Let’s get one thing straight: being healthy isn’t just about the number on your scale. There are tons of other factors that affect your health besides your weight, and everyone is built differently.
However, if being overweight is affecting your day to day life, sometimes weight loss is the goal. Unfortunately, even if you know how to lose weight, finding the motivation to actually make those healthier choices can be another story.
Whether you’ve been in a rut for a few months or many years, we’ll help you find the weight loss motivation you need to finally make a change. Here’s our 12 of our favorite tips to get motivated to lose weight:
1. Find Your Why
Weight loss motivation starts with figuring out your intention behind why you really want to lose weight in the first place. Maybe it’s to have more energy, to keep up with your kids, to lower your cholesterol, to live longer or to fit into your favorite pair of jeans!
Find that “WHY” for weight loss, and remind yourself of it every single day. The clearer you can be about your reasoning, the more motivated you will be.
Long term payoffs like disease prevention are great, but some people also need an immediate payoff. Think of how great you feel about your body right after a tough workout or a day of healthy eating—that can be your why, too!
2. Write Down Specific Goals
Studies show that writing down your goals holds you accountable and makes you more likely to achieve them.
Document your goals and place them somewhere visible, so you can see them every day.
How much weight do you actually want to lose? And how will you make it happen? Maybe your goal is to do cardio three times per week, or to eliminate all soda and sugary beverages from your diet.
Tackling weight loss one small goal at a time makes it more manageable and realistic, too.
3. Seek Out A Supportive Community
Passing on party foods or spending more time working on your health can be isolating and discouraging if your friends don’t understand or support you.
This is why finding a positive, like-minded community is so important for this journey. Join a gym, enlist a workout buddy, hire a health coach, or join an online fitness community of other people who are putting a renewed focus on their health. It will motivate you to keep going even when you encounter challenges or setbacks!
PS: If you are a member of GHU TV, our online streaming service for workouts, then you should make sure to join our private Facebook group. This group has helped thousands of women stay on track. The women share stories, give advice and support and team up together to do workouts.
4. Try a Fitness App
Motivation in the palm of your hand. Fitness apps can offer step-by-step guidance and help you track your progress, which can make starting your weight loss journey a bit less intimidating. One of our favorites at Get Healthy U is My FItness Pal, an app that helps you document your progress. With a free account, you can track food and calories, activity, weight, and more.
5. Approve Of Yourself Just As You Are
Focusing on your goals is great. But withholding your own approval “until you lose weight” is not a good plan. Self-love starts and ends with you, and no number on the scale can give you the internal validation you need to believe in your own worth.
Coming from a place of self-loathing or comparison with others will not motivate you to be healthy; in fact, it can lead to shame spiraling and negative associations with exercise and eating right.
View your journey to better health as a reward, not a punishment—you are treating yourself the way you deserve to be treated.
6. Create a Positive Daily Affirmation
Weight loss is not just a physical challenge, it’s a mental one. Even before you start your weight loss journey, create a morning mantra that you recite to yourself to get yourself motivated.
Maybe it’s “I’m worthy of self-care, and working out and eating right are part of that self-care.” Or maybe it’s as simple as “I will make healthy choices today.” Mantras will help you build up your mental toughness and self-confidence to push through the days you don’t feel like working out or are feeling low.
7. Establish A Rewards System
Human beings are hardwired for positive reinforcement, so giving yourself healthy rewards along the way can do wonders for your weight loss motivation.
Ideally, the goals should still reflect your choice to pursue a healthier lifestyle, meaning you should avoid rewarding yourself with food. Try these ideas instead:
- Relaxing pedicure
- New cookware set for healthy meals
- Workout outfit
8. Stop Making Excuses
The best way to get motivated to lose weight is to stop making excuses as to why you can’t start right here, right now.
During the holidays, we often tell ourselves “I’ll start in the New Year.” It’s the same on weekends, saying “I’ll start eating healthy next week.” There is no time like the present, and if you want to lose weight, you need to cut the excuses and recognize that the time is now.
9. Expect Progress, Not Perfection
Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by seeking perfection. You will have days when you muddle through your workouts and others where you feel on top of the world.
Try to avoid “all or nothing” thinking, where you totally scrap a day if you eat a cookie or miss a workout. Follow the 80/20 rule of looking at your weight loss journey: aim to eat right and workout 80% of the time and absolutely expect that 20% of the time you are a human being (and not a robot!), and life will get in the way of your ideal plan.
10. Choose Workouts You Enjoy
The easiest way to find motivation to exercise? Choose something you genuinely enjoy!
Working out doesn’t have to feel like a chore. If you dread running, then there’s no need to run. Instead, find a few methods of exercising that actually get you excited. For example:
- Hiking a new trail
- Biking around a lake
- Group fitness class
The goal is to create an environment that you look forward to doing.
11. Avoid Banning Foods
Weight loss is twofold: exercising and eating clean. However, eating healthy does not mean that foods you love should be completely banned.
When many people think of foods as being off-limits or only available on their “cheat day”, it conjures up feelings of guilt and shame. For that reason, it may be helpful to get rid of the word “cheat” altogether when considering your diet.
As we stated above, replace the concept of cheating on your diet with the 80/20 rule: aim to eat healthfully 80% of the time. This moderate philosophy allows for 20% of what you eat to be “imperfect,” which still lets you see results without creating an unrealistic diet.
12. Seek Professional Help If You Need to
Nobody said losing weight is easy. You can always reach out to a professional if you want additional help.
For example, a nutritionist can provide direction on healthy living and good nutrition, while a personal trainer can motivate you by setting goals and providing feedback and accountability while you work out.
These 12 tips can help you set yourself up for success, so you can stay motivated on your journey to weight loss and better health.