Have you ever struggled to get motivated to lose weight? Sure, it’s easy to feel fired up imagining yourself 50 pounds lighter with six-pack abs, kicking butt and taking names.
But the work to get there? The prepping, the cooking, the exercise, the early mornings, the willpower to say no to your favorite treats? Now that’s hard to get excited about.
But you need to get motivated to lose weight! Because you are 100% guaranteed to experience hard days, setbacks, and the constant temptation to return to old habits while you establish new ones. And in those moments, motivation will be the driving force in your decision to keep pushing forward.
So what can you do to get motivated to lose weight?
Get Motivated to Lose Weight By Focusing on Your Why
- Determine why you want to lose weight in the first place, and make it about more than looking amazing in a bikini. Dig deep! Of course, we’d all love to lay on the beach with 0% body fat. But the key is determining how weight loss will affect your everyday life, not just that cruise next summer. Maybe you want to feel more comfortable and confident in your own skin. Maybe you want more energy to keep up with your kids! Motivators that will last a lifetime, rather than a day-long reunion or week-long vacation, will hold more power in your mind and heart. Write those motivators down where you can reference them often. This will be the mission statement that refocuses you after a setback!
- Determine and address any root causes. Remember that your lack of motivation could be stemming from any number of root causes. Maybe you feel stressed out from some major life changes, or overwhelmed with your current workload. Pinpoint anything preventing you from achieving your weight loss goals and make a plan to address it. For example, my biggest source of stress is an overloaded schedule. When I feel overwhelmed, I move healthy eating and exercise to the bottom of my to-do list, and my favorite men, Ben and Jerry, to the top! But by taking 20 minutes to organize my to-do list, reassess the necessity of each task, and make a practical plan of attack, I feel 10 times more in charge. And I free up some mental energy to cook dinner instead of eating Chick-Fil-A for the third time that week.
Get Motivated to Lose Weight By Setting Better Goals
- Set behavioral goals, rather than outcome goals. An outcome goal focuses on the end result, like losing 50 pounds. These goals motivate us at first as we envision ourselves at that size. But they don’t adequately address how we plan to get there. They can also make it difficult to recognize and celebrate any progress short of reaching that number on the scale. Enter behavioral goals! They focus on what practical actions are going to help us lose weight and are SMART. (SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.) Examples of behavioral goals? “I’m going to exercise three times a week.” Or “I’m going to limit eating out to twice a week.” You can achieve these goals your very first week! And early success has been shown to boost confidence and motivation to keep slaying those goals.
- Set small goals. Again, early success will pump up motivation. If you haven’t exercised since 1983, but your goal is to start and finish P90X without missing a single rep, you’ll likely feel discouraged at the first sign of falling short of that goal. Instead, start small. Set a goal you know you can reach, like exercising two to three times a week. When you achieve that goal, you’ll enjoy a boost to your confidence and motivation. Then you can set the next goal a little higher. Slow and steady progress also helps you to integrate healthy habits at a reasonable pace, so that you can sustain them for a lifetime instead of for 90 super extreme days.
- Be realistic. Yes, cooking every single meal and snack from scratch sounds incredibly healthy. But if you hate cooking, or don’t have the time or energy to make that kind of commitment, a program that calls for exclusive from-scratch cooking is not for you. Consider your long-standing commitments, upcoming events, available time and energy, budget, and personality. Decide on something you can sustain long-term, not just for a few extreme weeks or months. You’re much more likely to stick with a custom plan suited to your needs and specific circumstances than to a one-size-fits-all program.
Get Motivated to Lose Weight By Changing Your Mindset
- Learn to recognize and challenge emotional eating. If you’re anything like me, you can easily eat your emotions. Exhausted? You deserve some comfort food. Frazzled? A glass of wine would help! Having a crazy fantastic day? Let’s celebrate with froyo! It’s better for you than ice cream…right? I think?! But eating your emotions is the easiest way to derail your healthy intentions, because you’re always going to experience emotions, good or bad. If you struggle with emotional eating, try using a food journal for a few days to pinpoint your triggers, then check out this post on emotional eating to make a plan to overcome them once and for all!
- Use daily positive affirmations. Did you know that the more you say something, the more you repeat it again and again, the more likely you are to default to that thought in your mind? So if you’re always telling yourself, “I’m terrible at healthy eating, I can never stick with an exercise routine,” you’ll begin to think those self-defeating thoughts on autopilot, and act accordingly. The good news is that you can make this work in your favor. So if you’re constantly telling yourself, “I enjoy cooking and preparing healthy meals, exercise makes me feel alive and powerful,” you’ll begin to think and act on those thoughts on autopilot. By being selective and purposeful with your thoughts, you can pump up motivation and even change your whole mindset regarding healthy behaviors. Learn more about how to use daily positive affirmations to your advantage here!
Wrap It Up
Want to get motivated to lose weight? You (yes, you!) are completely capable!
By addressing your motivations and root causes, setting realistic behavioral goals, challenging emotional eating, and utilizing affirmations, you can get motivated to lose weight and stay motivated! Why not use your motivation to start today?
P.S. Need a little help shifting into a healthier mindset? Be sure to check out our latest ebook, jam-packed with 21 daily challenges, 10 printable resources, and 2 custom workouts. Get yours here!
Disclosure: While all opinions are our own, we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs, designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites, at no additional cost to you.