If you have ever tried to lose weight, you will know how much of a challenge it can be! Weight loss can be a difficult trial. You have to change so many of your well-ingrained lifestyle habits, and adjust your thinking and attitude towards food and exercise. All of this can be quite tough, and it can take a long time. Too often, people lose hope and enthusiasm about their weight loss regime. Eventually, they give up, even though they don’t need to. The key to a good weight loss regime is to stay motivated and to seek out support. This is easier said than done, you may think. But taking motivation into your own hands could make all the difference to your weight loss efforts. Here are some great ways to stay on track with weight loss.
Weight Loss Goals
Whenever someone decides to lose weight, they also decide on some goals. Even if these are vague, they will know roughly what they want from losing weight. What are your weight loss goals? Is it just to lose a specific amount of weight? But your goals are not just about numbers. You may say that your goal is to lose x amount of weight, but why do you want to lose weight? Is it to improve your health and wellbeing? To look good? To feel better about yourself? Whatever reasons provoke you, keep them in mind throughout your weight loss journey. Remember what you are working towards, and what successful weight loss will mean to you. As you progress with your weight loss, be sure to adjust your goals as you see fit. You may find that half way through you decide that you don’t want to lose as much weight. Maybe you want to focus more on toning muscles. Or perhaps you think you can lose a bit more weight overall.
Adjust your goals to suit your needs, and keep them in mind as motivation. If you manage to lose some weight or reach a new weight loss goal, then reward yourself! And it doesn’t have to be with food. Think of other ways to reward yourself. If you manage to lose 5 pounds, go for a massage or a shopping trip. Buy something you really want like a new game or item of clothing. This reward system will encourage you to stay positive and focus on reaching your goals.
Limit, Not Eliminate!
One way to stay motivated throughout your weight loss journey is to ‘limit’ not ‘eliminate’. When trying to lose weight it can be tempting to take to extreme actions. Very often diet regimes will declare some foods as ‘off limits’, or will even ban them. These ‘banned foods’ can be anything that is considered high in fat, sugar, or salt. These are unhealthy foods which you should not eat too often if you want to lose weight.
However, banning them, or creating an ongoing list of ‘forbidden foods’ can just harm your relationship with food. Whilst it is true that some foods are bad for you in excess, they can still be part of a healthy diet. The key is to limit your intake of these unhealthier foods. You can also be more likely to crave certain foods if you ban them, which will make it harder to ignore them and stay on track with your weight loss regime. When you focus on limiting your intake of unhealthy foods, you can still enjoy these foods. If you are considering ‘banning’ doughnuts, even though you love them, think again. Try considering them as rewards. If you lose a pound, you can reward yourself with 1 doughnut. This won’t cause you to put a pound back on by itself, so you can indulge in the reward.
It is important to try and stay positive as you attempt to lose weight. Reaching your goal weight can be a tough and difficult challenge, and it is easy to lose hope now and then. If progress is slow or you gain some weight, don’t let yourself fall into a negative attitude.
Negativity will only discourage you and make weight gain more likely. Nobody gets anywhere good with a negative attitude! When you find yourself sinking into a negative way of thinking, you need to tackle it head-on. Don’t be tempted to indulge in self-pity or moodiness. Take active steps to stay positive, even through the hard times. When negative thoughts come to your head, try turning them into positive, or try looking at them from a different perspective. For example, if you find yourself thinking ‘I’m not getting anywhere near my goal’, turn it into ‘I’m still on my way to my goal’. If you think of something negative, focus on how you can turn it into something more hopeful or encouraging. Whilst tackling negative thinking, you need to remember that nobody is perfect. Go easy on yourself, and don’t be tempted to be a perfectionist. You are only human after all! We all make mistakes, so be gentle with yourself and don’t be too harsh if you slip up. You are never going to be perfect, so don’t imagine that reaching your goal weight will suddenly make you the ideal person you’ve always wanted to be.
Don’t lose sight of what is important in your life. Some people can be a bit consumed by their weight loss goals and will be less sociable or active in order to lose weight. But don’t let your values narrow to focus only on your diet. Enjoy social activities, see your friends, and go out when you can. Don’t let perfectionism cloud your vision of what is really important in your life. A good weight loss diet should allow you to stay active and social whilst still helping you to lose weight.
It can be tempting to believe that success can come quickly. Some people get easily frustrated when things go slowly. You may find that this is how you think. You want things to happen straight away and will hate waiting for the pounds to drop off. But the reality is that you need to pace yourself. Being impatient will just make success grow more distant. Impatience can make the challenge of weight loss harder, whilst patience is rewarding. Every time frustration strikes, think of the common saying ‘patience is a virtue’!
You need to remind yourself that good things take time and hard work. With a task like weight loss, taking small steps is necessary. Take things in bite-size chunks, one at a time. Trying to do too much at once can make you less successful overall. So for example, if you want to start a new exercise regime and cut back on carbs, try focusing on one new challenge at a time. Focus on the exercise first, and build up your fitness regime until you feel happy with your progress. Once you have taken enough baby steps with the exercise regime, you can start taking baby steps with cutting down on carbohydrates. It may make progress slower, but taking small steps can help you to be sure-footed as you approach your weight loss goals.
Support With Friends
Some people find that having a weight loss buddy makes their diet a lot more enjoyable. Finding someone to pair up with can make a huge difference in how motivated you are when losing weight. The emotional support can be valuable as well. Your weight loss buddy will be going through many of the same things as you, so can relate to your trials and triumphs. They can also give you advice when you get stuck. Just as they are supporting you, you will be supporting them. Some people like helping someone else whilst trying to reach their own goals. Helping another person and seeing their success can encourage you to reach your own goals. If you are more the competitive type, you may enjoy having someone to compete against!
Trying to best each other by reaching your weight loss goal before the other can be a fun and beneficial challenge. You do not always have to find just one buddy though. Weight loss support groups are also excellent for advice and encouragement. Many diet regimes and brands have support groups. If you find it hard to restrain yourself in a moment of temptation, you may need a planner. Use a calendar, journal or planner to plan your meals and your exercise routines in advance. Having a meal plan set out in advance will encourage you to stay away from temptation. Don’t be too strict though! give yourself some leeway to have a treat or two, and give yourself time to relax. This will make it easier to stick to your plan. Give your plan to a weight loss buddy so that they can ensure you stick to the plan. Whatever methods you choose to stay motivated, remember to tailor your support to your needs. Identify what you need help with, and find the right kind of motivation and support for you. You could find that staying on track with weight loss becomes much easier when you try these ideas for yourself!