10 Ways to Stay Motivated to Lose Weight

A couple works out together.
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While many of us hope to find a fitness routine we'll love enough to look forward to more than, say, a night in front of the TV, the reality is that even the most active people dread lacing up their sneakers now and then. You won't physically see results for about two weeks from the start of a new fitness program, but post-workout, your endorphins will soar and you'll feel on top of the world. Keeping your internal motivation surging involves some self-pep talks, long nights pondering nonfat or fat-free yogurt and declining your favorite indulgences. Now is not the time to give up. Keep fighting to complete each workout, and stay aggressive with healthy eating — you are worth it, and you will accomplish your fitness goals. Here are 10 strategies to infuse you with motivation once again.

fit women working out
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2. Buddy Up

When you have a daunting task ahead, such as a doctor's appointment or a networking event, it always helps to bring a friend. The same holds true for a fitness class or lifting session: Your best friend, sibling or partner has your best interests in mind and will likely hold you to your commitments. Whether it's daily or just a few times a week, you're less likely to skip a workout if you have a designated time to meet your friend there.

But this strategy isn't totally foolproof. While it can be tempting to hit up your favorite lunch spot after an intense workout, try to find other ways to reward yourselves, like going to the movies or the mall. Also, avoid chatting too much during your workout. You want to maintain focus on lifting and getting your heart rate up so you can see those results. Huge plus if you send your workout buddy a daily inspirational text.

Listen now: Why America's Obsession with 'Happiness' Is Totally Stressing Us Out

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fit man measures body fat
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3. Monthly Tracking

A more reliable way to keep tabs on your progress than stepping on the scale is to track your body fat percentage monthly. Know what your target percentage is, and focus on hitting that target. The American Council on Exercise provides a handy guide for calculating your ideal body fat percentage, which you can reference as you decide your goals. Give yourself a specific goal, and once you get there, maintain your physique with steady workouts and a lean diet that incorporates a lot of yummy whole foods. You can track your body fat percentage using the caliper method or bioelectrical impedance analysis. And don't forget to take pictures along the way so that you can see your results.

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fit woman paddleboarding
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4. Turn Your Workout Into an Activity

Instead of running on the treadmill every day, try a fun sport or activity that replaces the boring fitness equipment at the gym. Go on an outdoor run on a nearby trail with a friend, or go for a swim at your local pool. There are many fun workouts that can add some spice to your routine, including tennis, paddleboarding, Zumba, basketball and skating. If you look forward to doing an activity, it will keep your motivation charging and get you to your fitness goal before you know it.

Read more: Buddy Up With These 11 Exercises You Can Do With a Partner

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woman hiking listens to music
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5. Audio Motivation

Listen to motivating YouTube videos and podcasts while you exercise to make time fly. There are so many amazing coaches and motivational speakers to choose from, so find your own type of motivation. Some people like aggressive speakers; others prefer an intellectual approach. Whatever it takes, find the person who most speaks to you and let them inspire you to take it up a notch during your next workout.

Read more: The Best Free Podcasts for Healthy Living

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woman flexing overlooking the city
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6. Tomorrow, Tomorrow

No matter what trials and tribulations appeared in your food diary today, let them go and focus on how you will do better tomorrow. Think about how far you've come, and take each workout and healthy meal as a baby step. Reward yourself each time you reach a small goal, such as losing two pounds, or when you have completed all of your workouts for the week. Take yourself to the movies, or get a pampering massage and facial. Or treat yourself to a new gym outfit!

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Cycling to work
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7. Healthy Commute

Transform your daily commute into a mini workout. Instead of driving, try riding your bike or taking public transportation and jogging home. If there's no public transportation near your work, try parking a mile away and power walk or jog the rest of the way. The more active you are throughout the day, the more likely you are to want to eat healthier foods. And the results will just make you all the more motivated to crush your daily workout!

Read more: 16 Celebrity Weight-Loss Successes

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Young women taking a break from workout
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8. Fit Friends

Befriend the fitness crew. It's much easier to make friends with people who already share your interests. Not only will your new spandex crew love working out, but they will also be eating healthier and valuing workout time above other hobbies. Your motivation will skyrocket when you're out to lunch with like-minded people, and you'll have a stronger desire to order the healthier food options on the menu. How do you make these friends? Arrive early to class one day and talk to the instructor. Anyone who sees you chatting with the pro will want to chime in as well. If you can't find anything to say, ask your instructor for some pointers on your form.

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Choosing his favorite workout music
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9. Make a Playlist

Still hooked on the same playlist you've been sweating to since 2004? Change it up. Go online and look at some of the top songs for energy-boosting workouts. Here's the kicker: Only listen to your updated playlist while you're working out so you look forward to it. You can also post on social media, asking others what their favorite workout songs are or if they know a DJ who can create a playlist for you.

Read more: The Ultimate Summer-Workout Playlist

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Group of spectators cheering runners at finish line
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10. Challenge Yourself

Sign up for a race or fitness event that you can train for, and build up your strength and endurance over time. You'll be pumped to hit your workouts if you have a clear goal in mind. Races are a great way to raise money for charity! You can also train for an obstacle course where you get into serious beast mode and test your athletic ability. Remind yourself each training session why you've got to hustle and not skimp on your workouts — so you can be successful at your event. Give yourself three months to train for the event properly and prevent injury.

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