Staying motivated while losing weight tends to be a difficult task for many people. This is something that I am currently dealing with myself, and as I'm on my journey to a healthier lifestyle I want to share some of what I have learned about weight loss and how I personally am staying motivated to continue losing weight. First, let's go over the basics of weight loss: diet and exercise.
If you're like most people, myself included, healthy weight loss doesn't come easily -- especially weight loss that lasts. There are so many different diets out there and it is often difficult to chose which one will be best for you. Remember that, while many of the diets do work, some of these fad diets can be more detrimental than beneficial to your overall health. I'm not here to promote any one kind of diet program, but if you have concerns or questions about what kind of a diet program would work best for you, you should speak with a Registered Dietician.
Exercising plays a key role in losing weight and staying fit. Weight loss ultimately depends on creating a calorie deficit, meaning that you are burning more calories than what you are taking in. Cardio (or aerobic) exercise burns more calories than stretch and strength training exercises. A good exercise program, though, will incorporate both into the routine.
Among its many benefits, cardio exercises, including (but not limited to) walking, running, bicycling, swimming, eliptical training, and step aerobics, help to burn calories, strengthens the heart and lungs, boosts your metabolism, increases your energy and decreases stress, and it even promotes more restful sleep.
Strength training, like weight lifting, resistance training, push-ups, rock climbing, and even pilates, helps to build and tone your muscles. As with cardio, strength training also increases your metabolism, but strength training also building muscle mass which promotes more long-term fat loss. Added benefits of strength training include improved posture and joint support as well as increased flexibility.
It is important to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
Now getting to my main point for this article. Staying motivated to continue on a diet and exercise is something that has been one of the hardest things for me personally. There are many tips and tricks that I have heard and learned, but the one that has helped me the most so far is to not go it alone. Have a support system! For me, it's in the form of a friendly competition between my best friend, my sister, and myself. We encourage each other in setting and sticking to our goals and also do weekly weigh-ins to keep each other accountable. As an added motivator, we declare a winner each month based on who has lost the largest percentage of their body fat that month and the other two pay that person $10 each. It has definitly helped me stick with my plan to know that I am not alone in my endeavors.
Another way to stay motivated is to set small goals. Of course, you will likely have a big overall goal in mind, and that's great! But it can sometimes be discouraging to feel that you are so far from that goal. Setting several smaller, attainable goals, and celebrating and rewarding yourself for the small victories help to keep you excited about what you are accomplishing and work as stepping stones to your bigger goal. Keep a success journal to record the goals you've achieved. If you get to a time where you are feeling discouraged, look back at all you have already accomplished!
Schedule your workouts ahead of time. Set dates and times aside for it rather than it being something that you do just if you get around to it.
Get a cute workout outfit. When you're wearing something that you feel good in, you'll be more likely to put it on and put it to use. And the more you put it to use, the better you'll feel, and the better you'll look in it! It's a win-win.
Think about your wellness rather than the weight loss. Remember that the most important thing is a more healthier you. Know that as a result of sticking to your plan, you'll not only look better, but feel better.