Weight loss motivation: 8 ways to keep yourself on track
According to a survey performed for the International Food Information Council Foundation, over 50% of people in America say they have a desire to lose weight. It’s pretty easy to get started on a weight loss plan and follow it for a few weeks. But staying motivated over a period of several months in order to drop 30 lbs. or more can be extremely challenging. Here are eight tips that can keep your weight loss motivation high and help you hit your goal weight.
1. Set realistic goals to keep your weight loss motivation high
One to two pounds per week is about right. It’s good to have a long-term/big-picture goal in mind, but smaller, more frequent milestones — like monthly and quarterly goals — will help keep your motivation level up.
2. Keep yourself inspired and motivated to lose weight
Get a pair of pants or jeans which are too tight and then hang them inside the kitchen rather than the closet to keep yourself motivated. Get rid of your “fat clothes” — wardrobe items that you’re tempted to keep around just in case you put on a few pounds.
3. Take progress photos
Wear something small or nothing at all! When possible, take photographs in the exact same location and dressed in the same outfit every time, so the only variable which changes is your body. Capture progress photographs for the back, front, and both sides. Capturing frontal shots only may be a deceiving and will not tell the entire story. Its best to take photos at least monthly, if not weekly. It might be worthwhile to set a calendar reminder to remind you until you get into the habit.
4. Use apps, online communities, and technology
Make fitness and weight loss an enjoyable pastime by using apps like MyFitnessPal, web site forums, Reddit subs, Facebook groups, etc., which provide social interaction and support from like-minded people on their own weight loss journeys. Plus, technological tools such as activity trackers like FitBit and/or heart-rate monitors can help make sure your exercise program is providing the necessary calorie deficit to keep your weight loss going and your motivation maximized.
5. Stay positive about your diet
Keep a positive mental attitude about your eating plan; for example, don’t look at dietary changes as a form of deprivation. Instead, see it as an opportunity to try new foods that you might have avoided in the past. Also, take pleasure in the time and effort you invest in logging your food and beverages. Studies show that individuals who keep track of everything they consume lose two times as much weight as those who do not.
6. Treat yourself right
Giving up your favorite treats completely can make you feel deprived and erode your motivation. If that craving for chocolate is getting to you, try some sugar-free hot chocolate packets. If you’re missing ice cream, buy small individually packaged ice cream bars. Don’t eliminate your favorite foods – learn how to make or buy healthier versions and/or eat smaller portions.
7. Reward yourself as you lose weight
As you meet your incremental goals for weight loss, say losing 10 pounds, go treat yourself to something other than food. Purchase a DVD or CD you have been wanting, buy some new clothes or shoes, or get a mani-pedi or massage.
8. Enlist your SO, friends, or family to help motivate you
Studies show that dieters who have support from their spouse, friends, or family will lose more weight than individuals who do not. If you aren’t getting the motivational support you need from your inner circle, find an accountability partner, join a fitness class, or get a personal trainer.