Pune, 4 Nov (Dietitian Anagha Desai) – Starting and sticking to a particular routine can get difficult sometimes.Often, most of us lack motivation to get started or lack motivation to keep going on our journey. Fortunately, motivation is something we can work on and increase it. It’s like a muscle, we need to keep working on it regularly.
In this article we would be discussing about 13 ways to stay Motivated on Weight-Loss.
Before we start, I would like you to answer this question to yourself- Why do I want to lose weight?
Define all your reasons clearly like- I want to improve my self-confidence, Improve my fitness level, Fit into a certain dress/ jeans, look best for your wedding or some event, prevent or treat certain disease. Whatever it is, try to be honest with yourself.
Most of us are trying to lose weight because someone else has suggested us. It could be our doctor, husband or wife, friend, etc. But research shows that people are more successful when their motivation comes from within and not from the external sources.
You can read my book Win The Weight Loss Game to learn more about the healthy and sustainable ways to lose weight.
Now let’s dive into our 13 ways to stay motivated on weight loss:
1.Choose your environment wisely
The people around us has a huge impact on us. They can either motivate us or demotivate us. Therefore, surrounding yourself with such individuals is imperative. You can find people, especially your close ones criticising you. Even though their intentions are pure, but it results in demotivating us-
- You have gained so much weight, why can’t you lose it?
- How will you get married?
- You workout so much and keep on dieting, still you haven’t lost any weight.
- Look at your sister, she is so fit. Learn something from her.
You need to cancel your subscription to their drama.
2. Interact with winners
Interacting with the ones who are on this journey and successfully doing it, as it can help you to stay motivated to lose weight. But, here is an alert- You need to find right kind of people to keep yourself motivated. By this I mean, people who are trying to lose weight in a healthy way by eating right and working out regularly and not the ones who are on restrictive diets or crash diets (keto diet, GM diet to name a few.)
You can ask them-
- How are they doing it?
- How long it took them to lose this much weight?
- What is the source of their motivation?
3. Set realistic targets
There is no quick fix or shortcut to weight loss. Most of the diets claim quick results. However, a professional recommends only losing 0.5-1 kg or 1-2 pounds per week. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to disappointment, feeling of frustration and will cause you to give up.
Instead, setting achievable and realistic goals increase your chances of success and boosts your self-confidence.
Also, those who achieve their self-determined targets are more likely to sustain that weight loss in the long run.
One more factor which is very important is, set small goals instead of setting bigger targets. Focusing on bigger goals can affect your motivation as they often feel too distant and leave you feeling saturated.
So, set small and achievable goals like-
- I will brisk walk for 30 minutes 6 days a week.
- I will eat one green leafy vegetable per day.
- I will eat 2 fruits per day.
4. Put blinders on:
Remember, they often put blinders on racehorses to help them stay focused and prevent distractions.
Most of us are the victims of comparison syndrome. Everyone is on their unique journey. We are all different, our bodies are different and what works of someone, might not work for you or vice versa. So, focus only on your journey. Put one foot in front of the other without looking here and there. Focus on your GAME.
Don’t compare your step-1 to someone’s step-5. You might be in the beginning stage, while your friend might have started before you and already surpassed those stages.
5. Find an exercise you enjoy
When it comes to losing weight, it is important to incorporate exercise factor into your routine. It is said that 80% percent healthy diet and 20% exercise will give you long-term results.
Exercise helps you burn calories. The best way to stick to a exercise routine is to find out what you enjoy the most. Is it swimming, aerobics, zumba, Pilates, power yoga? If you don’t know yet then explore different options to find one you enjoy.
Do you prefer exercising inside or outside? Would you enjoy working out at a gym or in the comfort of your own house? Would you rather prefer to workout alone or in a group setting?
Listen to music while exercising as people tend to exercise longer while listening to music and enjoy that experience.
6. Get a professional help
It might get difficult for you to stay motivated all the time due to your environment, lack of social support, or whatever the reason might be. You can always get help from a qualified professional like a dietitian/nutritionist or a psychologist as it’s their full time job to make sure you are on track and they are also trained in motivational counselling which has proven to help people reach their goals.
