For many people, getting control of their weight and living a healthy lifestyle, is a constant struggle, with temptation ruining their plans at every available opportunity.
If you’re serious about making big changes to your life, you have to accept that there will be setbacks along the way, and it is a big help if you think about how to stay motivated to lose weight in advance.
In this article we’ll look at some of the key things you can to do help keep you motivated.
Specifically we’ll cover:
- Why mind-set is so important
- How to stay motivated
- Motivational quotes and videos
Scroll down to read through, or use the table of contents below to jump to the relevant section.
Why mind-set is important for weight loss
You may well have the perfect diet and exercise regime locked down but ultimately you need to have the right mind-set, motivation and will power to make significant changes to your life.
Mind-set is everything when it comes to staying on track with your weight loss goals but luckily there are a few tricks in the book you can adopt to keep your mind feeling fresh and focused.
I CAN VS. I CAN’T
One of the main reasons people fail with motivation is because they tell themselves frequently they can’t do it. ‘I can’t do that, I can’t resist that’ and the most notorious ‘I love food too much’. It’s all a matter of mind control and allowing yourself to take charge of your thoughts. You need to tell yourself that you CAN do it because your mind won’t give up if you don’t let it. Become a ‘yes’ person and brush off that little devil on your shoulder!
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” Henry Ford
How to Stay Motivated to Lose Weight
- Short, medium and long term goals – Setting yourself a series of goals is so important for maintaining the positive, winning mind-set. No matter what your goal is you can break it down. For example if you want to lose 6 stone in 8 months then this is your long term goal so you will need to break it down into short and medium term ones to keep your motivation high. Your short-term goal could be to lose 1 stone in 5 weeks and your medium term could be 3 stone in 4 months. Be smart with your goals. Doing this will mean you always have a goal in close reach, a fresh mind and your motivation should always be on point.
In the excellent book “The One Thing” by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan, they refer to this concept as “goal setting to the now”.
- Set targets that are in your control – In relation to setting short, medium and long-term goals it’s important that you set targets that are in your control. A main reason why people often fall off the wagon when it comes to weight loss is that their targets are somewhat unreasonable. If you are going on holiday and want to lose 2 stone in a few weeks then that’s simply not going to happen. Be realistic and understand what’s achievable in the time frame you have with the resources that are available to you. You need to be in control of your own destiny. Don’t rely on others to exercise because other people will only let you down. Rely only on yourself.
- Educate yourself – When it comes to staying motivated to reach your weight loss goals, knowledge is power. Fully immerse yourself in it all and allow it to become your healthy obsession. This way it is more of a hobby than a diet.
- Immerse yourself in healthy eating books and enjoy finding some examples of healthy recipes to cook! Cooking delicious, healthy food is so much more enjoyable than cooking bad food. The more you understand about why it is important to lose weight and how best to do it, the more successful you are likely to be at it. Make it your passion.
- Accept that it won’t be easy – Nothing worth having ever did come easy. Yes, weight loss is hard but if you accept this and understand it will take commitment, effort and determination you are less likely to lose your way with it. Weight loss is a lifestyle change, a permanent one at that, so try to enjoy the transformation challenge because you are investing in yourself and your future. There is nothing to gain from binging on those cakes, sweets and chips but there’s everything to gain from opting for healthy choices for your body and mind.
- Find people to emulate – Nothing sparks motivation as much as reading real life success stories. Following other peoples transformation stories will ignite a spark in your mind and make you realise that you can achieve anything you set your mind too. All it requires is some hard work and determination. If they can do it so can you! Imagine how good it would feel to read your own transformation – in fact why don’t you start writing it as you go along?
- Check out the motivational videos below.
- Look for some easy wins – There’s no harm in looking for some temporary easy wins! The body reacts well to change so it’s a great idea to mix it up sometimes to keep it progressing. Carb cycling is an excellent way to shed some weight FAST! This involves ‘cycling’ your carbohydrates around your exercise days. Say you go running on Mondays and Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, you would have Tuesday and Saturday as carb free days. This can help to accelerate your weight loss significantly. Low carb and high protein diets have also been proven in numerous studies to be highly effective for initial weight loss and keeping it off.
- You can also try intermittent fasting. You fast for short periods and this helps you to eat fewer calories, and also helps optimize certain hormones related to weight control. A little bit of early success keeps you motivated.
