You can't lose weight overnight, so staying motivated isn't always easy. If you've tried to lose weight before, understanding why you stopped your previous efforts is important--this will prevent such issues from derailing your new weight loss efforts. Set realistic short-term and long-term milestones because overly ambitious goals can leave you feeling frustrated.
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Your reasons for wanting to lose weight can affect your adherence to your weight loss goals. Intrinsic motivation comes from inside the individual, whereas extrinsic motivation stems from outside rewards. Someone who is intrinsically motivated to workout--as opposed to a person who is exercising because her significant other or doctor says she should--is more likely to stick with her workout routine for at least six months.
Changing your daily routine, exercise program or diet can help you stay motivated to lose weight. Amp up your workout routine by trying a new activity. Attend a group exercise class, such as step, kickboxing or boot camp. Go for a jog outside if you normally use an indoor track. New activities help you avoid exercise plateaus and keep you from getting bored.
Motivate yourself by training for a special event like a charity walk-a-thon. Not only will you reap the rewards of getting in shape for the event, you'll find satisfaction in supporting a good cause.
Keep your meal plan interesting, too. Include a variety of healthy foods so you don't get tired of eating the same snacks and meals. Try new recipes and eat a variety of fresh, colorful foods. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean cuts of meat.
Instead of focusing on what you didn't do, concentrate on your accomplishments. Keeping track of your achievements will keep you motivated to continue your weight loss efforts. Acknowledge your successes by rewarding yourself. Make an appointment for a massage, go watch a movie or buy that new jacket you've been eying when you achieve a goal. Associating your previous milestone with a reward will motivate you to reach your next weight loss goal.
Encouragement and support are effective motivational tools. Leave notes reminding you of your diet, fitness and weight loss goals on a mirror or around your house. If you spend a great deal of time in your car, leave a sticky note on your visor.
Create a support team by joining forces with a family member, neighbor or friend. Walk or jog around your neighborhood. Set a time to meet at the gym or put together a recreational sports team. Working out and eating healthy together will make the weight loss process more enjoyable. Such emotional support also can give you a burst of motivation when you need it most.
Barriers to your weight loss plan are inevitable because life happens. Don't let a missed workout or two derail your weight loss efforts. Having a backup plan will help you stay on track with your fitness plan. If you know you're going to miss a regular workout, take that day off or plan to fit your workout in at a different time. Don't be too hard on yourself. Focus your energy on what you can do to renew your commitment to slimming down.