Dieting is never easy. For some, it’s hard to find the motivation to even start, for others, it’s easy to find the initial surge of motivation, but this soon disappears. Often it’s the wrong mindset that stops people from losing weight.
Once you lose your motivation, it becomes easy to make bad decisions that you’ll regret later. Whether it’s missing a night at the gym or being unable to resist your favourite chocolate bar. Once you make a few slips, it’s easy to just beat yourself up and give up. But it doesn’t need to be this way. You can keep yourself motivated and reach your goals. Here are nine tips to help you keep your diet motivation:
1. Remind Yourself Of The Whys
Knowing why you want to lose weight is vital for success. Make sure it’s your reasons and not just because the doctor told you to. People are more successful in losing weight if the motivation comes from themselves. Your reasons can be anything, but don’t just stick to “because I want to be thinner”, think bigger. Things like keeping up with the kids/grandkids, looking good for an event or maybe it’s for serious health reasons such as keeping diabetes at bay.
Write down your reasons for wanting to lose weight, then read them every day to remind yourself. Whenever you feel your willpower slipping, look at your reasons. Knowing your reasons for losing weight is a great way to stay motivated.
2. Monitor Yourself
Keeping a food journal makes it more likely that you will lose weight, and if you’re doing well, you’ll be more motivated. Just be sure to record everything you eat. Meals, snacks, drinks, even that one sweet you had when your friend offered you some.
Also, keep an eye on your emotions in your food journal. Doing this can help you to identify triggers that cause you to eat badly. You should also monitor your exercise in your journal. Take a look at your habits, in general, to see where you have done well and what you need to change.
A journal will also help you to stay accountable to yourself. If you find yourself writing “I skipped the gym because I felt sad and so ate some ice cream instead” you have to look at what happened. You can see why you had a bad day/week and motivate yourself to get back on track.
3. Create A Support Network
Everyone needs support to stay motivated, so tell your family and friends your goals. That way, they know what you are doing and can get behind you. You could even find a weight loss buddy. Buddies help support each other, hold each other accountable, encourage each other and generally work together to their goals. You could even join a support group. In groups, you not only have support but can find inspiration to help you on your weight loss journey.
And don’t forget the power of digital here either. It may be hard to commit to a group every week, or a weigh-in may fill you with dread. But there are plenty of forums and online communities that you can join. These make great resources for support and tips.
4. Stay Positive
Start with positive expectations and be confident. Say your positive commitments out loud every day. And always talk about your weight loss in a positive light. It’s amazing what a little positivity can do to help our mindset.
But be careful not to fantasise here. If you only think about your end goal and not how you will reach it, you won’t make it. When you think about what you want, take a moment to think about what might get in the way. Then think about how you can remove these obstacles should they occur.
5. Reward The Small Steps
Lots of small steps add up to a big achievement. Don’t just set one big goal, instead set lots of mini-goals that will work towards your overall goal. Want to be able to run a marathon? Start by aiming towards one mile at a time. Once you hit a five-mile run, reward yourself. Or if you’re trying to lose X number of pounds, put a pound in a jar every time you lose a pound. At regular intervals use this money to reward yourself.
Never reward yourself with food, though. Food is fuel and shouldn’t necessarily be treated like a reward or a punishment as it can promote an unhealthy relationship between you and your meals. Treat yourself to things like a new item of clothing, theatre tickets or a massage. Pick something that’s worth working towards.
6. Don’t Fear Failure
If you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up over it. If you beat yourself up, you are allowing yourself to enter a downward spiral. Punishing yourself emotionally can increase your anxiety levels, which in many cases triggers junk food cravings.
Instead, acknowledge your failure (chances are it’ll happen at some point, we’re all human, right?). Acknowledge your mistake and move on. Be aware of what made you slip, so you know what to look for next time.
7. Find Alternatives
Losing weight isn’t simply about stopping habits; it’s about finding something else. Change your unhealthy habits for healthier alternatives. If you normally have an afternoon snack, take some fruit instead of crisps.
Also, if you eliminate your favourite food entirely, chances are you’ll crave it. So limit yourself instead. Instead of having a chocolate bar every day, just have one a week. And then have a healthy alternative on the other days when you would have one.
Dieting is about progression. Don’t try to do everything at once, but slowly move towards your goals.
8. Learn To Love Yourself As You Are
If you dislike your body as it is now, you are less likely to achieve your weight loss goals. Withholding self-love until you have reached the size you want to be will not help you to achieve your goals. So start appreciating yourself, stop comparing yourself to models, surround yourself with positive people and celebrate your success.
Being negative about yourself can lead to shame spiralling. This can cause negative associations with exercise and healthy eating. Don’t see this as a punishment, but instead see this as a health journey.
9. Don’t Just Focus On The Scales
Weighing yourself can help you an eye on your progress, but it’s not the be-all-and-end-all. Weigh yourself weekly to keep a record of your progress, and keep averages, but also look at the bigger picture.
Weight loss isn’t just about losing weight; it’s also about losing body fat. If you’re toning up and losing fat, you may put on a little bit of weight once in a while, so don’t let this deter you. Look at yourself and measure yourself. That way, you will see how you are doing overall.
Remember, losing weight can be great for your health – but only if you are overweight. See this as a journey towards a healthier you and focus on your progress such as stamina in sports and progression in everyday life.
If you’re ready to start your weight loss journey, make sure you use these diet motivation tips. Take a look at our diet plans to see how you can start losing weight healthily.