- Recognize the gap between action and response – Remembering that you always have the freedom to choose is a key factor in losing weight. If you’re having a bad day you don’t have to resort to comfort eating. If it’s raining you can still go for a run. Keep yourself in the winners’ mind-set and become a YES person! You don’t always have to reward yourself and your feelings with food! Replace them with something else, how about a luxurious hot bath? A spa treatment? Some meditation, or some new gym clothes to look and feel your best? Now those are good ideas!
- Track your progress – Tracking your progress is an excellent way to really keep your mind motivated! Use a range of measurements such as weight, inches and body fat percentage because sometimes when the scales aren’t changing it doesn’t mean you aren’t losing weight. The scales may stay the same but you may have lost an inch off your waistline or thighs! Charts and logs help show you how far you’ve come and how close you are to hitting your target. Also you can now enjoy some seriously awesome weight loss apps and wearable fitness trackers which will not only track your progress but help to assist you in your workouts allowing you to get the most out of every activity and session you complete.
- Put reminders in the right place – Make your environment a motivational place to live in! You can be as creative as you want to be and use homemade posters around the house. For example you might place a ‘HANDS OFF’ sign in the fridge or a series of motivational quotes up the stairs, whatever takes your fancy! Take it to your technology too and put up inspiring desktop wallpaper – put motivation wherever you can!
- By setting reminders on your phone you can also get timely reminders when you need them most. If you know you normally resort to snacking in the afternoon, set a reminder to eat something healthy instead.
- Visualize your success each day – Meditation and mindfulness can be really powerful tool so it’s important you try to utilize them as much as you can. If you have a peaceful mind that’s free from stress and clutter, you can achieve more than you probably ever imagined. Listen to music that motivates you and if you are having a bad day, change your frequency. Visualize your end result every time you eat or exercise and remind yourself constantly why you are doing it.
- What’s more is that stress has a significant effect on the hormone cortisol. Elevated levels of cortisol increase sugars (glucose) in your bloodstream, meaning it can be harder to lose weight! De-stress with some meditation. Many people turn to eating when they are stressed, using mindfulness exercises will help you to deal with this.
- Remember why you are doing it – Write it down if you need to and read it several times a day. Why are you doing it? Is it for an aesthetic value? Is it to improve your health? Is it to improve your overall fitness levels? Whatever the reason it’s obviously very important to you that you achieve it so never lose sight of the end goal and reasons why. Yes, you will be met with temptation, your friends will no doubt invite you to go for social events such as meals out but what you choose is your choice and you can go for the healthy options and stay on track.
- Find someone to support you – Nobody ever fails with the right support. Any sort of support group is an excellent idea to join when it comes to losing weight. It may be in the form of a local club or a friend but any support you can get, take it. You may have a friend, colleague or family member that wants to join you on your journey so let them. Draw inspiration and motivation from other people and this will enrich your journey and theirs. During those moments of weakness it’s also a great idea to have someone to speak to who understands or is going through the same thing that you are! Regular exercise classes like Pilates or Zumba are also great check points to keep you on track.
Weight loss motivation quotes
Many people find it motivational to read inspirational quotes to help keep them on track and draw energy from them when they are feeling low. Here are a few famous ones to get you started:
- You may not be there yet but you are closer than you were yesterday
- Nothing tastes as good as fit feels
- You have to get up every morning and tell yourself – I can do this!
- Every new day is another chance to change your life
- You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be – David Viscott
Try to find some quotes that resonate with you, and keep them handy. Save them in your phone, or print them out and put them somewhere that you can see them daily.
Pinterest is an excellent source if you are looking for more quotes.
Weight loss motivation videos
If you’re looking for further information on how to stay motivated to lose weight, check out this video by The Health Nerd.
Or check out these two real life transformation videos:
Think about how these stories relate to you, and imagine how good it’ll feel when you’re in a position to share your own success with others!
Starting on the road to success
Ultimately, making a change to your life is going to require sticking power. Whether you’re over weight and have a weight loss goal in mind, or you’re looking to lower your cholesterol levels and get healthier, it won’t always be an easy journey.
By thinking about the best ways to stay motivated in advance you will give yourself the best chance of success.