So, you’ve decided to lose a couple of pounds, signed up for a fitness class and perhaps even had your first meeting with a dietitian. Your motivation is at an all time high, and you’re ready to go! The question is; will it last?
Losing weight is often said to be more of a marathon than a sprint, so let’s take a moment to make sure that the motivation you’re feeling now won’t dissipate into thin air two months down the road! Read on for 28 easy tips that will keep you inspired throughout your weight loss journey.
1. Say No To Fad Diets
One of the best ways to maintain motivation is to make sure you hold on to your results! And fad diets are notoriously known for messing with said results.
They typically lead you to underfuel your body, which lowers your blood sugar levels, leaving you de-energized and craving foods you’d rather not think about. This is what makes this type of diet so unsustainable! Sooner or later, you’re bound to go back to eating what you were, feeling frustrated for “failing” at a diet that was flawed from the beginning.
What’s even worse is that losing weight by severely restricting calories also makes you lose muscle mass, which slows down you metabolism. A slower metabolism means you’ll burn less calories at rest than you did before the diet, which directly results in regaining the weight (and then some) when you go back to your previous way of eating.
Talk about demotivating!
Long-term weight loss isn’t about a quick fix – it’s about finding solutions you can sustain for many years to come. So aim for just that; it will increase your chances of success, thereby maintaining your motivation!
2. Put Your Business Hat On!
You wouldn’t expect a new business to thrive without a specific plan, right? So don’t make that same mistake when it comes to your weight loss goal! For a victorious approach, look at it through a business lens and pick a specific, measurable and realistic objective. Then determine your strategy and your milestones working backwards from your ultimate goal. A winning game plan will help you progress towards your goal and keeping it realistic will prevent you from losing motivation!
3. Make Friends With Your Weekly Planner
Prioritizing your workouts and nutrition goals by planning them into your calendar is a great way to increase your chances of success. Try scheduling all of your workouts at the beginning of the month and selecting meals for the whole week each Sunday. Shop for healthy foods on the same day of the week, every week. Planning both fitness and diet goals in this way provides you some structure and ensures you keep working towards your objectives. Plus, by taking the guesswork out of when you’ll fit each activity in your schedule, you’ll no longer need to rely on motivation alone to get things done!
4. Plan For Setbacks
Did you know that it takes on average of 10 weeks to form a new habit, whether that habit is getting to the gym every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening, or eating two handful of veggies with every meal? What’s good to know is that setbacks are an inevitable part of this cycle.
Had two cookies, might as well finish the box… Skipped Monday night’s workout, might as well take the week off and start fresh next week… Sound familiar? This “all or nothing” mentality will most definitely keep you from reaching your goals. But expecting setbacks allows you to plan for them, which, according to a recent study, is actually more effective at helping you lose weight than motivation alone.
So plan ahead for any obstacles you might encounter, be it family vacations, BBQs with friends or a particularly busy workweek. It will maximize your results and help keep you on track towards your weight loss goal!
5. Ditch The Scale 6 Days Out Of 7
Weighing yourself can be a helpful way to measure your progress, but doing it too often is actually counterproductive when it comes to sustaining your motivation.
Weight normally fluctuates throughout the day, as well as from one day to another. Daily weigh-ins can bring on a roller coaster of emotions which can sap your motivation. Remember, it’s not just about the numbers on a scale, it’s about health too! Pictures and measurements are better methods of tracking your progress – looser jeans don’t lie! So limit your weight-ins to a weekly or even bi-weekly schedule to track your progress without messing with your motivation!
6. Keep A Food Journal
It’s been a long-known concept that tracking down what you eat effectively increases your chances of success, which, in turn, can motivate you to push forward with your weight loss efforts. But a recent study found that using an electronic diet diary (the type that allows you to have an overview of your daily nutrients) is actually more effective than the old pen an paper version.
Concretely facing what you’re eating forces you to confront your bad habits. It also allows you to notice certain eating patterns that may counter your efforts. So download apps such as myfitnesspal or calorific and get to tracking!
7. Push Back The Pushers
What’s a “pusher” might you ask? It’s that one person that will encourage you to go off your diet “just this once”. The problem arises when “just this once” comes up at every family gathering, every night out with friends, every date night…before long, you’ve fallen off the wagon and your motivation is at an all time low. So prepare for the pushers with previously thought of answers. And if all else fails, avoid the peer pressure by planning activities not revolving around food!
8. Fibre Up!
Willpower is said to be finite – the more you resort to it during the day, the less chances you’ll successfully use it at the dinner table! So spare this precious resource for situations that require tons of it by relying on effortless little hacks that help you eat less without even realizing it. One of such hacks is staking up on oats, lentils, bananas, carrots and green beans. They are all great sources of soluble fibre, which helps you feel fuller for longer, leading you to lose more weight over time. As a bonus, soluble fibre also protects your heart by lowering your LDL (a.k.a. “bad”) cholesterol!
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