- Diet & Weight Loss
How to Get Motivated to Lose Weight Permanently
One of the keys to successful and permanent weight loss is motivation. Getting started is one obstacle and keeping on with a program to lose weight is another barrier to success. Well planned weight loss programs need to tackle the motivation issue early and often. Intrinsic motivation (self motivation) is critical to the success of any weight loss program. Below are a number of ways you can generate strong intrinsic motivation to lose weight permanently.
Set Realistic Weight Loss Goals
The first and most important step is to set specific, realistic goals that are measurable and achievable. People quickly lose heart if the goal they are trying reach is too difficult or too distant. On the other hand, goals that are realistic are reinforcing once achieved. So establish both an end goal and several intermediate goals (milestones) that will help keep you psyched and keep you going.
Focus on the Benefits of Weight Loss
It is extremely important for you to focus on the key benefits of meeting your weight loss goal in order to keep those major drivers highly visible. Specific weight loss benefits might include: looking better, feeling better, greater self esteem, more confidence, more energy, numerous health benefits, money saved on future medical expenses, the fun in buying a new wardrobe, and self-satisfaction. You will need to write these down in the front of your new weight loss diary.
Select The Top Five Benefits of Weight Loss to You
Select the five benefits most important to you in losing weight and write them down in multiple ways: on post-it notes, index cards, note pad on your computer, and in your weight loss diary. After writing down your top five benefits post them where you'll see them several times a day. This step is highly motivating for most people.
Design a Permanent Weight Loss Program
Design a weight loss program to get you to your goal. In order to lose weight permanently, new lifestyle changes must be made and healthier habits developed. The program should have two main elements: (1) a plan for eating better on a permanent basis, and (2) a serious commitment to life-long physical activity. The eating plan should be consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in order to get proper nutrition and to avoid high-calorie food choices.
The permanent physical activity plan could be as simple as a daily walking program that gradually increases in duration and intensity. Consult with your doctor to make sure the programs you decide upon are safe for you.
Weight loss results from expending more calories than are consumed. Increased physical activity increases your calorie expenditure and eating less reduces calories consumed. The combination of doing more and eating less must be sustained until permanent weight loss has been achieved.
Implement Your Weight Loss Program
Now it's time for you to get started and to keep going. You can do it! Keep your goals in sight and the benefits in your vision, too. If your goals are realistic, you are going to achieve them because by now you will be highly motivated! Keep a written record of your both your goals and your progress toward them, including weekly weigh-ins and records of physical activity. These records will also be helpful in motivating you to keep going.
Reward Yourself Along the Way
Don't entirely deprive yourself of your food cravings. Use them as rewards as you hit milestones like the first five pounds, ten pounds, 15 pounds and so on. You'll have earned them! But use other rewards instead of food as often as you can.
Never Give Up on Your Weight Loss Goals
This is very important for you keep in mind. You are human and you are likely to mess up and backslide a little. No problem! Just return to the program like a laser beam as soon as you can. Review your goals and top five benefits, get psyched up again, and go for it! Never give up! Never, ever give up!
Some people do better with written action plans that are developed to spell out exactly what they will do to achieve their goals. If you have trouble, get help developing a written action plan to guide you to permanent lifestyle changes and permanent weight loss.