Weight Loss Motivation: 21 Ways to Succeed
In the battle to fight the flab it is best to adopt a multi-pronged attack strategy to give you the greatest chance of success when dieting. From state of mind to your attitude to food and the lifestyle you lead to the people you socialize with, there are a number of factors that will determine whether the odds are stacked in your favor when striving to lose pounds from your waistline. Here are 21 motivating weight loss tips to give you the edge to succeed:
1. Track and Measure Weight Loss Progress
- Track your progress in a visibly quantifiable manner as shown in the image above with marbles and different shapes beer glasses. Taking from 'still to lose' and moving it across to 'lost so far' will be both satisfying and motivating.
2. Set Achievable Weight Reduction Goals
- Set small, achievable goals so you will feel positive and motivated to continue on your quest for a skinnier self each time you reach a target.
3. Distract Yourself From Hunger
- Every time you think about wanting to snack make an association like having a sip of water. Water helps your system flush through and aids weight loss anyway but by making a connection to something other than dwelling on naughty food it will act as a distraction.
4. Stay on Track
- Stay on track even if you slip up. A common problem when trying to lose weight and stay motivated comes when you suffer a lapse in concentration (that might involve, for example, a double cheeseburger washed down with a super-sized cola and tub of ice-cream for good measure), the guilt immediately sets in as well as the indigestion closely followed by the thought, ‘I may as well give up now, I’ve blown it.’ And so the binge continues. Don’t be so harsh on yourself. If you mess up, accept it and jump right back in the saddle of the skinny quest.
5. Check the Scales
- Check the scales regularly and chart your progress. If you see that your weight is dropping steadily it will motivate you to continue and by jotting down your weight or weight loss figures you are more likely to succeed according to the Annals of Behavior Medicine.
6. Reward Yourself With Treats
- Reward yourself with treats at landmark weight loss points. Get a haircut or new top or perhaps a pedicure, or eyebrow threading, if that can be considered a treat! Avoid food related rewards!!
7. Stay Busy
- If you are very busy and your mind is occupied with more important things (what, more important than food??) you won’t have time to dwell on eating. Make sure you are armed with a plentiful supply of healthy snacks though as otherwise the immediate gratification of sugary sustenance may be too much temptation to resist.
8. Write About Your Weight Loss Success
- If you share your story in a blog or similar with other it will not only give you more determination but also encourage others. At the very least try to keep a journal logging your efforts. You never know, if you turn out to be brilliant and shedding the pounds you can turn your story into a book and perhaps produce a best-seller! Anything is possible in this day and age.
9. Remember Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny Feels
- Remember Kate Moss’ quote “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” The uplifting feeling of having shed those extra pounds and looking great in that little black dress really does feel amazing.
10. Indulge on Occasion
- If you know that you will be knocking back a humongous glass of vino on Friday or a big, fat steak on Saturday then at least you have something to look forward to and are more likely to maintain the frugal diet in the run-up. You should feel happy and slightly smug, safe in the knowledge that you have been good all week.
11. Be Aware of the Calories in Food and Drink
- Be aware of just how much fat and calories you are consuming on such a seemingly small treat. One biscuit, one 'ickle wickle' piece of cake, the calorific value of one unassuming flapjack is horrifying! A 1 oz piece has 113 calories and 7.3 g of fat it in. That's 11% of your recommended daily fat allowance gone in a mere mouthful. A large glass of red wine will set you back about 190 calories. Knock back a couple of glasses and you've got your work cut out at the next gym session! To quantify the extra treadmill time, 15 minutes at about 11 kph/6.8 mph will burn 190 calories so to work off a bottle (3 large glasses) that's 45 minutes of brisk jogging.
12. Focus on the Consequences When Dieting
- Rather than obsessing about how good a piece of cake will taste, rather focus on how hard that extra piece of cake will be to shift from your bum. People who are skinnier don’t put so much emphasis on the immediate gratification of a yummy slice of pie. Practice thinking skinny and dwelling on the consequences! This doesn’t sound fun at all right but in order to make sure you stay motivated you need to take drastic measures at least for a period of time.
