16 ways to motivate yourself to lose weight and be happy forever
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Staying motivated is one of the hardest parts when it comes to losing weight.
It’s a difficult journey with lots of obstacles and setbacks.
Staying motivated and not giving up is sometimes hard, but an essential weight loss technique to master.
However, there are several ways in which you can stay motivated and achieve your goals.
I will teach you what you can do to stay motivated and not give up.
The most important thing you should do is buying an activity tracker. It will stimulate you to move more by showing the amount of calories you’ve burned during the day and the number of steps you did. It will motivate you to do more everytime, which helps you with losing weight as well as reducing hunger and cravings.
To succeed, it’s essential to follow the right steps.
I will guide you through these steps and will help you to stay motivated.
So let’s start with our journey!!
1. Stop caring what other people think
That might be the most important thing to change to stay motivated.
When someone is looking at you, you’ll almost always think negative about that.
Things like “she’s fat” and “she should start losing some weight” is what pops up in your head. You never think it’s something positive.
It can be very discouraging and demotivating.
But what does she know about you?
She doesn’t know that you’ve already lost 10 pounds. She doesn’t know that you’ve been to the gym this morning even though you didn’t want to go.
She doesn’t know how far you’ve come already.
Also, you don’t have any connection with her. So it doesn’t matter what she thinks.
I always think about it this way:
Everybody has an inner circle and an outer circle.
The inner circle consists of your parents, possible brother/sister and husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend, and a few close friends.
It’s important what they think of you and that they’re proud of you and support you. You should care what they think, but only when what they think is realistic.
If you’ve put in the work that is needed to lose weight and life a happier life, then they should be supportive. If they still don’t support you then either you should abandon them aka terminate the relationship, or you should make clear to them that their comments don’t help you, but actually hurt you.
The people in your inner circle should support you no matter what you’re trying to accomplish.
Everyone else is in the outer circle. It’s not important what those people think about you and caring about what they say is not going to help you reach your goals.
The next thing to do is to set the right goals to reach your destination.
2. Set the right goal
When it comes to losing weight, people often set a goal to lose a certain amount of pounds in a certain amount of time.
But ask yourself: Would you be that much happier when you’ve lost 5 pounds, 10 pounds or even 20 pounds if nothing else in your life has changed with it?
Losing weight doesn’t make you happy. Being happy makes you lose weight.
It’s much more motivating to be able to achieve something in the future, which you’re not able to do right now. Something that truly makes you happy.
It could be fitting in your favorite pants or being able to walk on high heels again.
Also, being able to play football with your grandkids or being able to shop for an entire day without feeling pain is a motivating goal to set.
These goals remove the pressure of losing weight but instead give you a reason not just to eat healthier, but also to start exercising and become happier.
If your goal won’t make you happier, it’s a lot harder to fight for it. The weight is often just a signal of an underlying problem, which almost always involves your emotional state.
So set a goal that increases your happiness.
A study conducted by Dr. Robertson, Ph.D. in 2015 shows that people that are happier and have a better grip on their life, also are healthier.
That’s why your goals should focus both on increasing your happiness and eating healthier.
To come up with the right goal, it can help to write down five things that you want to be able to do in 1 year and two years. Then work out a plan for what you need to be able to achieve these goals.
It helps you to look at the bigger picture and not to focus on food.
I’ll give you some examples later.
3. Set a realistic goal
There is nothing more demotivating than not reaching your goals.
Many people want to reach their goals as fast as possible.
And when they don’t reach their goal or see any results fast, they get demotivated and give up.
But if you’ve set the right goal, it’s a goal for the rest of your life.
That means that it doesn’t matter when you reach your goal. It’s much more vital that you’re able to keep achieving this goal for the rest of your life.
That’s why you should set a realistic goal in the first place.
People want to lose 10-20 pounds within a month because they’re looking for quick fixes.
However, most practitioners recommend only losing 1–2 pounds (0.5–1 kg) per week.
That way, your goal is much more realistic and easier to achieve.
Nothing is more motivating than reaching a goal and working towards the next one.
Especially in the beginning, it’s better to set an easily achievable goal, just to let you get started.
After that, you can set harder goals and work your way towards those. The harder goals should have an extended timeframe, to give you a chance to work towards it.
