Many of us know we should take better care of our bodies. But we are just too busy, don’t have the time, or simply can’t find the motivation to take action.
When you are just sitting around waiting for inspiration to get you started, you may be waiting a long time.
If you are looking for tips and tricks on how to get motivated to lose weight, you’ve come to the right place.
Motivation is a feeling that can be generated, and here are some ways to get you started down the path.
How to Get Motivated to Lose Weight
1. Get Clear on Why You Want to Lose Weight
You need to have a clear and compelling reason for why you want to lose weight in the first place. Note them down in a notebook to remain committed to reaching your goal for long-term success.
Take it one step further to dig deeper by answering why will you commit to losing weight no matter what.
Write down your answers. Read through them on a daily basis so that you are reminded of your commitment.
You may be interested in losing weight to heal your body from certain health issues (high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes…), feel confident, more energy to play with your kids, etc.
No reason is too big or too small. Just make sure you like your reasons.
2. Set Clear Weight Loss Goals
Just like specifying a clear destination on the GPS when we are in the car trying to get to where we want to go, we need to set clear weight loss goals in order to know if we are on the right track to get to where we want to be.
Set a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based) goal.
It’s important to set a deadline to achieve your goal. Our brain likes to finish what we’ve started, so having a clear endpoint encourages it to “finish the job”.
Write down your goals. We are 42 percent more likely to achieve our goals if we write them down (source).
Place your written whys and goals somewhere visible so that you are reminded daily to commit to your goals.
3. Write Down Your Plan
Benjamin Franklin is credited with the saying “failing to plan is planning to fail“. It’s timeless wisdom that applies to any goal worth achieving.
Brainstorm every single thing you need to do to accomplish your weight loss goal. Make a list.
Just sit down for 5-10 minutes and write anything you can think of.
My own plan included making time for:
- Measuring and recording my weight and waist first thing in the morning.
- Updating my food journal daily.
- Plan my meals for the week.
- Weekly grocery shopping.
- Weekly meal prep on weekends.
- Follow through on the meal plan during the week
Once I wrote out everything that I needed to do and allot time for each task, it actually looked less daunting than I had originally thought.
Planning ahead helps to clarify the goal process and relieve the stress and anxiety of dealing with an unknown.
4. Plan for Obstacles and Turn Them into Strategies
You are going to encounter obstacles on your way to your goal.
If there were no obstacles, you’d have already achieved what you wanted.
One trick to overcoming these obstacles is to anticipate them and turn them into strategies to reach your goal.
These strategies will turn into stepping stones to help you reach your summit.
First, identify all of your potential obstacles. What are the things that are getting in your way to reaching your goal?
Make a list and write them all down.
Once you have your list of obstacles in front of you, you’ll have a clearer vision of what you’ll need help with.
Then you can brainstorm and turn each obstacle into a strategy or a skill you need to develop.
These strategies become actionable to-dos that you can add to your plan.
For example, one of the hardest things for me with weight loss is hunger. I usually go straight from being hungry to being “hangry”, so I try to avoid it by grabbing the first food I see.
What I realized was that if I planned ahead and keep healthy snacks with me, I can avoid hunger and still stay true to my meal plan.
5. Plan for Setbacks
Focus on being proactive so that you can be less reactive. Commit to your goal by not making exceptions.
However, you’ll need to let go of the all or nothing mindset and plan for setbacks.
Don’t let a setback drag you down. A setback is inevitable and a part of life.
Rather than thinking of it as defeat, make it a learning experience.
Plan for a setback by having a backup plan. Make your backup plan more painful than the original plan so that you discourage yourself from not following your plan.
For example, remove the planned cheat meals if you’ve already eaten off-plan.
6. Make a Plan that Suits Your Lifestyle
It’s important to set realistic plans that can be sustained for the long term. Impossible plans will only leave you frustrated, demotivated, and wanting to quit.
Take it easy on yourself, avoid diets that are strict to you or ones that severely restrict some food groups.
Remember that if you eat nothing, you wouldn’t necessarily lose weight.
If a diet plan calls for intermittent fasting and you don’t like to deprive yourself of entire meals, find another plan that doesn’t require you to fast but still allows you to lose weight.
A low-carb diet plan that causes potential side effects such as brain fog, fatigue, and low energy may not be practical or sustainable for the long term.
Search for alternative diets that don’t severely reduce carbohydrates and still help you to achieve your weight goal.
7. Keep a Food Journal
List out all the food you eat every day so that you can become fully aware of your current eating habits.
Writing down everything forces you to really see what you are putting into your body.
The journal reveals whether you are following through on your meal plan and helps you to hold yourself accountable.
You can create this journal on a website, an application, or simply in a notebook.
8. Choose the Exercise You Like
Studies have actually pointed to the fact that exercises do not directly help you to lose weight (source). However, exercise is important to your overall health and feeling of well being.
Choose the exercise you like, even if it’s simply walking 30 minutes a day from doing your errands or walking your dog.
When you choose something you like, you are more likely to automatically work on it without having much resistance. Make it a habit to inspect the different exercise options to figure out all your favorites.
Listen to your favorite music or podcast while performing strenuous physical activities; this will increase your stamina further since you are pairing your favorite activities together.
8. Track Your Progress
Record your progress daily. Keep on practicing until it becomes a habit. This will make it feel natural and less like a burden.
You will soon get used to eating the food you never ate before, perform the exercise with ease, etc. Record whatever you are doing that has even the slightest effect on losing weight.
Combining your food journal with your body tracker that records your daily weight and waist gives you valuable insights on how the foods you eat affect your body. This will motivate you in the long run and record your progress efficiently.
9. Celebrate Successes
Lift up your spirits by celebrating and motivating yourself. No win is too small.
Post on social media and weight loss communities to give yourself the feeling of accomplishment.
Reward yourself with a spa visit, a movie, or a new dress. Be generous with yourself.
10. Search for Social Support
Let people know about your weight loss journey and goals. Invite your partner, neighbors, friends, and family to participate with you during training or in planning an effectively balanced diet.
Join an online support group for accountability and motivation.
11. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Each one of us has a unique body that works at its own paces. Don’t beat yourself up by comparing your results to others.
Rather, try to focus on yourself to remain positive and happy.
You just have the one body to live in. Love yourself and your body no matter what.
Self-love is a great motivating factor. Focus on your own progress and wins instead of looking at others.
12. Cultivate Compassion for Yourself
Have your own back and don’t be hard on yourself. Spend the time to be curious as to how a setback happened, and be compassionate with yourself.
You have good reasons as to why you take certain action at a certain point in time, even if it’s not obvious what it is right away.
We have all developed subconscious programming from a young age that may require deeper reflection and thought work to uncover.
Practice being curious about your actions and develop compassion for yourself.
As hard as it may seem, losing weight can increase our overall well-being and help us lead more productive lives. Just a little effort every day can bring a drastic change in your health. Thus, plan well and take a stand to spare a few hours or perhaps minutes to take care of yourself for a better and brighter future. It’s never too late to get started!