Motivation to lose weight

When we are on a calorie controlled diet or strict exercise
regime, or even a combination of the two, staying motivated to lose weight is a
challenge that we all face at some time or another. There will be days when we
just feel “frumpy” and resort to the snacks cupboard, or even the local take
away for a bit of a pick-me-up. There will be times when we think “is it really
worth it?” There will be times when we just can’t be bothered anymore and there
will be times when daily life gets in the way and we don’t have the energy to
carry on. During times like these, weight loss motivation dwindles, however it
is not an excuse to give in and undo all the hard work you have already done.
How to stay motivated to lose weight, I hear you cry.

Setting goals

If we have something to aim for we will keep working until
we get there, therefore goals are an excellent weight loss motivation tool. By
defining some goals, all of which will be unique to you, motivation to lose
weight and get results should not be a problem. Goal setting is not easy and
requires some thought. Goals need to be SMART, which is Specific, Measurable,
Achievable, Realistic and Timely. If any of your goals are not SMART they will
not be a motivation to lose weight. So, for goals to be of any use as
motivation to lose weight;

1) They need to be specific, i.e. clearly defined. A broad
brush goal of simply losing weight is not specific enough. For example, the
goal should be I want to lose twenty 

2) They need to be measurable. If you can’t measure what
you’re doing how will you be able to monitor and control it? Weight is a
measurement in its own right, so if you quantify the amount of weight loss you
want to achieve it will automatically be measurable.

3) They need to be achievable. There must be a chance of you
actually reaching your goal. For example, having a goal of getting down to size
4 when you are currently a size 24 is not going to happen naturally, however
getting down to a size 10 (which is a great size) is achievable.

4) They need to be realistic, which goes hand in hand with
being achievable. Make your goals realistic and they will provide motivation to
lose weight.

5) They need to be Timely, which means you need to specify a
time. For example, losing five pounds by the end of this month is a timely
goal, but simply losing five pounds is not a s timely goal as it is too open

If you have a lot of weight to lose, you are better off
breaking it down in to smaller and more manageable chunks. Set goals for the
first five pounds, followed by the next five pounds and so on. Actually
achieving a goal in the first instance is motivation to lose weight and will
make you more determined to reach subsequent goals.

Learning to say no

Learn to say no. Learning to say no is easier said than
done, especially when it comes to our favourite food and snacks. We all know
that food releases endorphins that make us feel good, and we all have those
specific foods that have this effect on us and we get enjoyment out of eating
those foods. If those ‘feel good’ foods are healthy and include things like
fruit or vegetables, then great. Fill your boots. Unfortunately for most of us
our feel good foods are those that are often high in fat, high in calories,
high in salt and considered unhealthy. You know the sorts of foods, burger,
fries, chocolate, pizza, pasties, pies, etc. all of which are very tempting.
Learning to say no to these foods is going to take some self discipline,
however it is something we must do in our battle to lose weight.

Rewarding yourself

Rewarding yourself is a good for weight loss motivation.
Every time you achieve a goal, or reach a mile stone in your weight loss
program you should give yourself a reward for all the hard work and effort you
have put in. Knowing you will get a reward every time you achieve a goal will
help you to keep going for the next stage.

The type of reward can be anything you want. It can be a
food treat, such as a burger, some chocolate or some fries. Alternatively, the
reward may be a pair of shoes or an item of clothing you have had your eye on,
a piece of jewellery, a trip to the movies or whatever else interests you.

Keeping a photograph
of yourself in the food cupboard

Prior to starting any form of diet or weight loss you should
take a photograph of yourself so you can do a “before and after”. No matter how
hard you find it and no matter how much you dislike having your photograph
taken you should photograph yourself, besides no one else need ever see the

If you put the photograph on the inside of the food cupboard
you will see it every time you open the cupboard and this will serve as a
reminder of where you were when you first started on the weight loss program.
The photograph will also provide the weight loss motivation you need to keep
going and achieve your weight loss goals.

In conclusion.......

Being on a diet or a weight loss program is an emotional
rollercoaster ride, and there will be good days and there will be bad days. The
important thing to stick with it, keep going and you will lose the weight. If
you find yourself asking how to stay motivated to lose weight there are many
different things you can do, however the best tools in weight loss motivation
are setting goals, learning to say no, regularly rewarding yourself and keeping
a photograph of yourself before you start the weight loss program.