Weight gain can happen for various reasons including stress, poor sleep, hormonal fluctuations, and other medical reasons. But most often, it happens when you take in more calories than your body requires.
If you’re trying to lose weight and need motivation, know that you’re not alone.
Weight loss can be difficult and is more complicated than just making sure that you burn more calories than you put in but staying committed will pay off in the long run.
Here are 6 weight-loss motivation tips that will actually help you on your weight loss journey from someone who’s been there.
1. Start Small
There will be days where you will not want to move, and that’s absolutely normal.Maybe it’s cold outside, you’re tired, going through depression, or simply not in the mood.
I’ve been there.
But remember that doing something is always better than doing nothing.
Ultimately, you want to break the cycle of inaction and get into the habit of overcoming your own mental resistance.
Start with a small goal, it could be 5 minutes of walking a day. Then while on your walk, add on another 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or surprise yourself with more. Try to encourage yourself to challenge yourself every day using the same strategy.
▶ It’s easier to increase the intensity or length of a workout once you get started. But first, you’ve got to get up and get started.
2. Focus on how moving your body makes you feel instead of the end goal
Your end goal might be to lose 20lbs in 6 months. But sometimes, we get busy, things get in the way and we find that we’re unable to meet our goals within the time frame we set for ourselves.
Instead of giving up, reframe your mindset.
Try to focus on the enjoyable aspects of physical activity, or the freedom of just being able to move.
What kinds of physical activities do you enjoy? Is it yoga, dancing, strength training, going on nature walks.
▶ Try to incorporate more of the things you do enjoy rather than following a routine you saw online, or doing something that you absolutely hate. That way when things get tough and you find yourself unable to stick to your original plan or timeline, you’re more likely to keep a positive attitude towards working out in general.
3. Celebrate your non-scale victories
Repeat this after me: you’re not defined by a number on the scale.
Instead of waiting for the weighing scale to move or for someone to compliment your physique, learn to celebrate your own milestones – big, small, visible, or invisible.
If you’ve just hit a new personal record, celebrate it. If your clothes fit better on you, celebrate it.
If you feel more confident going to the gym, celebrate it.
Tried a new workout routine for the first time? Celebrate it.
▶ Celebrate you! You deserve it!
4. Eat until you feel 80% satiated
In addition to physical exercise, diet plays a very important role in weight loss.
You’ve probably heard that staying away from over processed foods and incorporating more whole foods into your diet is really important.
But so is eating mindfully, and slowly.
One of the many reasons people consume too many calories is because they eat too fast and end up overestimating how hungry they are.
It takes about 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to signal feelings of fullness. So rather than scoffing down all your food or jumping into calorie restriction or diets because you’re tired of not being able to lose weight, be mindful of what you’re eating.
▶ Slow down, and when you feel like you’re 80% satiated put that meal away.
5. Set more realistic goals considering your current lifestyle and situation
We all want things in life, and we want them to happen fast. But, often our goals aren’t realistic or sustainable.
My first advice is if you have an underlying health condition that could be hindering your weight loss progress (or suspect you might have one), consult a professional.
Second, if you know that you need a personal trainer, group classes, or an accountability buddy to feel motivated, set some time aside right now to make sure that you find one.
But otherwise, try running through your proposed fitness routine for a week and see if you’re able to keep up with it.
For instance, if one of your daily goals is to hit 10,000 steps on average. Track your steps for a week. If you’re able to achieve it great, maybe challenge yourself with a new goal.
But if you realize that you’re only managing to hit 6,000 steps a day, reflect on why. Then, come up with a plan to adjust your goals.
Maybe you’ll realize that waking up earlier is what might help you squeeze in a few extra steps.
▶ Whatever it is, track and adjust your goals so they are both realistic and sustainable. That way, you’ll see more consistent results in the long run.
6. Be patient and allow yourself to be flexible
Things won’t always go so smoothly but always remind yourself of how far you’ve come, keep learning about nutrition and fitness, and only compare yourself to yourself.
At the end of the day, no one has your genetics, your lifestyle, and circumstances. And besides, you’re already awesome for trying.
▶ Keep aiming to get better, stronger, and surely enough, with time, you’ll learn about how best to achieve your fitness goals.