Losing weight can be a difficult and frustrating process, but it is often essential for improving health, looking better, or self-esteem. Though there are many fad diets and quick-fix solutions available, sustainable weight loss requires making long-term changes to diet and exercise habits.
For some people, the hardest part of making these changes is finding the motivation to stick with them. These 7 tips for weight loss motivation can give your diet new life or go a long way toward ensuring the results you seek as you start your weight loss journey.
We start out by sticking to a healthy diet and exercising with plenty of zeal. But then, something happens, and we fall off the wagon. Enthusiasm wanes and the motivation to lose weight slowly disappears.
Stay motivated and lose the weight you need to lose with the following tips and techniques that really work.
7 Tips for Weight Loss Motivation
Losing weight requires making lifestyle changes that can be difficult to stick to. That’s where motivation comes in. Motivation is what drives us to continue working towards our goals even when the going gets tough.
It’s what keeps us from giving up when we’re tired or feeling tempted to cheat on our diet. Simply put, motivation is essential for anyone who wants to lose weight and keep it off.
1. Know Your Whys
Motivation comes much easier when you know why you want to lose weight.
Even knowing the best diet for me to lose weight requires me to know why I want to go on a diet.
You probably have more than one reason to slim down and change your body, and writing them down is important.
A written list will help keep your focus on everything you have to gain from making the necessary changes to lose weight.
Write all the whys you can think of, and tape the list on your refrigerator, dressing mirror, car, and any other place that you can’t miss.
Getting specific and clear on why weight loss is important to you helps your subconscious motivate you to succeed.
2. Weight Loss Goals Become Motivators
Trying to lose weight without goals doesn’t really make sense because you won’t know where you’re going, or when you arrive.
If you can’t stay motivated to lose weight — goals should be your very first step.
It’s easy to have some idea of the weight or clothing size you want to reach in the back of your mind. Of course, that is a goal “of sorts,” but will never provide the motivation you need when cravings pop up.
The best motivation for losing weight is taking the time to map out realistic monthly and weekly goals. (All research suggests that losing 1-2 pounds a week is healthy and a realistic goal to set.)
Some weeks will naturally be harder with less weight loss, while others may prove to be 3 or 4 pound weeks. But, by writing the goals and posting to them at least once a week, let’s see your progress, if you’re falling back, and the hooray weeks.
Now purchase a white board, write the goals on it, and hang it in the kitchen.
A white board in the kitchen is ideal for long and short term goals, keeping track of your progress, and other info.
3. Reward Yourself
Rewarding yourself for meeting a goal is a surefire motivator for building a habit and sticking to your weight loss program.
For a reward to motivate you to stay on track, it needs to be thought out ahead of time and written down so it becomes real to you.
A good time to think out your rewards is at the same time you are calculating and writing your weekly and monthly weight goals.
Rewards make the hard parts much easier to face and persevere through to the end. They can become your biggest motivation to turn away from the foods that add weight.
How often you reward yourself for a job well done is up to you.
You might give yourself any reward you can think of every week you reach your goal, and every month you crush it?
Penalties for Failing to Stay the Course?
I’ve heard of successful dieters that used a penalty to motivate themselves, too? They promised someone they knew x amount of money if they didn’t reach their goal. Paying up for failing isn’t a reward, but could be a strong motivator?
Rewarding yourself for reaching goals motivates, encourages, and builds self esteem. Don’t neglect to take credit for your efforts.
4. Take a Picture of Yourself Before You Start
Looking better is the motivation most people have for starting a weight loss diet.
Why not take a picture of yourself before you ever get started?
If you can, get a picture in a swimsuit or anything that will really display your body and how it looks.
Pin the picture somewhere you can’t miss it, and take a new one every month. If you’re sticking to the diet plan, you will start to see a different body each month.
If you keep putting the new pictures on your bathroom mirror, you’ll be elated with the changes in your body and how your clothes fit.
Taking and keeping pictures of yourself as you lose weight, tone, and slim down will motivate you to make the best choices every day.
