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Health & Fitness 15 Ways to Stay Motivated to Lose Weight

20:40  25 october  2021
20:40  25 october  2021 Source:   menshealth.co.uk

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Sometimes, when you want to lose weight, you’re incredibly motivated to do what you need to do. Chop vegetables? On it. Buy alterna-drinks so you don’t reach for the sugary stuff all the time? Done.

Getting motivated and having discipline to lose weight, believe it or not, doesn't have to involve a struggle. Just use these tips. © HadelProductions - Getty Images Getting motivated and having discipline to lose weight, believe it or not, doesn't have to involve a struggle. Just use these tips.

Other times, it feels like your weight loss motivation is three states away and has no idea how to get back.

When your motivation isn’t right there with you, don’t panic or get frustrated or throw in the towel. What people often don’t realise is that motivation isn’t just a random, mysterious force that comes and goes when it pleases.

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“Maintaining motivation is a skill, and you can get good at that skill,” explains Liz Josefsberg, who is the author of Target 100 and has been a weight loss coach to thousands of people, including Charles Barkley and Jennifer Hudson. Mastering the skill of motivation doesn’t mean forcing yourself to do things you don’t want to do. Sometimes, it’s finding enjoyable things that you do want to do (more about that later).

To get your motivation where you want it, you have to let go of what motivation isn’t. “It’s not this thing outside of your control, and it’s not going to be high all the time. It’s supposed to have peaks and valleys—that’s what being human is,” she says. Accepting that helps you stay the course and when you’re in a valley and not assume that everything is lost. Then, you can go about moving your motivation toward the peak again with these simple strategies.

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1. Accept That Your Motivation Isn’t High

If you’ve already been on a weight loss programme, but you’re not as excited about what you’re doing as you used to be, the first step to getting your momentum back is actually identifying that your motivation is waning.

Sounds obvious, but too many people berate themselves or try to power through this feeling without stopping and noticing that it’s happening. Acceptance is your foundation to further motivation.

Mature man checking himself in bathroom mirror and touching tummy © 10'000 Hours Mature man checking himself in bathroom mirror and touching tummy

2. Ask Yourself: "What's Up?"

This doesn’t have to be a major investigation. “Most people don’t identify it,” says Josefsberg. “They don’t recognise that they’re bored, or that something has changed.”

What has changed could be something as simple as you don’t like going to the grocery store any longer because there’s construction on the way and it takes forever to get there. Or that you're really, really bored with walking and need a change-up to your exercise routine.

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3. Ask Around

If the way you’ve been doing things isn’t working any longer, change it a little bit. Don’t be afraid to get away from the “one programme fits all” mentality. Ask friends what they’re doing and see if any of their principles or recipes make sense for you.

4. Dabble

You don’t have to make dramatic changes to get your weight loss motivation going again. “For instance, if keto is really working for a friend, you don’t have to go all in, but you might try a keto recipe or two. Or ask yourself what aspects of a keto lifestyle you might want to play around with,” Josefsberg says.

Similarly, if intermittent fasting appeals to you, try skipping breakfast for a week and see how it goes. Instead of berating yourself over what’s not feeling right at the moment, experiment with new strategies that might get you excited about weight loss again.

Once you play around with something appealing, put it into practice and see what happens. Doesn’t work? Try something else. The process is an exploration of trying new things so you look forward to your plan again. It sounds simple, and that’s the best part—it can be. You don’t have to do something drastic in order to get your motivation on the upswing.

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5. Detach "Discipline" From "Motivation"

"I think discipline is highly overrated," Josefsberg says. If you're doing the same exercise routine weekly or cooking the same muffin tin bacon egg cups for breakfast every morning, of course you're going to get sick of it.

That's not because you're undisciplined. It's because you're bored. Grin and bearing it through boredom may cause you to lose weight—and is technically disciplined—but it's not enjoyable. Motivation is dedication plus enjoyment.

6. Schedule Motivation


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It sounds oversimplified, but you have schedules and alarms for everything else you do, so why not set up your weight loss strategies that way, too?

Suppose you want to stop hitting up your kitchen cabinet at 3:00 p.m. for that sleeve of cookies. Set your alarm for 2:50 p.m. and go to the fridge to get the healthy snack you packed (because you set a reminder on Sunday night to put it in a container so it was ready for work on Monday).

7. Limit Opportunities for Less-Than-Great Choices

The trick to sticking with something is to set up your environment to support your decision to be healthier, says Josefsberg. "It’s about being a little bit prepared and creating an environment for success."

In other words, you don’t have to resist cookies if there aren’t any in the house (or your car). The same goes for moving your home office from the comfy sofa to a not-as-comfy dining room chair so you get up and walk around more frequently.

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8. Create More Opportunities for Good Choices

You also can bias your healthy life to success by indulging your natural tendencies in setting up this environment.

For an exercise example, put your running shoes where you can see them, such as right by the front door (like, so you can't even open the door without it pushing them aside) instead of hidden in your closet.

Keep your fruit in a bowl where you see it and your vegetable snacks at eye line in your fridge. Out of sight, out of mind is true—as is the reverse.

9. Avoid the All Or Nothing Pitfall

Really bad diets completely exclude foods or, even worse, entire food groups. So if you eat any of these foods, you "fail" on the diet.

Don't buy in to any of that. Guilt and shame are not ingredients of a healthful diet and, in fact, can backfire if you're trying to make positive changes in your life.

A midsection of fit mixed race man with smartphone doing exercise at home, checking progress. © Halfpoint Images A midsection of fit mixed race man with smartphone doing exercise at home, checking progress.

10. Think Macro

No healthy diet is sunk by just one unhealthy meal. When you do indulge (and you should!) frame the meal of food within a larger context.

How did you eat, overall, today? This week? This month? If the answer is something along the lines of "pretty dang good!" then don't beat yourself, okay?

11. Try One New Food a Week

Research shows that a varied diet is healthful foods offers the best benefit for your overall well-being. Plus: It keeps your taste buds interested.

So you don't have to decide between a beef burger and a veggie burger. A truly healthful diet makes room for both beef burgers and veggie burgers and also chickpea, lentil, tuna, and, sure, plant-based "meat," burgers too.

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12. Buy Something

Shopping is a powerful motivator. Do not underestimate the ability of a new pair of running shoes, weightlifting gloves, a fitness DVD, or an exercise streaming service to motivate you.

A Man, A Pan, A Plan: 100 Delicious & Nutritious One-Pan Recipes You Can Make Right Now!: A Cookbook © Men A Man, A Pan, A Plan: 100 Delicious & Nutritious One-Pan Recipes You Can Make Right Now!: A Cookbook

BUY NOW

Granted, this is not an excuse to shell out a ton of money for an exercise bike you'll likely use for a few months and then abandon. Think small—an item that will boost your motivation if you find that it's been running low, not an item that you're hinging the entirety of your weight loss hopes upon.

13. Lean on Others

Especially those wiser than you. (Or at least wise enough to have their quotations memorialised in the zeitgeist. Post-It note a few inspirational quotes (or set them as part of one of your reminders from tip #6!).

14. Lean on Others Who Are Real People

Set up some time to walk or run with a friend. They'll help keep you accountable (it's pretty sucky to blow off a friend who’s expecting you). Plus, a training partner may even double the length of your workout, say researchers at Michigan State University.

15. Put Away Your Scale

And, for the matter, any device you're using to track your weight loss progress. Instead, check in with yourself at the time you'd usually weigh yourself (or download the day's data) and see how you're feeling.

How's your energy level? Do you feel healthier than this time last week? Has your mood improved in any way?

Because there are other ways to measure success.

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