So if your goal is to be able to walk on high heels, it doesn’t matter if you achieve this in 1 month or 1 year. What’s much more important is that you will be able to walk on high heels for the rest of your life and not just that one time.
If you set unrealistic goals, it’s much more likely that you will fall back after achieving it because you tried too hard and were too hard on yourself.
That’s why you want to make your goals specific, but also achievable.
4. Make your goals SMART
It’s essential to set a goal that has specific boundaries: Make it SMART.
SMART stands for:
So your goal has to be precise.
Losing as many pounds in one week as you can is not a specific goal. Losing 2 pounds in one week is.
Unfortunately, this is not the right goal.
The number of pounds you lose will highly fluctuate and is also something you don’t have much control over.
A better specific goal is: I will eat 200 gram of vegetables five times a week.
It’s both a SMART goal, it’s a realistic goal, and it’s the right goal.
It focusses on something you can fully control, it’s something everybody can achieve with a little effort, and it’s something you can do for the rest of your life.
If you want to make it completely SMART you’ll get: I will eat 200 gram of vegetables five times a week for the rest of my life.
This goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and is Timely.
Setting these types of goals will increase the likelihood of achieving them because they focus on your actions instead of a result of your efforts.
Since you have full control over your actions, you will be less likely to give up due to lack of results.
You know you’re doing the right thing, and you’re back in control of your life, which will make you happier. The results you’re looking for will come eventually.
Here are ten weight loss goal examples:
- I will bring my lunch to work four times a week
- I will brisk walk for 30 minutes every morning at 7 A.M
- I will only drink sugary drinks in the weekend limited to 2 glasses a day
- I will take the stairs to my office instead of the elevator every day
- I will drop three pant sizes in 3 months
- I will eat at McDonald’s only twice a month
- I will be able to play football with my son within six months
- I will eat a healthy breakfast every day at 8 A.M
- I will drink 2 liters of water every day
- I will stand up straight everywhere I go
Did you notice that none of them talks about losing pounds? Losing pounds is something you can’t control and can highly fluctuate. These fluctuations are the main reason why people give up.
That’s why you shouldn’t weigh yourself every day or even once a week. These fluctuations are out of your control and can be very frustrating.
5. Write down your goals
When you’ve picked your goals, it’s time to stick to them.
To do this, write them down on paper. Put these papers everywhere in your house.
That way, you’re confronted with your goals every time you wander the house. It makes it easier to resist cravings and make healthier decisions.
- Place them where you hide your candy
- Place them at the stove where you cook
- Place them at the fridge
- Place them wherever you are tempted to cheat on your diet or let go of your goals.
That way, you’ll always be reminded of your goals, and it will be easier to stick to them.
6. Buy a reliable weighing scale
Having the right weighing scale can make all the difference in your weight loss success. Registering your progress is essential to stay motivated. Nothing is more motivating than seeing results.
But there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.
The wrong way is to weigh yourself on an unreliable weighing scale every day.
A study from 2013 shows that scales have an average error of measure of 2-4 pounds. That means that when you weight yourself twice, there might be a 5-pound gap between the two measurements.
You can do two things to overcome this problem.
First, you should buy a reliable weighing scale, so you minimize the inaccuracy.
I’ve selected a handy weighing scale for you. It’s a digital scale that measures body fat, Water, muscle mass, BMI, BMR, bone mass, protein, skeletal muscle, and other data. That way, you can see progress on other metrics besides just weight. So when your weight stayed the same but your muscle mass increases and your fat mass decreases you also improved. That way, you’ll stay motivated even when your weight didn’t budge.
And you can keep track of your results in the app.
Second, you should only weigh yourself once every two weeks or even once a month. That way, your weight difference should be big enough to overcome the fluctuations and see real results.
7. Find sports activities you like
Exercising is very important if you want to lose weight and keep it off. It will also help you to be happier, reduces hunger and cravings.
But this only works when you do sports activities you like. Otherwise, you’ll get bored soon and give up.
Fortunately, every activity that increases your heart rate counts as a sports activity.
You can ride your bike to work or take the stairs instead of the elevator. That will already make a big difference over time. Also, climbing your stairs at home five times a day will burn extra calories.
You can also join a yoga or aerobics class. It’s more fun because its a group activity.
Going to a group activity is a great way to stay motivated. People expect you to come and will ask for a commitment from your side. It will make it harder for you not to go since people will ask questions the next time.