5. Exercise Motivates Your Weight Loss Efforts
Losing weight is not magic! It happens because of a very simple and direct formula:
You must consume less calories than you burn which is the same as burning more calories than you consume.
Here’s an important piece of information:
One pound = about 3,500 calories, so to lose one pound, you will need to burn or deprive yourself of about 3,500 calories.
How do you do that?
- Exercise for 30 minutes to an hour 5 days a week and burn 200-900 calories a day depending on which exercise you choose.
- Depending on your weight, cut 500-1000 calories out of your normal diet daily to lose 1-2 pounds in a week.
Of course you can see right away that if you cut your calorie consumption and exercise regularly, the results are much better.
—> Exercise is More Than Calorie Burn Alone
30-60 minutes of exercise daily works wonders as a morale booster when you are dieting.
Besides burning calories, toning muscles, and tightening loose skin left over from being overweight, exercise also lifts your mood.
Something as simple as walking 30 minutes a day will soon produce noticeable changes in your body. As your mood increases and you see changes in your body, you are naturally motivated to pursue your weight loss goals.
Exercise may be the easiest and most natural motivator of all. As you develop the habit of regular exercise, you will feel much better physically, emotionally, and mentally.
6. Recruit a Weight Loss Accountability Partner
Dieting and changing lifestyle habits is hard work. Someone to encourage and hold you accountable provides the motivation to persist and pursue the goal.
I’ve also found that having a weight loss accountability partner is a sure-fire way to keep myself from falling for common weight loss myths.
Plan on being taxed physically, mentally, and emotionally, especially in the first weeks.
Getting through to the finish line calls for all the support you can get. Someone that motivates you when the times get tough.
Something to think about when choosing an accountability partner:
If your cheerleader isn’t pursuing her own weight loss, or has successfully done so in the past, he/she may not know the best ways to motivate you.
If your partner doesn’t have any experience here, maybe you can help them encourage you down roads they’ve never traveled.
Either way, having a friend, mentor, or even weight loss counseling to encourage and motivate you to greater heights is invaluable to your efforts.
A friend to exercise with, share ideas about what to eat, and discuss the highs and lows of dieting will make life more fun.
7. Other Peoples Weight Loss Journey
If you know someone else that’s had their own successful weight loss journey, ask them for tips.
You might be pleasantly surprised at how much other dieters like to talk about how they overcame common obstacles. (Remember to be respectful about where and how you open the conversation)
Another great way to find inspiration is reading about other peoples journey. The web is full of those stories on Facebook, Google, and forums.
You probably don’t want to try to follow their exact plan, because we’re all different, and every plan doesn’t work for everyone.
Instead, use their personal stories for your own motivation and inspiration for weight loss.
Whether you read or converse personally with someone who has experienced sticking to a weight loss plan you will gain invaluable insight into the process.
Weight Loss Motivation Comes From New Habits
How much you weigh, your level of fitness, your health, your relationships, personal hygiene, motivation — it’s all based on your habits.
Essentially, you are the sum total of the habits that control your life.
When you come to grips with that, it’s much easier to get off the diet cycle and maintain a healthy weight naturally.
The best way to change your bad habits is to directly replace them with new ones. When you create a habit, your brain creates new neurological pathways, allowing you to more easily use those habits.The Positive Psychology People
The fact is, you can’t just stop bad habits. The only answer is to form new and better habits. Your new habits will eventually become stronger than the old ones and will become built-in motivators.
The Motivational Reasons to Lose Weight
The first thing to do is get personal about why you would like to lose weight. Start by making a list of every conceivable benefit of ditching the pounds.
Really take the time to write a list of benefits and advantages you personally will gain. This is where the motivation to help you lose weight starts: With your most personal reasons.
Now, tape that list to the refrigerator. If you have a mate, partner, spouse, or family, don’t be shy about letting them know your plans.
In other words, don’t be embarrassed about your goal to look better and enjoy the thrill of seeing yourself slimmer.
8 Positive Reasons to Lose Weight
1. Reducing the Risk for Heart Disease
Heart Disease and obesity go hand in hand
Your health and life are at risk by being overweight. Excess pounds means high triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, High blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, Metabolic syndrome, and hypertension.
