If you have assistance, losing weight might be simpler and more enjoyable. Find a group to join, or invite your loved ones to work out with you.
Identify intrinsic motivators, like finding that eating healthy gives you more energy or improves your sex life. These types of motivators are more sustainable for the long haul.
Set SMART Goals
Setting SMART goals is important to success in your weight loss program. The acronym SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
A quantifiable objective enables you to monitor your development and assess whether you are making the necessary progress in reaching it. It might be challenging to quantify an abstract objective like losing weight, but by putting your goal on paper and keeping track of how many calories you expend each week, you can lay out a clear course for yourself. Your SMART goals should challenge you but also be realistic and within reach. This will help you stay motivated and inspired throughout your journey, even when facing tough challenges. Your goals should also be relevant to your life and priorities. For instance, if losing weight will allow you to spend more quality time with your grandchildren, it is an extremely relevant goal.
Finally, your SMART goals should be time-bound. This will give you a set end date and create a sense of urgency to complete your goal by the designated time.
Find a Support System
A good support system can help you feel motivated to lose weight. Whether it’s friends, family, or a commercial weight loss program that offers face-to-face group meetings or online community support, having a supportive network can make a big difference in helping you stay on track and achieve your goals.
In addition to the social benefits, having a support system can provide you with someone who can serve as a source of accountability. Having someone who can remind you of your goal and keep you accountable for it can be a great motivating factor in your journey.
If you’re going through a weight loss program alone, try looking for a local group to join. Studies show that people who do a weight loss program with others have more success. The group members can support you during the program and beyond by providing guidance, advice, and motivation to live a healthy lifestyle. Having that social support can also help you avoid relapse. They can remind you of your goals when tempted to break your commitment.
Take a Break
Diets frequently fail because dieters need to maintain their commitment for longer. Even once you achieve the ideal weight or body composition, developing the behaviors that will keep you there takes time.
A calculated dieting break can help you stay motivated for the long haul. Studies show that taking a short period off from dieting can reset the “famine response” in your brain, making it easier to adhere to your diet in the long run.
A diet break is two weeks in which you bring your calories back up to an estimated maintenance level. This is not a free-for-all “cheat” period — the research suggests that the extra calories should mostly come from carbohydrates, with some protein and fat added. Following this protocol can re-energize your motivation while learning to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You have probably heard of training periodization, a similar nutrition approach.
Make Exercise a Priority
A major part of a weight loss program is exercise. Choosing an in-person or phone-based program that provides accountability and support over the long term can help keep your motivation high.
Don’t consider exercise a “have to do” rather than a “get to do.” If you don’t have to go to the gym every day but instead choose to walk with a friend or dance around the house with your favorite music, exercise will feel more like a treat than another item on a never-ending to-do list.
Keep a pair of old jeans somewhere to motivate you, or find other ways to get creative with your workouts. For example, try listening to a podcast or audiobook. At the same time, you take your daily walk, listen to songs that make you feel pumped and energetic, or use exercise to think about your vacation plans, write your novel, or redo the living room. Just remember that exercise is a privilege and must be earned. Achieving a good night’s rest, eating well, and prioritizing your health will give you the right energy to work out.
Celebrate Small Wins
While the number on your bathroom scale is important, it’s not the only way to track your progress. Instead, focus on celebrating non-scale wins, like eating a healthy meal for the first time in a long time or finally nailing that one rep of your newest squat target. These are stepping stones to your ultimate goal, so it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate them!
The power of feeling good to motivate behavior is well-documented.
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