Have you ever found yourself feeling fired up to take on new weight goals, look better than ever and conquer the world, only to see yourself eating tons of snacks and watching hours of Netflix soon after? You’re not the only one who’s had trouble staying the course with diets or fitness plans. It’s an obstacle most of us run into at some point.
One of the most important keys to losing and keeping weight off is not just what you eat or how much you exercise, it’s staying motivated. Lasting results are a slow process and it’s all too easy to give up before you reach your goals. Staying motivated to lose weight is its own challenge, so follow this simple strategy to keep you on the winning track.
1. Start Small
So, you want to begin exercising? Great! For the first week, try to aim for just five minutes per day if you’re just starting out. Five minutes, that’s all! This will build a solid foundation for you to start from and allow you to increase your exercise time gradually while feeling more accomplished. Before you even realize it, the positive momentum will have you exercising longer than you ever thought possible!
2. Clear the Junk
One of the easiest ways to fall off the wagon and give into unhealthy temptations is by having the wrong food within reach. That pack of cookies or pastries you bought last week is just waiting to sabotage your diet. So, how do you resist? By getting rid of it! The less junk food you have around your home, office or surroundings, the easier it is to stay committed to your health goals. Out of sight, out of mind! Try replacing those snacks with healthy alternatives instead.
3. Write a Yes/No List
Everything is easier when you have a simple guide to reference. Creating a list of foods you can eat and those you can’t will make staying faithful to your diet a lot less complicated. Consider pinning that list to a wall to remind yourself on a daily basis. It can prove to be invaluable during moments when you’re too tired, uninspired or feeling tempted to fall back into your old patterns.
4. Get Into the Habit
People tend to repeat the same sets of actions over time until it becomes a routine. This can be a bad thing or very a good thing; it all depends on the nature of the routine you create. So, why not turn it into something great by creating and sticking to healthier habits that incorporate better dieting or exercise? Consider building routines early on that aren’t too difficult to maintain, such as meal prepping for the week ahead or setting a workout schedule for specific muscle groups.
We rise by lifting others, and we lift more with help from others. Embarking on a new fitness journey with a friend, co-worker or family member can make all the difference. You’ll find more motivation to hit the gym when you’re part of a group. It’s a lot harder to skip a workout when you have someone else pushing you to go. If you can’t find someone to join you, you can always look online for fitness classes filled with others who have similar goals as you.
6. Get Visual
Jotting down your goals can be a useful motivator, but sometimes you just need something more visual. Designing a dream board filled with visual examples of your goals is powerful, and will help you put your targets into perspective. Or, you can use a photo of yourself at your goal weight and place it on your fridge so that you remember what you’re working towards. If you’re online more, you can also build a Pinterest board similar to a dream board.
7. Give Yourself Props
If your goal is to lose 50 pounds, but you’ve only lost 10 so far, that’s still a reason to congratulate yourself. You’re losing weight and getting closer! Losing any amount of weight is a reason to celebrate. Don’t forget to feel proud of yourself and give yourself credit for the good health decisions you’ve begun making. It’s also a good idea to build a reward system and give yourself a gift of some kind each time you reach a new level of your weight loss plan.
8. Don’t Think, Just Do
Normally this wouldn’t be the best advice for everyday decisions, but when it comes to exercising, it’s just right. Our brains can create countless excuses for skipping a workout, but by sticking to your routine and ignoring those misleading thoughts, you can remain more consistent with your goals. You can start small by placing your focus on how good the workout will make you feel, and how bad you would feel without it. Just do it!