Get it? Being overweight is more than clothes that don’t fit.
Excess pounds are putting your at extreme risk for heart disease and failing health.
2. Living Longer
Obesity shortens your life
It’s a hard pill to swallow, and easy to live in denial but obesity shortens your life. And most people find that they enjoy life more when they eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight.
Not sure if you’ve hit the obesity stage yet? Calculate your BMI right here.
What it will be like for your children when you cut your life short due to bad eating habits and excess weight?
3. Ditching Joint Pain
Joint pain leaves with pounds
Osteoarthritis is arthritis from wear and tear on joints. There is an undeniable link between osteoarthritis and too heavy because your knees and hips are under a constant strain.
Losing weight is much easier with exercise. And believe it not your joint pain will diminish as you slim down and exercise regularly.
Your own joints and legs are built for your own perfect size and they hate those extra pounds you’re carrying around.
4. More Agility and Flexibility
Weigh less and move easier
Even a few pounds over could mean you aren’t as agile as you would like. It’s more difficult to get the full range of motion for joints when you’re too heavy.
Even a small increase in flexibility will make you more comfortable in your own body when you’re exercising or doing physical “stuff”.
More agility and flexibility means it’s easier to get up and down from your favorite chair.
5. Enjoy The Mirror
Stop hiding from the mirror
I don’t know about you, but the mirror was my biggest enemy. I hated seeing myself in the mirror.
Why not let the mirror take on the role as your friend and biggest incentive.
As you slim down and look better in your clothes your unwillingness to make changes will change.
6. Make Shopping for Clothes Fun
Clothes fit again
Both men and women love shopping for new clothes when they carry the pride of a new body with them.
Here’s where you get to admire your new self and self esteem in the mall mirrors. Shopping and trying on clothes will now be a joy instead of that nagging voice about your size and weight.
You will wear the clothes you’ve been yearning for. Maybe even get in the back of your closet?
7. Feel Better and More Energized
Life is better when you feel better
Face it! When you’re only few pounds overweight you really feel sluggish all the time. Carrying around those extra pounds is hard on your body and causes tiredness and fatigue.
You will love the extra energy and the general sense of wellbeing that comes with your new body and perfect weight.
Having the energy to get up and go places will make you a new person.
8. Enjoy Activities and Life in General
Enjoy living, being, and moving again
Now that you’re enjoying a heightened sense of wellbeing, self esteem, new clothes that fit so well and look so good on you, and just feeling good all over—you will find yourself outside more often.
Everything you do will be more enjoyable without having to lug around those extra pounds.
Knowing exactly what motivates you to diet gives you the push you need. Once you’ve thought it out, write reminders on post its and stick them in prominent places you can’t miss, especially in the kitchen area.
Using a Vision Board for Motivation to Help You Lose Weight
Create a vision board and work on it for a few minutes daily.
To make your own vision board for dieting—start with a piece of poster board. You might start by pasting pictures of yourself when you were at your perfect weight or cutouts from magazines depicting how you expect to look.
Write on your vision board, post pictures of yourself when you were thinner, post pictures of people you admire from magazines. Think of how you’ll reward yourself when you’ve reached your goals and post pictures of the reward you’re looking forward to.
It’s yours, do anything to it you think will help you achieve your goals.
Use anything you can find that reminds you of what motivated you to start a diet to begin with.
Get creative and post self affirmations all over the place. In your car, in your bathroom, closet, desk!
All of this will remind your subconscious over and over what your motivation for dieting is, and keep your desire to look and feel better at the top of your priorities.
We all have to eat, and if you’re reading this page, there’s a good chance you need little motivation to eat.
I’ll tell you something interesting. You may or may not agree with this at first, but with a little thought you might find it true for yourself.
Most of us who are overweight have lowered our standards of life, health, and how we look. Somehow we got to the point that we simply didn’t have the motivation to raise those standards.
Each of the 7 tips in this post will help you think more of yourself, raise your self-esteem, look better, and feel better. And by far, the best way to find the motivation to lose weight is to raise your standards and how you think of yourself.