31 Ways to Help Your Weight Loss Motivation

 

1) Think health gain not weight loss. Do you only make good food choices when you are trying to lose weight? This could lead to rebound weight gain if you go back to your old habits once you’ve reached your goal. You have to eat every day, so why not eat better every day?

2) Set reasonable goals. Ask yourself if what you are trying to accomplish is reasonable. “Trying to achieve too much in too little time can actually set you back” warns Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of Integrative Health and Healing. Losing 50 pounds in 2 months is unreasonable, but losing 10 pounds in 2 months is not. 

3) LIMIT but do not ELIMINATE (unless it is harmful).  Eliminating your favorite foods will just make you want/crave them more.  Allow yourself those less healthy choices once in a while, but find a way to limit your intake (in portion or frequency) to avoid feelings of deprivation.

4) Take one step at a time.  Changing too much at once is a recipe for disaster. Instead of taking on a bunch of new tasks you aren’t exactly looking forward to (a new exercise plan, a new eating regime), why not take bite-sized action steps?  Pick one new habit a week to work on.  By the end of 90 days, you will have incorporated 12 new habits.

5) Eat on a blue plate.  Did you know that the color blue is a known appetite suppressant?

6) Focus on all the positive changes your new habits have brought you.  Instead of focusing only on the changes you aren’t seeing yet (i.e. a drop in your scale weight), focus on the benefits you are noticing, like saving money by not wasting it on junk food, or your increased energy level from exercising.

7) Celebrate the small victories!   Fitness is more like a marathon than a sprint.  By setting small weekly or monthly goals you will be able to track your progress which will keep you motivated to continue as you reach them and step by step.  Once you’ve achieved a goal, no matter how small, celebrate it!

8) Wear red to get going!  If your energy is low and you feel lackluster about a project or event (or working out?) then wear red.  Red energizes your system, boosts your confidence and empowers you to action.

9) Buy some nice workout clothes! When you look good, you feel good.  Plus, you’ll be much more likely to put on your new gym outfit on those rough days (when its cold out/you are tired/its that time of the month, etc).

10) Forget Perfect.   Did you slip up?  Have a moment of weakness? That’s OK.  Instead of allowing a slip up to ruin your whole program, use any splurge as motivation to get yourself back on track.

11) Be kind to yourself. Give yourself a hug once in awhile! Train hard, eat right, sleep well, but once a week, allow yourself an indulgence.  Enjoy your favorite dessert, get a massage, or simply take some time for yourself to relax.

12) Find an accountability partner.   Find a friend, trainer, or group that will keep you on track when you miss a workout…plus it more fun to do the journey with someone else.

13) Journal each day how your weight loss is making you feel healthier. Focus on the feelings of better health, and not on skinniness.  That way when you plateau, and you will, you will find yourself more motivated to continue working towards your goal, especially on days when the scale isn’t budging.

14) Post it, tweet it, blog about it, whatever you like, but put it out there! If you tell others that you are striving for a major goal, you will find support that keeps you accountable and makes your steps to success less overwhelming.  By sharing your goals online, you may find someone else who shares your goals and can add to your support system.

15) Schedule all your workouts at least a month ahead of time. Creating workout “dates” on your calendar really gives your plan priority and structure.  Plug it into your iphone, Blackberry, or Outlook calendar or write them down on an old-fashioned wall calendar.

16) Set the mood for your mind.  Get yourself pumped up for your new workout plan in as many ways as you can so you don’t mind ‘spending’ the time and effort on it.

17) Change the scenery around you. Behavior is often shaped by our environment rather than pure willpower.   For example, deciding to eat your favorite frozen yogurt only while you are at the yogurt shop, rather than taking it home and eat it out of the carton while watching TV. You’ll still enjoy your favorite treat, but will likely end up eating much less of it. 

18) Turn off the negative self-talk.  Avoid negative thoughts. And when you do start to think negatively, have an “out” that will quickly take you away from the negative thoughts.  Ask yourself, “What’s the payoff?”  If the pay-off of the brownie that I want to eat is not something that makes me leaner, fitter, happier in the long-run – reconsider your decision.

19) Be Your Own Cheerleader. Place post-it notes all around your house with motivational reminders such as, “I feel great!” or “food is fuel, I eat when needed.”

20) Keep setting new goals. When your motivation wanes after reaching a specific goal, it’s time to set a new one! Goals are evolving and dynamic and you should always having something new to shoot for.

21) Cross train your habits. Mixing things up isn’t just good for your fitness plan, but it also works with your daily choices as well.  For example, instead of eating out on Friday night, and potentially consuming back all the calories you worked off all week in one sitting, why not have host a healthy potluck dinner for you and your friends? Trading one old not so healthy habit for another healthy habit that you’ll look forward to just as much can help you make lasting changes.

22) List the painful consequences of not achieving your goal. Sure, it’s nice to think about all the great things you’ll have/feel once you’ve achieved your goal, but it can also be motivating to list all the possible negatives that may come about if you DON’T achieve it. Write out all the negative consequences of not exercising (poor health, pain, limited abilities, medical costs, lack of socializing, low self-esteem).  And with each negative consequence, asks yourself: “What’s the consequence of? and “What’s the consequence of …?” – writing down all of your answers until you’ve finished your full list, and then refer back to it anytime you need a dose of motivation.

23) Use You Tube for Inspiration. Some of the best motivational speakers are all available right at your fingertips!

24) Stay away from bad influences.  Are there certain stores, foods or even friends that lead you to make unhealthy choices? Try to stay away from triggers that may tempt you back into the unhealthy habits you are trying to break.  Instead, find people, places and things that will have a more positive influence on your lifestyle, and will help facilitate your goals.

25) Put up some visual motivators.  We are visual creatures, so use that to your advantage! Flip through a new fitness magazine or scroll through a website, or watch some fitness shows on TV to get inspired. Use the cute workout clothes you see, great bodies and also workouts all as new motivational tools.

26) Know Thyself. Understanding who you are as an individual, and why you make the choices you make, is so important. Don’t work against your natural tendencies- work with them! If you are a walker, don’t try to force yourself into becoming a marathon runner. If you are a social butterfly, take a new fitness class with a friend, or if you prefer solo exercise, try out a new Pilates DVD at home.

27) Create a vision. If your goal is to lose weight, create a mental picture of yourself having already achieved it. What will you look like, feel like, and move like when you have accomplished that goal? Living as if you are already there makes realizing your vision something you focus on daily.

28) K.I.S.S: Keep It Simple, Sweetie. Avoid the lure of quick fixes like cleanses, sweat suits or extreme diets. Instead of overhauling everything, keep it simple. Substitute half of your usual morning OJ with sparkling water or try your usual sandwich with one less slice of bread and more lettuce instead today. Swap out your favorite TV show for a half hour with a book that you have been waiting to read. Offer to take your friend’s kids for the afternoon so that she has a few hours of “me” time, and then she can return the favor. Over time, these tiny steps can produce major, lasting, easier to maintain, results.

29) Get a theme song. Rocky had a theme song, so why shouldn’t you? It sounds corny, but playing it (even singing and dancing along to it) can really boost your spirits when you are feeling uninspired and help you check back in with your motivation.

30) Donate your “fat” clothes. Instead of holding onto your ‘heavy’ clothes –visualize yourself in your new wardrobe.  Better yet, picture how great you’ll feel in your new body and clothes and get rid of the possibility of going back to your unhealthy habits.

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