These people have the same goal you have: stay fit, lean, and healthy.
Eventually, running is one of the best ways to burn many calories in a short period.
But when you start running, its no fun at all.
It hurts, you’ll get sweaty and tired quickly.
If you want to start running, you’ll have to go through a training process, which can be very demotivating. That’s because the positive mental effects from running don’t kick in until you run for about 30 minutes straight.
It will take a lot of training to be able to run 30 minutes straight. Until you’ve reached that point, you’ll be struggling.
However, it’s worth it in the end. You can burn about 600-800 calories an hour when running. Doing this three times a week will have a massive impact on your fitness health, your happiness, and self-esteem.
But In the end, everything you do at a higher pace than normal counts as exercises.
8. Buy an activity tracker
Exercising often is an essential aspect of losing weight.
More about that later.
When you work out, it’s sometimes hard to tell how much it helps you to reach your goal.
With an activity tracker, you can see how many calories you’ve burned during the day or a specific activity.
I use my activity tracker every time I go for a run. It shows how far I ran, what my heart rate was, and how fast I ran. That way, I can see that I can run faster and further without raising my heart rate more. It shows that I’m getting better at running, which motivates me to keep pushing. I run more now since I have one then I did before.
Seeing your results will help you stay on track and burn even more calories the next time. It will also help you to know how you’re improving.
When you can walk faster than the week before, you can see that you got healthier due to exercising.
The physical improvement is less fluctuating than the scale, so tracking it won’t demotivate you.
I’ve selected the best activity tracker to help you achieve your goals to a healthier and happier life.
It will make a big difference.
9. Prepare your meals in advance
When you have limited time to cook, it can help to plan.
At the start of the week, you know which days it will be hard to cook a proper meal when you get home.
What I do is preparing my meals in advance. For instance, I cook twice the amount I would typically eat and store half of it in the fridge or freezer. At the day I don’t have time to prepare my dinner, I’ll take it out of the freezer and microwave it.
That way, I won’t order junk food and fall of the wagon. You can avoid stressful situations that way.
You can also plan your unhealthy meals. If you know that there will be a day you’ll eat unhealthily due to a party or wedding, you should reserve that day for your unhealthy meal. That way, you’ll be less tempting to order junk food on any other day because you already know when you’ll eat it.
It limits impulsive decisions, which are usually the most unhealthy once. That’s because you make these decisions when you’re hungry and your body screams for food. You’ll be more likely to make an unhealthy, easy choice.
By preparing ahead, you can eliminate the situation and stay on track.
10. Don’t try to be perfect
Trying to be perfect is the most demotivating thing you can do.
Nobody is perfect, and neither are you.
So eventually you’ll do something that doesn’t fit your weight loss journey.
Whether it’s eating more than you should, visiting McDonald’s more often, then you wanted to or gave in to your cravings.
It happens to everybody at some point.
It also happens to me.
It’s like failing an exam. Do your best and try again. You will succeed next time.
The most important thing you have to do then is to forgive yourself and to move on.
When this happens, it doesn’t mean that you have to lose hope.
What separates the successful people from the failing people is that the failing people give up when they have a little setback.
So if you forgive yourself from your mistake and continue the excellent work you were doing before, you can still reach your goal.
11. You don’t fail until you quit.
Everybody who’s trying to change will fall off the wagon sometimes during the process.
How you cope with that is vital for your success.
You were doing great before you fall off the wagon. So you know exactly what you have to do.
Do the same thing you did before that brought you success.
See it as a little setback instead of a colossal failure.
As long as you don’t give up, you will lose weight and reach your goal eventually.
So don’t give up!! You won’t make the same mistake twice.
12. Find a support group
Everybody needs someone to kick their bud once in a while to achieve a goal.
With losing weight, it’s no difference.
Research has shown that having a support group increases your chances of losing weight and keeping it off.
It works best if you gather people around you that will help you to reach your goals and correct you when you’re in danger of getting off track.
Try to find someone to support you to change your lifestyle.
If you have a friend or a neighbor who wants to lose weight as well, you can do it together. This way, you will keep each other sharp.
You’re also less likely to give up or cheat because you don’t want to let the other one down.
Back up, support will keep you motivated in reaching your goal.
