Everyone’s weight loss journey is different. Losing weight is a challenge, for two reasons: How do you stay motivated to lose weight? And how do you keep the weight off for good? Yet health benefits can be realized with even a modest weight loss of just 5 percent.1 While no two weight loss journeys are the same, the right weight loss motivation tips can help set you up for success.
To help guide you in your weight loss journey, read on for diet motivation tips to help you set realistic goals.
Make A List Of The Reasons You’re Losing Weight
Before embarking on a diet plan, consider why you want to go on a diet. You might want to lose weight:
- To boost your confidence
- At the urging of friends or other peers
- To support your health
- To shift food habits or lower food intake
Before starting down the path of a diet, compile a list to determine why you want to lose weight.
Weight Loss Motivation: Why Lose Weight?
When it comes to weight loss efforts, motivation is one of the most important predictors of treatment success. Effecting a lasting change in behavior comes from within. This includes taking responsibility for regulating eating behaviors in order to integrate them with your own values and goals.2
What are some motivating factors for losing weight? They include:
- Improving movement by alleviating pressure on joints and slowing degeneration of cartilage3
- Increasing quality of sleep by reducing breathing obstructions4
- Becoming re-sensitized to perceiving the flavor and texture of your food, thus reducing cravings for high-sugar and high-fat foods5
- Internal motivation can go a long way toward achieving your long term goals.
Find An Exercise And Diet Plan That’s Right For You
It’s important to form a positive relationship with food. One way is with exercise. Another way is with food shopping.
Choose An Exercise Plan
Always talk to a doctor or health care professional before starting an exercise plan. That said, to be successful with a weight loss plan, focus on your overall health and lifestyle habits. It’s not just about food. It’s about developing and maintaining both healthier eating and physical activity habits.
Choose a plan that involves slow and steady weight loss goals. You don’t need to move fast: 1 to 2 pounds per week is good to start. Make sure there is an exercise component to the plan.6
Make A Food Shopping List
The food items that you buy at the market and the food choices that you make at home contribute to eating nutritiously and maintaining a healthy weight. One way to find a balance between taste, nutrition, price, and convenience is to make a shopping list.
Shopping with a list may positively influence healthy weight because you’re taking charge of the decision making process — rather than relying on advertising or in-store cues. Showing up with a list may also cause you to become acutely aware of your food behaviors: You might think twice before loading up on junk food like refined sugars, fruit juice, ice cream, fried foods and packaged chocolate cake that may otherwise sneak into your shopping cart.7
Create A To-Do List And Follow It Closely
Weigh Yourself Weekly And Track Averages
One way to track your weight is to keep a weight loss diary. This is one of the most important diet motivation tips. You might be tempted to constantly measure your weight. But keep in mind that it fluctuates each and every day due to changes in water. Instead, weigh yourself on a regular basis just once a week for a more accurate gauge of weight gain or weight loss. Over time, these weekly weigh ins will smooth out the regular ups and downs of body fluids.8
Track What You Eat In A Food Journal
Another way to help prevent weight gain is to keep daily food records. Develop mindful eating habits by jotting down what you eat in a food journal. You can use either paper-and-pen or a favorite smartphone app. Set up your goals, and track changes toward those specific goals.9
When it comes to weight loss, a reward is a very powerful motivator. Before embarking upon your weight loss plan, compile a list of mini goals. Then, treat yourself to a special reward each time you achieve one. For instance: If you accomplished 150 minutes of physical activity in a given week, reward yourself with a massage, a haircut, or some new clothes. The best rewards don’t need to involve food. Hopefully, they also keep you on the path to better health and physical fitness rather than causing a distraction.10
Resist The Urge To Criticize Yourself
When working to lose weight, it’s common to engage in self-criticism. For example, you might punish yourself for eating a cake or gaining back a few pounds. Unfortunately, this negative trait may be as crucial to losing weight as the foods that end up on your plate. Furthermore, it may lead to lack of motivation, as it saps energy and focus that you need to lose weight and establish healthier habits.11
Part of self care is practicing acceptance and self compassion. This may be done through mindfulness practices. Adopting this approach may lead you to be better at following through with healthy lifestyle behaviors.12
Learn To Tolerate Setbacks
Self care also includes tolerating setbacks along the path to weight loss. You may have set unattainable goals or unrealistic expectations. Or maybe you just needed a cheat day. Whatever the reason, remember that no one person is perfect and it’s totally normal to slip up along the way. Just pick yourself up and get back to it. You can do it!13
Modify Your Home Environment
Your home environment plays a huge role in achieving a healthy weight and maintaining long term weight loss success. It’s vital to manage it by properly setting aside a time and place to eat a healthy meal. This includes:
- Eating only at the dining room table
- Eliminating distractions, such as smartphones, iPads, and TVs
- Not keeping tempting food in your pantry
- Having a healthy snack easily available14
Once you adjust your home environment, your eating habits should adjust accordingly.
Set Realistic Goals And Expectations
You may want to hit an idealized weight goal from an earlier point in your life, perhaps your wedding or high school graduation. However, unrealistic goals just make this process more challenging. Instead, set a more realistic goal of, say, losing 5% to 10% of your weight. To achieve that weight loss goal, give yourself plenty of time, and allow yourself to be flexible in reaching it.15
Aerobic Exercises: Practice Regularly
Aerobic exercise is a powerful stimulus for weight loss. Studies show that men and women who do regular, supervised exercises lose more weight than those who do not.16
Good Exercise Habits Are Crucial
Setting and maintaining good exercise habits are vital for achieving sustainable weight loss. A reliable way to achieve permanent weight loss is to focus on attainable goals, establish an exercise routine, and then engage in regular physical activity. Find a new form of exercise that you really enjoy and that keeps you engaged. That way, you are more likely to stick to your exercise routine, be challenged by it, and avoid boredom.17
When it comes to physical activity, you’ve got lots of options ranging from moderate to vigorous, including:
- Taking a brisk walk
- Doing light yard work
- Biking at a casual pace
- Swimming laps
- Jumping rope or any other fun activity that requires physical exertion
Weekly activity should consist of at least 150 minutes of moderately-intense aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorously-intense aerobic activity, or a mix of each.18
Why To Choose A Workout Partner
When it comes to working out, going it alone is a huge challenge. Staying motivated and sticking to an exercise routine requires social support.
Studies have shown that people who engage the help of an accountability partner tend to both achieve and maintain their weight loss goal better than those who don’t. Who do you choose as your accountability buddy? For the best results, you can recruit a spouse, friend, relative, or colleague.19 You’ll be sharing your health goals with this person, so find someone with whom you can be candid and who shares similar interests to you.20
Benefits Of A Workout Buddy
Having a good workout buddy bestows a number of benefits. These include:
- Providing a motivation booster
- Keeping you accountable to your exercise routine
- Setting fitness goals together
- Helping to promote stress management
- Promoting long term success with your workouts
- Challenging yourself with some friendly competition21
View Healthy Weight Loss As A Lifestyle, Not A Chore
Make no mistake: Achieving weight loss success takes work. However, spending time planning ahead may help you make steady progress toward the ultimate goal. Practicing the right weight loss motivation tips helps build self esteem and self care, while generating a positive relationship with food. It’s a lifestyle change, but it shouldn’t feel like a chore.
And, by viewing healthy weight loss as a lifestyle and not a chore, you might even fit into that pair of skinny jeans that’s been hanging in the back of your closet.
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