Having trouble staying motivated with your weight loss? Motivation levels decrease over time. Here are 15 ways to keep your motivation sky high.
Don’t Over Restrict Your Food Choices
Lack of food variety and taste bud stimulation is a major motivation killer. Aim to eat a variety of different foods and also include “fun” foods in moderation. Keep the latter to 20% of your calories and you’ll have no issues reaching your goals.
Schedule Plenty of Rest Days
Nothing can burn you out faster than intense workout sessions 6-7 days a week. If you love it, great! But if you’re starting to loathe your next workout, it might be time to cut back on the workout frequency. Intense workouts 3-4 times a week are just as effective.
Write Down Your Motivation
Take out a pen and write down your reasons for wanting to lose weight. Write down exactly the way you feel, both good and bad. What are you trying to accomplish and why? When you feel your motivation dwindling, take out that piece of paper and give yourself a reminder.
Take Progress Measurements
Every one to two weeks weigh yourself, take body fat measurements, measure your body parts with a tape measure, or take progress pictures. When you see yourself in the mirror several times a day it’s hard to notice the little changes. These measurements are great motivators when you question your progress, or lack thereof.
Focus on How Far You’ve Come, Not How Far You Have to Go
It can be discouraging to realize we still have a long way to go before we hit our goal weight. Six months in the future can seem like a long time and a lot of work. Instead, look back at all that you’ve accomplished so far. If you’ve done it once, you can do it again.
Take Advantage of Available Social Support
Good social support is one of the best motivators for weight loss. Support can come in many ways. There are friends, family, online fitness communities like forums and blogs, or fitness classes. There really is power in numbers.
Watch Fitness Videos
Ever watched a movie and felt inspired? Fitness videos can achieve the same effect. Head over to YouTube.com and do a search for various workout videos. The music and impressive physiques will motivate you every time.
Engage in Exercise You Enjoy Doing
When you feel like you’re forced to do something you don’t want to do, you’re definitely not going to be doing it for long. Exercise is meant to be enjoyable. If you don’t like what you’re doing – change it! Staying active in any way possible is the key to long term weight loss.
Start a Blog
Blogs are free to start and are fairly easy to run if you don’t have any major plans for them. Head over to WordPress.com and create a free blog. Journal your daily struggles, progress, and success during your weight loss journey. Write down your food, workouts, and thoughts for the day and share it with family and friends.
Set a Realistic Weight Loss Time Horizon
Set too optimistic a goal at the beginning and you’ll be setting yourself up for failure right from the start. What do you think is going to happen if you think you’re going to lose 10-20 pounds the first month and then never reach that goal? Your motivation is going to get squashed. Here’s a fat loss time planning calculator to use to get perspective.
Pay Attention to the Way You Feel
Have you ever noticed how good you feel after a good workout or after eating a healthy meal? Remember that feeling the next time you’re feeling unmotivated. Focusing on the good feelings can be enough to keep the drive alive.
Make a Vision Board
I’m a huge fan of vision boards. Get out some sticky notes and write down your goals. Print out motivational pictures from the internet of what you want to accomplish. That might be a 5k or it might be a six pack. Put it all up on a board and put it where you’ll see it every single day. Your visions become a reality.
Start a Competition
A little friendly competition never hurt anybody, or has it? Regardless, competition adds a little extra spark to keep the fire alive. Don’t make it about who loses the most weight. Try things like eating the most servings of veggies or tracking calories the longest. Keep it healthy.
Focus on Intrinsic Motivation
There’s intrinsic motivation, which is based on wanting to accomplish things for “inner” reasons. Then there’s extrinsic motivation, which focuses on outside factors.
The latter encompasses things like wanting to lose weight because you don’t want to be teased. Intrinsic is the more effective and includes situations like wanting to lose weight because you want to be healthy. Focus on intrinsic.
Create Goals Other Than Weight Loss
While your goal is to lose weight, getting too caught up on the number on the scale can lead to motivation issues when that number isn’t budging. Weight fluctuates – a lot. It sometimes won’t move for weeks at a time.
Keep in mind that each good choice you make is making you healthier on the inside, and you’ll be much more likely to stick with your weight loss program. The longer you keep at it the greater your chance of success.