13. Managing internal and external influences
People that were able to maintain their weight loss reported that they actively identified and found ways of addressing the personal and contextual factors that hold them back of reaching their goal and maintaining their weight loss. They established clear strategies to identify and deal with high-risk situations such as impulses to overeat, holidays, social eating events, stress, and low mood.
If you plan your meals of the day, you can avoid impulsive behavior. You can also engage family and friends so they can help you stay on track. That will reduce the social pressure to participate in events which often include eating.
14. Don’t diet
Following a diet doesn’t fit with setting a realistic goal or a lifetime goal.
Unless it’s a diet that you can follow for the rest of your life, that includes giving up certain foods. If you can do that, then a diet might work for you.
But for most people dieting doesn’t work.
A diet is a temporary solution for a lifelong problem.
In 2005 they conducted a study comparing the effects of 4 different diets. This study showed that none of the diets worked because most people gave up after time because it was not sustainable.
A diet is a temporary tool which, by design, is impossible to follow for the rest of your life.
Everybody that follows a diet will fail eventually.
That’s because a diet is too restricting.
A diet often forbids you to eat certain foods altogether.
The problem is that they are the foods you like the most.
The thought not to be able to eat them ever again can be very frustrating and eventually results in giving up.
It also induces cravings, which will make it even harder to keep eating healthy.
What happens then is that you’ll try to make up for the lost opportunities to eat what you like the most. That’s why you gain the weight again that you’ve lost during your diet and you have to start from square one.
A much better option is to make many small changes in your life, which in the end will have a significant result as well. It is much easier to achieve and maintain.
15. Follow a proven concept
In 1997 researchers conducted an extensive study under almost 800 people that were able to lose weight (60 pounds on average) and maintain most of the loss for over five years. 45% were able to lose weight on their own, and 55% received help form weight watchers, psychologist, or a dietitian.
89% of the participants reported that they modified both dietary intake and physical activity levels to achieve their successful weight loss. They used a combination of excluding certain types of foods, limit quantities of food, and counting calories.
92% reported that they exercised at home, and 49,2% said limiting all kinds of food to reduce calorie intake. On average, they burned almost 3000 calories a week through exercise. That’s about 28 miles of walking each week. As you can see, you’ll need to take exercising seriously if you want to lose weight and keep it off.
The most often used activities where: stationary or road cycling, aerobics, walking or running and hiking or backpacking.
The advantage of a stationary bike is that you can fold it away quickly and put it in front of your tv to use during your favorite tv program or Netflix series. That way, the time will fly by and make exercising easy.
They also ate less than once a week in a fast food restaurant and less than three meals in non-fast-food restaurants. So most meals were prepared at home. They ate nearly five times a day in smaller quantities.
The advantage of preparing your meals is that you have control about what goes in it and how healthy the meals are.
Many people had a specific trigger that made them decide to change their life. These could either be a medical trigger (e.g., Varicose veins, sleep apnea, low back pain, fatigue, and aching legs) or an emotional trigger.
85% percent reported improvements in their general quality of life, level of energy, physical mobility, general mood, self-confidence, and physical health.
Losing weight will bring you much more than a lower number on the scale. It will improve your life in every aspect. If you do the same as the participant of this study, you will see the same results, aka weight loss and a better life.
If that doesn’t get you motivated, I don’t know what would.
16. Keep a food journal
Instead of dieting, keep a food journal. Write down what you’ve eaten for an entire week.
Myfitnesspal is an excellent tool to do this.
Now, identify foods that might be less healthy and doesn’t fit with your goals.
Think back why you ate it and how much you had.
Also, try to find ways and moments to eat more fruits and vegetables.
That will help you to reduce your bad habits and to eat healthier.
You often only have to make small changes to let it have a significant effect in the long term.
It doesn’t restrict you to eat any foods; it just helps you to make healthier decisions.
At home, we use the 5/2 rule at eating healthy. Eat healthy for the five days during the week, and on Saturday and Sunday, we eat the things we like, but which are less healthy.
We found that this gives us a delicate balance between eating healthy and still enjoying everything we eat. That will help you to keep eating healthy, even in the long term.
In de end….
In the end, it’s all about doing the right things and have faith that you will reach your goals.
You will succeed as long as you don’t give up.
So let me know what you will do to stay motivated.
Are you going to set the right goals, or will you gather social support around you?
Or do you have something else that keeps you motivated?
Let me know the command below.
Let’s make the world healthy again!