How to Stay Motivated For Weight Loss
Get Into Action and Start Melting Those Extra Pounds
Plan realistic and specific goals.
Start each day with a plan, because if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Think about what it is that you wish to accomplish with respect to exercise and diet. Be very specific about the objectives that you want to accomplish. If you want to lose 100 pounds, know the amount of pounds that you want to lose each week and the date that you want to reach your goal weight. Don’t place unreasonable expectations on yourself, as this will only set you up for frustration and failure. Consider a meal and exercise plan that you can commit to.
Plan your routines right down to the type of exercise, days of the week, and times of the day that you will exercise. For example, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays you could plan to start exercise at 5:30 a.m. for a period of 1 and ½ hours. Your exercise will consist of Yoga for 30 minutes, then 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise with a workout DVD, and 30 minutes of strength training exercise for your upper body using free weights. Of course, you don’t have to follow these suggestions. The idea is to tailor a plan that suits your needs and goals.
Knowing what you will eat each day will prevent you from overeating the wrong types of foods. Never starve yourself! You will need to consume enough calories to nourish your body and provide your daily energy needs. Therefore, don’t choose a very strict diet plan that requires extremely low calories or unpalatable foods. This is the type of diet plan that most people can’t commit to.
Visualize, pray, and meditate (with faith).
Every morning when you wake up and before you go to bed at night imagine yourself the way that you want to look. Instead of thinking about the way you look in the present, think of your slim, physically fit, new appearance. Use all of your senses when you visualize and repeat positive affirmations silently as you do this. See yourself actually doing exercise and getting thorough it. Imagine yourself with lean, firm muscles and a flat stomach. Visualize getting on a scale and feeling happy that you reached your goal weight. The most important step in this process is to believe that you can accomplish your goals. Everything that you want to achieve begins in your brain, so make it real mentally. When you make it real mentally, it will eventually become real physically. If you believe in God or a “Higher Power”, pray and ask God for strength and guidance.
Keep a log of your journey.
Use a notebook to document your progress daily. Write down the type, duration, and/or intensity of your workouts. For example, if you do 12 squats with two 5 pound dumbells, record it. If you do 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise on a treadmill at level 3, record it in your notebook. Also, keep track of how you felt after exercise sessions. Recording your exercise sessions in a notebook serves as a comparison against your benchmark or established plan. You will know whether you are meeting your exercise goals, weekly. It also, allows you to review your success and/or areas where you need to improve in exercise. Journaling helps you to remain cognizant of the types and amount of food that you consume daily. You don’t necessarily have to count calories. Have a general idea of the relative amounts of fat, carbohydrates, and proteins of the foods you choose to eat. Pay attention to your portion sizes as well.
Read as much as you can about weight loss, exercise, and diet from reputable sources. There is a plethora of excellent and reliable resources on the internet. There may be support groups and seminars on the subject of exercise and weight loss available in your community. Keeping yourself informed will help you to remain focused and on the right track with your objectives. It also has the advantage of helping you to reach your goals in the least amount of time, since you will know what works and what doesn’t work. Other options if you can afford it, are consulting experts, like personal trainers and nutritionists to help you.
Change your exercise routine to prevent boredom and plateaus.
Switching up exercise routines will be a fun challenge. For instance, if you are easily able to do 2 sets of 12 reps, of bicep curls with 2 - 5 pound dumbbells, gradually increase the weight used. Perhaps, use 2- 7 pound dumbells instead. This also, will help your body to get stronger as it adapts to workout routines. Switching up your exercise routine can also prevent long plateaus and over working the muscles.
Find a workout buddy.
Exercise with a person who shares the same interest in weight loss and fitness. Your buddy can motivate you to stick with the program and vice versa. Team up with a buddy who is equally committed to the process. Your buddy should also be willing to give you honest feedback. A word of caution: Pitch your workout buddy suggestion to someone you trust. You don’t need work with someone who will put you down or discourage you.
Join an online forum for weight loss and fitness.
There are plenty of exercise blogs and online forums available. Many of the members will share valuable tips on diet, exercise and weight loss. Participating in a blog also comes with some degree of accountability. If you tell others in the blog that you are trying to lose weight, they may be interested in learning what you are up to. Seeing and reading about other people’s transformation stories can be inspirational.
Take pictures of yourself along the process.
This will provide you with the extra encouragement that you need. You will see how much progress you are making from week to week. The changes will appear very slight from week to week, but these gradual changes are accumulative. It will give you an increased sense of pride to know and see how far you have come. It also helps to post pictures of people who are already in good shape in plain view. Make a collage on a poster board of this and put it in a place where you will see it daily. Tell yourself that this is how you will look in the end.
Treat yourself occasionally when you reach a milestone.
This does not mean that you should binge on fatty or sugary foods. It’s okay to eat these types of foods once in a while, provided that your overall diet is conducive to healthy weight loss. Also, a treat could be a new outfit when you drop a few pant sizes.
Know that it is okay to make mistakes.
Don’t expect changes to occur overnight and don’t expect that things will be perfect. If you miss a few days of working out or eat the wrong thing one day, don’t beat yourself up. Learn from your mistakes and continue with your plans. The most important thing to realize is that you should make your weight loss goal a priority. Hard work, commitment, and persistence will eventually pay off.