13. Surround Yourself With Slim People
- Slightly controversial! But we tend to mimic what those around us do. If a friend is helping themselves to an extra pork pie or two and having a chocolate brownie with their cappuccino then the likelihood is that you will follow suit. If those around us are being good then we are more likely to behave as well; it’s not as much fun stuffing down a blueberry muffin while a slim friend watches on nursing their skinny latte or chai tea. According to the New England Journal of Medicine having an obese friend dramatically increases the risk of becoming similarly fat.
14. Unleash Your Competitive Side
- Join a weight loss group with a friend or just set up your own weight loss club and compete for the biggest lose each week. Have a monetary value on it like 1 dollar per week and not, ‘You can buy the drinks in the pub’. If you get a few friends together to join in and put a dollar or so in the kitty each week you could end up with something worthwhile to play for.
15. Record Everything That Goes Into Your Mouth
- Keep a track of everything you eat. You will have more success if you record every morsel that enters your mouth.
16. Accept Yourself
- A study conducted by Ohio University showed that women who were accepting of themselves and their bodies were more likely to have better eating habits than those who were not. Since many of us are hard on ourselves and our bodies this may be a tall order for some but give yourself a boost in the right direction by getting a massage as being touched by another person can help you gain body confidence and feel more comfortable in yourself.
17. Exercise to Keep Motivated
- This may sound like a dubious and unwelcome way to motivate yourself to shed the pounds but it is very effective. Not only will exercising actually be incredibly helpful at increasing the momentum at which you lose weight but it will also curb the hunger. Eat some slow release, energy filled foods before you exercise to give you the drive you need for your workout and then afterwards, providing you have worked out hard enough, you won’t feel hungry. Perhaps go for an evening workout and you may be able to skip dinner altogether. You are much better off missing your evening meal than your breakfast in terms of weight loss. In fact skipping breakfast as a means to lose weight could actually see you gain weight according to scientists at Imperial College London.
18. Think Yourself Skinny and Apply Positive Reinforcement
- Think about your skinnier self. In a Paul Mckenna, hypnotic-type way, think skinny, be skinny, become that skinny you! There is a lot to be said for visualisation and positive reinforcement in any walk of life. When you are lying in bed, feeling nice and relaxed just before going to sleep really think about how good you will feel as a thinner, healthier you. If you crack this one it can be a game changer to losing weight and practically everything in your life. The trick is you have to believe!
What approach do you take to your diet?
19. Deal With Emotional Baggage Before Dieting
- Deal with any emotional baggage. If you have any issues bringing you down then this could seriously hinder your weight loss progress. It is common knowledge that many of us overeat or binge eat when we feel sad or depressed about something. Of course, at the other end high levels of stress can make you lose weight but this isn’t an award-winning strategy to becoming thinner.
20. Make Healthy Snacks Readily Available
- Stay motivated to eat healthy snacks rather than high fat foods by making it really easy to access the good foods and difficult to get to the bad stuff. If possible avoid buying the biscuits, cakes, crisps/chips that could knock you off course. Prepare small bags of fresh fruit and make things like flavored popcorn to nibble on that isn’t going to do as much damage to your diet.
Some motivational words from Arnie:
21. Use an App
- A lot of smart phones come prepackaged with an app that counts your daily steps and daily kilometers and then gives you a weekly average. Challenge yourself to stay above a certain threshold per week and set goals to beat. 5,000 steps per day is a good initial goal and if you can eventually manage 10,000 then you're doing great!
Staying motivated to lose weight is tough and takes a lot of will power and determination but it is most definitely achievable and is certainly within everyone’s capability. Just by reading a weight loss encouraging article such as this you are helping to maintain the motivational levels and momentum to reach your ultimate weigh loss goal. Keep up the good work!
Looking for more inspiration? Have a look at these weight loss quotes.