When you are confident in their knowledge and abilities you will lose more weight.
7. Skip weighing scale
This is the most crucial step, as most of us find it difficult to resist the urge to stand on a weighing scale every day especially women. Females tend to weigh themselves almost every day.
Trust me it’s the most easiest way to demotivate yourself. Weighing scale is not the accurate indicator of your health and fitness levels.
When your focus is only on weight loss, you don’t know from where you are losing that weight. You could be losing your precious muscle weight instead of losing fat. So doing your body composition analysis gives you a better picture – where you get to know your total body fat percentage, muscle percentage, visceral fat percent, water weight, etc.
Get rid of that weighing scale today.
8. Pick a plan that fits your lifestyle
Due to lack of patience, most of you will be drawn towards those quick fix diets. But, they will give you temporary results and you will be stuck in the cycle of weight loss and weight gain.
Don’t go for diet in which certain food groups are eliminated. Avoid strict and restrictive diets and focus on eating healthy and enjoy your treats occasionally. Remember, balance is the key.
These are proven strategies to help you lose weight-
- Decrease calorie intake
- Reduce your portion size
- Avoid deep-fried, or packet foods
- Avoid cola drinks and fruit juices
- Include fruits and vegetables
- Have dessert or sweets only once in a while.
9. Celebrate your successes
Don’t wait until you achieve your goal to be proud of yourself. You started, isn’t that amazing? It takes a great deal to get started.
Celebrate the small victories and eventually you will win the game. A huge part of losing weight is believing that you can and realizing that it won’t happen overnight. Celebrate behavior changes and not just a certain number on a weighing scale. Give yourself some credit for achieving your targets. Social media is the great place to share your achievements.
Don’t you wish to see what happens if you don’t give up?
Weight loss doesn’t begin in the gym, it starts in your mind with a decision to try.
So, be proud of yourself every day, not occasionally. You can also reward yourself for accomplishing a particular goal like go for a movie date with your partner, buy new clothes, get a facial or a manicure, etc. But, avoid rewarding yourself with food.
This will further boost your motivation.
10. Motivate others
This is my personal favourite. When a million things can bring you down, find one reason to keep you up.
The best way to stay on your track is through energy exchange. Find someone- a friend, a family member, or a colleague who needs help and be their support system. Try to motivate and inspire them as you will find that you have inspired yourself in the process. After a point it will come naturally to you and you will be your own guide.
Give your best shot to lift their energy, as it will lift yours in return.
11. Avoid perfection
Let’s face the reality- We cannot stop living just because we are on a diet. If you are doing so, then you are on a wrong diet.
Firstly, Stop playing the victim game and stop blaming others for taking you out. Take responsibility for your actions.
Secondly, Your guilt conscience will ask you to starve and over exercise for the next few days or eat less in order to compensate or go on a detox plan. Just forget all that and stick to your previous healthy eating plan. Accept the occasional mess.
Get back on track immediately and make sure your next meal is healthy.
Thirdly, Consult a dietitian or a nutritionist as they will make sure that you are on track.
12. Think and talk positively
People who are positive and expect positive outcome are more confident and tend to lose more weight than the ones who keep complaining about their weight and are always stressed about how they look.
Also, talk about how you are going to lose weight, the steps you are going to take or are taking to achieve your goals. Start talking and thinking positively about your weight loss.
Love and appreciate your body instead of criticising it. Individuals with a positive body image are more likely to choose a diet they can sustain and incorporate new activities to reach their goals.
13. Make a public commitment
Studies show that people who make a public commitment are more likely to follow and stick to their goals.
Many of us keep it a secret as we are afraid that people will make fun of us. But, telling others about your weight loss goals will help you to stay accountable. You can tell your close family members, close friends, or you can also share it on social media and inspire others as well.
Never ask for free memberships or free diet plans. We don’t value it if we get anything for free. Consider investing in a gym membership or yoga classes as you are more likely to follow through if you have already made some investment.