Staying Motivated

When you start a new weight loss plan, you feel full of enthusiasm and motivation, and determined to succeed!

However, after a short time old habits tend to start creeping back in, and excuses for skipping the gym conveniently arise. So what can you do to help your motivation see you through your weight loss journey?

Getting motivated

The first step in starting – and maintaining – your new healthy lifestyle is to identify your motivation.

Are you losing weight to prevent a serious health problem, such as diabetes or heart disease? Are you determined to look and feel great?

Whatever your reason, you need to believe in it strongly, and use your why to keep your motivation firing. Remember, you need to do this for yourself – if you’re losing weight to make someone else happy, it’s going to be a very difficult journey.

Tips for keeping motivated

  • Set realistic and achievable long-term and short-term goals. Compare these goals: “I want to lose 30 kg.” and “I want to lose 5 kg over 6 weeks.” Although your long-term goal might be to lose 30 kg, the second goal sounds far more achievable, right? The first goal might make you feel deflated, and doomed to fail before you even begin! Yet, it will only take six times of setting mini “5 kg goals” to reach your final goal of losing 30 kg. Focus on each small step along the way; set mini goals and reward yourself each time you achieve them.
  • Identify your triggers – and once you work out what they are, develop ways to deal with these situations.
  • Get support and use it! The online community is a caring, helpful place filled with people going through the same experiences and struggles as you – share your feelings and questions, and you’ll find the support invaluable. Include your family in your new lifestyle and ask them for their support in helping you reach your goals.
  • Plan non-food rewards for whenever you reach your mini goals along the way – this can act as motivation in itself, if you know when you lose that next kilogram or complete your planned exercise program you can treat yourself to a relaxing facial, a new haircut, a magazine, or a new item of clothing.
  • Don’t let self-sabotage set you back. When things are going well, do you start buying junk food and finding excuses not to exercise for no apparent reason? Recognise these sabotage tendencies and get support to help you overcome them. Remember, you are in control of your life; you have choices and you can make the right ones.
  • Keep a ‘before’ photo to look at – this can be handy in the times when you feel like giving up. Remember your why and visualise yourself as the ‘new you’ – healthy, slim and fit. Think about how good you’ll feel, and use this to motivate you and help you make better choices.
  • Read the articles in the Library to gain information and to help you understand the feelings you’re experiencing. Know you’re not alone – many have been where you are, and faced the same struggles – and many have overcome them! You can too!
  • Learn how to cope in social situations – just because you’re losing weight doesn’t mean you have to become a hermit! Find out how restaurant and takeaways meals are prepared and learn to make better choices.
  • Prepare a plan of attack – in advance – to remind you of alternative activities that you can enjoy when you feel like raiding the fridge. Write out your plan and keep it within easy access. This will give you something concrete to turn to if your motivation is waning.

‘Diet’ or lifestyle?

Throw away the ‘I’m on a diet’ mindset. You’re embarking on a healthy lifestyle you can maintain for life, not a temporary restrictive diet. If you eat a whole packet of chocolate biscuits one day or skip a few workouts, this doesn’t signal the end of your new lifestyle. Just pick yourself up and start right where you left off! Don’t let a slip up become an excuse to quit.

“Start thinking like a ‘slim person’.” Even slim people eat and drink too much sometimes, however they eat well for the majority of the time. Adopt this mindset, and do the best you can.

Live your new lifestyle and enjoy it!

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