Weight Loss, The Real Challenge: Getting Motivated
Motivation is Key
People can just as easily lose weight on the Atkins diet as they can on a vegan diet. The driving force behind any and all weight loss is motivation. Without it, you will not be able to stick to your regimen of healthy eating and exercising and you are likely to slink back into your old habits that made you gain weight in the first place.
Thankfully, motivation is one of the easiest things to find when you really put your mind to it. With motivation, it does not matter which diet you follow or what your exercise routine is. Motivation is the sustaining force that will keep you on track and losing weight.
Tip: Calorie Goals
It doesn't matter whether you eat two donuts a day or ten pieces of fruit. As long as you make a point to keep your calories in check you will lose weight. Most people make the mistake of trying to eat healthy without making an attempt to eat less. It is not advisable to eat unhealthy foods because they are addicting; the more sugar and junk food you eat the more you will want to eat. However, when it comes to weight loss, quality does not override quantity. In terms of health, quality is extremely important, but I would be lying if I said you would not lose weight just by eating less.
Keep a calorie goal in mind as you eat your snacks and meals. You don't "fall off the horse" when you eat something unhealthy. You just have to deduct it from your calorie budget. If you choose to eat a 600 calorie doughnut for breakfast, then you are only left with 800 for the rest of the day and you have to eat accordingly (hypothetically).
It is too easy for people to make excuses and get off track when following strict diets with specific foods. If you can determine the amount of calories that you want to consume on a daily basis it will be easier for you to stay on track and see results.
How is tracking calories motivating? It is motivating because you can actually calculate how many pounds you can lose by eating a certain number of calories per day, regardless of which foods you are eating. I recommend signing up with a program or website to help you log your meals and budget your calories. My personal favorite is myfitnesspal.
You also get to track your progress and you will be less likely to give up when you see how far you have come and how many days you have managed to stay within your calorie budget. The great thing about rationing calories is that every day is a new beginning. If you slip up and go over the limit, you always have tomorrow to begin again. You begin every day with a clean slate!
Tip: Keep Reminders
Keeping reminders of why you want something where you can see them can be helpful whenever you are trying to accomplish anything. This can be in the form of inspirational images, quotes, or even hand written sticky notes. This is great when trying to improve self-esteem or achieve a goal such as weight loss.
You can make notes with your goal weight and leave them around your house (the kitchen), your car, and your office. You can extend this to images of people who are fit and healthy or quotes that remind you why you wanted to begin your weight loss journey in the first place. Even exposing yourself to images of fruits and vegetables will help you crave healthier foods at meal times.
Tip: Keep Count
Keeping count of your servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day can turn into a fun game that keeps you motivated to eat healthy. When you eat with a certain serving requirement in mind, eating healthy becomes less of a chore. You have to understand why being healthy is important in the first place. It's not so that you can wear a bikini on the beach in the summer. It's so that you can have more energy, better agility, and so that you can feel good about yourself and enjoy your life to the fullest.
Tip: Find a Workout You Love
Having love for anything provides motivation automatically. Nobody has to remind you or guilt you into doing the things you love to do. This applies to eating the healthy foods you enjoy and especially to exercise. Get active and explore all of the different activities you can get involved in. Exercise is a great way to detox, boost energy, and make friends.
Tip: Understand Your Role in Your Own Life
In the end, this is your life. You can't wait for someone or something to come along and change things for you. If you want something or if you want to see something change, you have to do something differently. You have to know that you are responsible for your life and for yourself.
Changing starts with changing your thoughts. This is the most important step when it comes to getting something that you want. You have to believe that something is possible. You also have to understand that things don't just happen to you and that you do have the power within you to do and be anything. Motivation is just something that comes with knowing that you are in the control seat in your life. We all are.
Keep Your Dreams Alive
If you want something, there is no sense in trying to talk yourself out of it. Life is meant to be experienced and challenges help us grow. Nobody said that challenges had to be painful. It seems as if we have built a world around all of the challenges that life has to offer, because maybe on some level we love it.
Understand why you want what you want and keep the dream alive within you. Remind yourself of your dreams as often as you can and gear your thoughts and actions towards achieving those dreams. You deserve the best. We all do.