to his or her lifestyle. So how can you get motivated and get on a track that will lead to healthy, lasting weight loss? The answer might be simpler than you think. Weight loss motivation can be easy, practical, and even fun. Success with diet and exercise programs ultimately becomes dependent on how well you plan your individual weight loss strategy. This article will explore a few simple steps to help any individual, whether you need to lose 5 pounds or 50 pounds, develop a strategy to boost weight loss motivation.
1) Explore Your Own Motivation
Without first coming to a clear understanding of why it is that you want to lose weight, the journey may be steered off track before it is even started. Whether you are losing weight to look great in a bikini or to lower your risk of diabetes, being in touch with your own motivations will help you develop the right kind of focused mindset necessary to take on a difficult challenge like losing weight.
2) Set Goals
Embarking on a weight loss journey without having an end in sight could turn into a confusing and pointless effort. In order to know where you need to start, you need to first figure out where you plan to end. Setting reasonable, reachable, measurable goals will help you get motivation to lose weight. Having a set number, whether this is in pounds, inches, percentage or even in time spent engaging in some type of exercise, setting a goal will give you a way to hold yourself accountable. Some people find it helpful to set a time-sensitive goal or deadline for their weight loss efforts as well. For example, someone might plan to lose 5 pounds before their vacation in 3 months.
3) Develop a Method
Developing a unique weight loss program that will work for your individual is probably the most difficult and most fluid step in any plan to boost weight loss motivation. Knowing how exactly you plan to lose the weight is an essential part of the process. Whether you are planning to cut calories or carbs, to go vegetarian or to follow a program such as Weight Watchers, knowing your method forwards and backwards will be essential for weight loss motivation. You may have to try a variety of different diet and exercise plans to see what piques your personal tastes and interests. For example, one person might really enjoy running on the treadmill, while another person might benefit most from an interactive activity like playing tennis. This is the step in the process where you really have to begin think about your weight loss plan as a long term investment. What structure will fit best into your life? The ultimate goal is that the method eventually becomes a habit.
4) Preemptively Combat Tempting Situations
Resisting the urge to indulge in tasty foods and skip out on exercise can be strong. The best way to avoid these types of counter-productive temptations is to preemptively plan against them. Bored eating and emotional eating and two extremely common barriers to weight loss success, in which many of us engage without even consciously thinking about our actions. Some suggestions to combat the urge to “cheat” include keeping healthy snacks handy, finding substitutes for munching such as going for a walk if you are bored or stressed, planning your meals ahead, writing down what you eat, or storing back-up gym clothing in your car or office.
5) Get a Buddy
Having a friend or significant other involved in your weight loss program will help motivate you to lose weight as well. If you have another person to follow a diet and exercise plan with you there will be a support system in place if you need some advice or motivation to stick to the plan. Signing up for different exercise events that benefit a charity or research foundation might also be a positive way to promote interest in weight loss. Another outlet for motivation is books and articles with success stories of others who have struggled to lose weight as well.
6) Reward Yourself for Success
Obsessive adherence to diet and exercise plans will not be beneficial in the long run. A person can only handle high levels of stress and anxiety for a certain amount of time before it negatively impacts their weight loss plan effects, perhaps spurring a binge session on naughty snacks or even abandoning the diet plan all together. An occasional cupcake or cheeseburger will not ruin your weight loss efforts, so remember that the occasional treat is necessary for a happy, healthy dieter.