You made it here- the decision to lose weight! This means that mindfulness is kicking in! This is important for motivation, weight loss, and health. Being healthy and active is necessary!
Our bodies were meant to move, not be sedentary. For weight loss, the success of your journey is based on your ability to stay motivated throughout.
Motivation is easy at first. Holding on to it may breed a little challenge. Please know that this is normal. You will have days where motivation is at its all time high, and other days where motivation is at an all time low.
In this article, we’ll look into some of the best ideas on motivation to lose weight and why we lose motivation easily along the weight loss journey.
Motivation and inspiration for losing weight
There are varied reasons for wanting to lose weight. The one common factor: Everyone needs motivation.
One piece of advice:
Motivation comes a little easier when you determine the reason for wanting to lose weight.
What is/are your motivating factors for losing weight? It is important to understand your “why”, no matter how small.
Losing weight, even just 5% of your weight can help:
- Improve blood sugar
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Lower cholesterol
- Reduce joint pain
- Reduce the risk of certain cancers
As someone who has been through this journey, I can tell you that it will require constant recharges of motivation.
I did it the old-fashioned way, diet and exercise. It took me almost 3 years to achieve 85 pounds lost. That may seem like a really long time; however, keep in mind that healthy weight loss averages 1-2 pounds per week.
Motivation is really strong in the beginning, motivation starts to shift when the results aren’t immediate. The results take time, your motivation is key to get you there.
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
Common weight loss motivation struggles
Lack of motivation is common for many reasons. Motivation can trigger a number of emotions, making it hard to get motivated. Some of the common motivation struggles that people face:
Unsupportive social environment
Your social environment is your physical and social setting (home, family, friends, etc.).
Many don’t realize the importance and the influence of a social environment. If you are trying to get on the right track and hear something like “oh, you don’t need to do that, let’s go out and get ice cream”, your motivation to do the right thing is will likely be impacted.
Lots of hard work for slow results
When you work out 5 times a week and carefully count your calories, naturally you want to see more than 2 pounds gone. Please keep in mind that normal and healthy weight loss averages 2 pounds per week; about 3500 calories burned means one pound lost.
Many suffer from injuries that reduce their ability to exercise; however, consideration for low impact exercise and exercise modifications should be given.
Additionally, discussing approved workouts with your doctor is helpful. Exercise can still happen with an injury, don’t lose motivation!
You will crave, and it is ok! Even the healthiest people have cravings. When cravings strike, be mindful of the craving and the portion.
Craving cookies? Bake them at home so that you can modify and control the recipe for your goal!
Healthy food is expensive
There is a bit of truth and a bit of a lie here. Healthy food can be a bit expensive; however, if you eat more of a plant-based diet (fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.), the costs won’t sky rocket.
Lack of time for working out
If losing weight is really what you are set out to accomplish, then time has to be found. You have to schedule and coordinate your day to day, to include a workout.
For days that you simply can’t, make choices that force a little more movement:
Park at the back of the parking lot and take a longer walk into the store, take the stairs instead of the elevator, do squats while cooking, and/or do sit ups during commercial breaks.
The importance of mindfulness for motivation and weight loss
Be honest with yourself, how many times have you eaten something without actually thinking about what you were feeding yourself?
Mindfulness plays an important role in our everyday decisions, especially the decisions regarding our health. Here are mindfulness considerations that will help motivate you to lose weight.
In the past, we were taught what to eat and what not to eat; however, there was no guidance on how to select and consume, which ultimately contributes to weight issues.
In general, people have a strong misconception about food and its purpose in our lives and in our health. This creates unhealthy habits which contribute to weight gain.
The importance of mindfulness in this journey is crucial to your weight loss success.
Take a look at this article to learn more about mindful eating:
17 Ways to motivate yourself to lose weight
1. Love and appreciation
Love inspires motivation and motivation feeds appreciation.
Loving yourself motivates you to appreciate our body and all the things that it can do. Appreciation for the body improves body image and appreciation for body image leads to weight loss motivation.
As discussed above, mindfulness is key for success. Being mindful ensures that you are aware of your “why”, the reason for starting your weight loss journey, and are dedicated to making good choices that support your ultimate goal.
Mindfulness also keeps you aware throughout the process: food choices, social settings, and process/progress.
3. Be committed
Motivation for weight loss will suffer if you are not committed. Making a public commitment will help hold you accountable and enhance motivation.
4. Get a mentor/ Accountability partner
Having a mentor and/or an accountability partner will help with motivation. Having someone that inspires you and believes in you will boost motivation.
5. Animals help motivate
Getting a dog will increase movement. Dogs have to go outside and play. A dog can be an accountability partner!
