How To Stay Motivated When Losing Weight
Weight loss is a struggle.Even if you’re enthusiastic when you start your program, it’s easy to lose motivation as the days and weeks wear on.
The National Health Service in the United Kingdom has some solid tips that increase your chance for success. Here’s how they suggest you keep yourself motivated to increase your chances of weight loss success.
Keep a photo diary
When you’re losing weight, the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. You might not be shedding pounds as quickly as you hoped, but if you’re exercising regularly, as recommend by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, it’s likely that you’re tightening and toning up your body. Photos let you see your progress when numbers on the scale don’t show it.
Photos are a great motivator because they visually represent your success in an unmistakable way. Looking better is often a prime motivation for weight loss, so what better way to encourage yourself than to look at photos that show your progress toward a slimmer, tighter profile?
Track weight loss monthly, not weekly
When you’re trying to lose weight, you usually go through ups and downs. It’s easy to lose your motivation when the numbers on the scale won’t budge or, worse yet, when they creep up instead of down. If you weigh yourself monthly rather than weekly—or even daily—you face that possibility much less frequently. Weight loss shouldn’t be all about the pounds, anyway. They’re a big part of it, but so is getting healthier and changing bad habits. Less frequent check-ins with the scale help you focus more on the big picture.
Find ways to walk
Walking is a simple, yet powerful way to get exercise, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. You don’t need to go to a gym or buy expensive equipment to walk. Just go outside, or use a suitable indoor space, and do it. You don’t even have to devote a big chunk of time to your walk. Find ways to fit short walking bursts into your day, like parking as far as possible from your destination or using stairs instead of an elevator or escalator. Shun your car when you’re going somewhere that’s within walking distance, and use walks as ways to spend time with your children, partner, or furry friend.
Visualize the new you
When you embark on any life-changing problem, know exactly what you’re trying to achieve. That knowledge motivates you because you have a solid end result in mind. Imagine what you’ll look like when you reach your goal, but don’t just focus on looks. Picture other benefits, like wearing styles that flatter your smaller body, being healthier, and having more endurance.
Set small, achievable targets
You’ll feel overwhelmed if you set a big weight loss goal and focus only on the end of the journey. Maintain motivation by setting up smaller sub-goals to give yourself boosts along the way. You’ll feel a renewed sense of purpose every time you hit a target that will boost you closer to the finish line.
Self-motivation is great, but you can be pushed even further when you feel responsibility toward others. Use this method to force yourself to be accountable to other people and to also help a good cause. For example, sign up for a charity run and gear your exercise program around preparing for it. Get friends, family members, and co-workers to sponsor you as an inspiration to achieve your training goals and complete the run successfully.