For quite a few years, my New Year resolutions had one goal in common: to lose weight. I would start my weight loss mission on a fresh note each year, all enthusiastic and excited. I would plan out a new exercise regime, determine to give up on junk food, and promise myself to stop making excuses. Initially, everything would proceed as planned. But sooner or later my weight loss motivation would fizzle out. I would be back to square one much before the year ended. This was the story of my weight loss endeavours for a number of years until I finally succeeded in my efforts to stop motivation from flitting in and out of my life. Trust me, it turned out to be the key to my weight loss success.
If you too are struggling to keep your motivation from waning, don’t get disheartened. In this blog post, I am sharing with you a few tried and tested techniques that have helped me to remain on track. So, here’s how to stay motivated during weight loss.
Set realistic goals
To begin with, set realistic goals for yourself. The right goal can go a long way in ensuring success for your weight loss efforts. If you have unreasonable expectations from yourself, your chances of feeling frustrated increases. For instance, if you set up a goal of losing 20 pounds every month, you are definitely paving the way for your motivation to cave in.
Rather than setting such benchmarks where the chances of failure are quite high, it’s better to aim for achievable goals and stick to them diligently. When you start to achieve your goals, you will get the confidence and motivation to continue on your track.
Commit to be on track today
When you are trying to lose weight, thinking about the long journey ahead can be quite overwhelming. The best way to shake off such feelings is to commit to taking it one-day-at-a-time. Focus on doing your best today and forget the rest.
Don’t let the thoughts of the weekend party or the office get-together next week cloud over your motivation. Do as much as needed to be on track just for today. If you can fulfil your commitment just for the day, you are set to proceed in the right direction.
Adopt the changes as a way of life
Weight loss is not a short-term goal. It’s a commitment to transform your body and keep off the weight by leading a healthy life. This is where many people falter. No sooner do they manage to lose weight, they go back to their old ways. The result is that they pile back the weight they lost with so much effort.
One way to steer clear of such a mishap is to weave the changes into your daily routine and make them a way of life. For instance, if you have given up on sugar, incorporate sugarless recipes in your diet. Or, if you have reduced the frequency of your snacks, make sure that you eat healthy snacks that keep you filled up for long.
Celebrate each success
The journey of weight loss is not an easy one. So, when you are achieving the results, you need to pat yourself and celebrate your success. Set a milestone and when you accomplish it, reward yourself with a small incentive or reward. This will help you to remain motivated and keep going enthusiastically.
Just make sure that the reward doesn’t involve food. Think of an appropriate award that will make you happy. For example, you can gift yourself a new pair of jeans or get a new haircut.
Don’t set food off-limits
The human psychology works in strange ways. When you are denied something, you tend to crave it all the more. The same happens with food as well. For instance, if you have decided to stay away from dessert, your heart will want it more than anything else. This can make you feel terrible and you might end up giving in to your desire. So, don’t set food off-limits. Rather, enjoy everything in small proportions.
If you want to taste that chocolate cake, go ahead and take a tiny spoonful. The truth is that one spoonful of cake won’t add to your weight. But two large pieces will definitely do. You can also try to recreate your favourite dishes using healthy recipes. That way you will be able to enjoy your food without compromising on your motivation to lose weight.
Be patient and recommit yourself every week
You didn’t pile on all that weight in a single day, right? What makes you think that they will go away in one day? Sometimes even when you are doing everything right, the scale may refuse to move in the expected direction. Don’t let that hurt your weight loss motivation. Instead, congratulate yourself on the success you have achieved so far and try something extra to give your metabolism a push. For example, you can go for 30 minutes of brisk walking to burn a few extra calories. The key is to remain patient and recommit yourself each week till you reach the desired end.
Avoid being a perfectionist
No one is perfect. Sometimes you just can’t control yourself and give in to temptations. Don’t be harsh on yourself for that. It’s ok if you indulge in that slice of pizza or cone of chocolate mousse once-in-a-while. But don’t allow it to ruin your motivation. If you take it as a failure of your determination and give up on your goal, nothing can be as bad as that. A 100-calorie slip-up should not turn into a 1000-calorie gain. In other words, if you slip up today, let it remain limited to that. Tomorrow is a new day. Begin it with a new zeal and aim for progress, not perfection.
Re-evaluate and adjust your diet plan
Your body works in its own rhythm. As you start a diet plan and begin to lose weight, your body adjusts to the reduced calorie count. You will discover that after a while your progress with the diet plan may not be as much as it was initially. Instead of feeling frustrated, you need to reassess your diet. Make adjustments in your diet or increase your physical activity to give your body the push it requires to put off the weight. Also, make sure that your body isn’t holding on to water weight.
Do away with excuses
Excuses can be the greatest bane of your weight loss efforts. Don’t create excuses for yourself. It’s quite easy to tell yourself “I will start from the next Monday or the next month.” Even you are aware that this “next” won’t come anytime soon. To break from the circle of excuses, stop making them altogether. Tell yourself that the best time to start is right now. Every moment is the perfect moment to make a new beginning. So, cut out the excuses and get going with all enthusiasm!
I hope these tips help you to remain on track. Do let me know how your weight loss journey is progressing by commenting below.