Not only will they make you move, they are awesome support beings.
6. Goal setting
You know your “why” and now you’re ready to get started. What are your goals? Are they realistic?
As discussed above, an average of 2 pounds a week is normal and healthy weight loss. Setting goals like “I plan on losing 15 pounds in a week” will result in lack of motivation at the end of the week.
7. Pace yourself
The weight loss journey is a lifestyle transformation journey. This doesn’t happen within a few days. Habits take time to break. Don’t lose hope!
8. Perfection doesn’t exist and set backs will happen
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Be patient and love yourself through this process. This isn’t an easy journey. Expect a few set backs as you transition and get into the groove.
9. Don’t set your eyes on the end, set them on each day
What I mean is, focus on the journey, not the end goal.
If you are trying to lose 50 pounds, focusing on that number will motivate you initially; however, it will cause lack of motivation later due to being overwhelmed about the length of time.
Instead, focus on your daily goals.
10. Incorporate a plan that fits your day-to-day life
Everyone has different responsibilities and different reasons for losing weight. One plan doesn’t work from everyone.
Build your own plan, one that you can fit into your every day life.
Mindfulness is key here and helps keep you motivated. Being mindful of your day to day and incorporating a weight loss plan is important.
A few suggestions:
- Reduce the number of calories you eat. Keep a food journal and track everything.
- Make smaller plates with smaller portions. Portion control is important.
- Reduce your unhealthy snack and sugar intake. Sugar can breed disaster.
- Stay away from deep fried/fried foods.
- Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.
11. Don’t weigh yourself everyday
This is a huge NO. Weighing in once a week and keeping track of progress is what you need. Weighing yourself once a day is one of the fastest ways to lose motivation.
Remember, healthy weight loss averages 2 pounds per week.
12. Don’t focus 100% on the scale
The scale is just one way to track progression and even in that, special consideration must be given.
You may have gotten on the scale 2 weeks ago and have lost 15 pounds. This week you may see 5 pounds gained.
If you turned fat into muscle, this will happen, don’t lose motivation! This is a good thing! It means you are burning fat and building muscle. Building muscle means toning up.
13. Celebrate and reward yourself!
When you reach a goal, celebrate! Share your success with your social environment.
Being happy and celebrating your achievement enhances motivation.
14. Hire a trainer
It is okay to hire a professional trainer to help motivate and coach you toward your weight loss goal. The trainer doesn’t have to be a workout trainer. Consider a dietician and/or therapist.
15. Use music
Music is a motivation booster for sure! Music will help you move and groove, taking the focus off of the act and allowing happy to kick in and motivate you!
Research conducted by the North American Association for the Study of Obesity found that those that listened to music while exercising were more likely to stick with it than those who didn’t.
16. Keep those jeans!
You may have a pair of jeans that you want to get back into. Keep them! Let them motivate you.
17. Take pictures and document your awesome!
Your body will change as your eating habits and exercise habits change. Take a picture at the start and consider a photo every 30 to 60 days. Seeing your progress will help keep you motivated.
How to get weight loss motivation back when it’s lost
You may find yourself 100% motivated in the beginning and less motivated after a few weeks of trying.
Keep in mind that habits generally take 21 days to break. If you find yourself with 0 motivation, after having been 100% motivated before, try these:
- Go back to your why. Why did you start? What was the purpose?
- Try resetting your goal. Maybe your initial goal was a little too aggressive. It’s okay to adjust and do what works for you.
- Talk to a coach/trainer. it is a good idea to discuss with struggles with professionals. Many will offer free insight and advice for getting started and staying on track.
- Re-consider an accountability partner and/or group. Being around like-minded people on your journey can help so much with motivation.
- Find out if working out is the problem. Working out alone can be a bit boring. Have you considered a group fitness class? This goes back to being around like-minded people that are sharing your journey.
- Get more motivational messages. Words and phrases of affirmation are so important. Loving yourself and being patient with yourself is at the core of success for this journey. How about waking up each day to a motivational message that you wrote for yourself?
- Stop comparing yourself to others. Weight loss reasons, weight loss motivation, and weight loss journeys are different for everyone. Focusing on the journey of others takes you away from your goals and accomplishments. Don’t compare your progress with anyone else’s. This is your journey and you’ll do great!
The bottom line
It took me almost 3 years to achieve 85 pounds lost. I have kept my current weight for over 5 years and counting. Mindfulness and lifestyle transformations really are key for keeping it off.
Your journey will make you strong, educate you, and transform you.
Your motivation is within, find your why, hang on to it, be patient, love yourself, and you will find success at the end of the journey.
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com