You’ve taken the first step in your journey – you’ve made the decision to lose the weight for good. Now it’s time to get your mind in shape for the journey. Here’s ten easy ways to motivate yourself to lose weight.
1. Develop a winning attitude
Having the right attitude can help you get and stay motivated. Begin to believe that you can succeed. Don’t let past failed weight loss attempts prevent you from succeeding. Tell yourself this time is different. Positive thinking breeds positive action. The more positive thoughts that you can cultivate, the more positive actions will follow.
2. Define your “why”
Look inward and ask yourself, “Why is losing weight important to me?” Choosing to lose weight and live a healthier life, rather than for someone or something else (such as a wedding or event), increases the likelihood of long-term success. The reason this is so important is that you will be faced with many challenges and obstacles throughout your journey. When faced with excuses like, “I need to workout, but I’m so tired” or “I should meal prep, but I’m so busy” – you will find yourself having to return to your “why” to anchor you on your path. Your “why” can be for health reasons, more energy, or being active for your family. Whatever your “why” is, it should be unique to you.
3. Choose attainable goals
Most dieters experience initial success with dieting – but those early wins are not sustainable in the long run. This is primarily due to unrealistic expectations according to a study by the National Institute for Health. Start off right by creating realistic expectations coupled with attainable goals so you don’t lose steam. What’s an example of an attainable goal? Try adding a serving of vegetables to every meal, or 30 minutes of walking to your daily routine.
4. Make weight loss pleasurable
The coupling of “pleasure” and “weight loss” seems like a contradiction. After all, it’s been drilled into us that losing weight means counting calories, food points, portion control, food plans, meal replacements, and other means you’d never describe as pleasurable. However, one of the primary keys to losing weight is finding pleasure in non-food related activities. Losing weight is not about enjoying less, it’s about enjoying more! Feeling good is not something you deserve after you lose weight. It’s something you deserve right now, and it’s a vital ingredient to permanently lose weight. So, ask yourself, “What non-food related activity would bring me pleasure, relaxation, satisfaction and peace?”
5. Don’t compare yourself to others
“Don’t compare yourself to others, compare yourself to the person from yesterday.” While it’s easy to compare yourself to others on their weight loss journey, especially with social media and images of models in pop culture – this can actually have a negative impact on your weight loss journey. In short, comparisons create unrealistic expectations. What works for some bodies, may not work for your body. This is why we develop individualized weight loss plans for you at Red Mountain Weight Loss.
6. Keep a weight loss journal
A weight loss journal can be really effective in not only logging your caloric intake and food intake, but also in tracking your emotions. “Because you’re making small modifications to your current behaviors, as opposed to trying to adhere to a new diet altogether, many find it more sustainable, as well as educational,” says culinary dietitian Nancy Snyder in a Women’s Health article regarding keeping a weight loss journal. By identifying when and why you reached for that pint of ice cream or late-night snacks, you can start to develop better eating habits and overcome these challenges.
7. Plant rewards along your journey
Rewards reinforce positive behavior, so why not plant rewards from the beginning of your journey to get you through? You don’t have to wait until the end of your journey to create mini-rewards for milestones along the way. Rewards can vary depending on the milestone, from getting a manicure to planning a trip away. Celebrating your victories is essential to long-term success.
8. Don’t get discouraged
Setbacks are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you have to be discouraged. Give yourself a break – you’ve been practicing unhealthy behavior for a while, and it takes time to change. If you do slip-up on your diet, whether it’s the holidays, a vacation, or birthday party, get back on track quickly. Try to anticipate challenges as much as you can, but don’t beat yourself up over small failures. You’re still on track towards your goals.
9. Silence negative thoughts
Negative thinking can derail your progress. “When we kick into self-critical mode, we are actually engaging the portion of our brain that’s linked into our fight-flight survival reflex,” says Vanessa Scotto, a behavioral life coach in a Shape article. This in turn, can increase cortisol, the “stress hormone” – which leads to sugary cravings. Silence the negative thinking by replacing them with positive thoughts. Instead of thinking, “I’m not disciplined enough to follow my diet” think “I am strong and have the willpower to overcome my cravings.”
10. Act “as if” you’ve already achieved weight loss success
To attract weight loss success, act as if you already have it. “By altering one’s external circumstances, we can change the ways we think and feel about ourselves,” reports Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Los Angeles. In other words, your external actions will impact your internal thinking, therefore ultimately changing your behavior. So, ask yourself, “How would you act differently if you’ve already achieved weight loss success?” Would you wear that bikini to the beach? Not hide in photos? Don’t wait until you lose the weight to do those things, because doing those things will actually help you lose the weight!