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How come some people are so naturally thin?  Why is it so hard to lose weight? Why can't I lose weight?

These are some of the common questions that you may ask yourself if you are struggling to lose weight.  It is difficult to maintain a high level of motivation over a long period of time, especially if your results come relatively slowly, as they do in weight loss.  Sure, the first week you may lose 5 pounds, but after that, a good week would be to lose a pound or two.  Some might even consider that a good month!  It's certainly nothing to write home about.  So if the results don't keep you motivated because they are not "instant" enough in this instant gratification society that we all live in, then what will?

It's no small wonder that many people start a diet or a quest for healthy living with a lot of gusto, but within a month or two (or even a week), they start to lose their momentum.  Often, this results in gaining back any weight you have lost, and even maybe packing on some additional pounds.  This can be very discouraging, and every unsuccessful attempt or failure can make iteven harder to get started again on the path to your healthy goals. 

It think we can all agree that what we need to succeed isn't more nutritional information or strategies.  Most people understand that weight loss = more calories out than in.  There are numerous approaches to acheiving this equation such as weight loss shakes, low-carb diets, and many more.  There are any number of high quality books and websites with a plethora of all the knowledge that you could ever want and/or need (and then some) on the subject of diet and weight loss.

But no matter how good of an approach you are taking, or how educated you are on the subject of nutrition, if you lack the motivation to persevere in your efforts, your results will be less than exemplary. 

In this article, I will share with you some of the best ways out there to cutivate and keep your motivation to lose weight.

Goal Setting
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Setting Goals

Setting goals is a tried and true motivation technique that can be very effective.  To do what you need to do, you need to know where you are going.  But some people's goals are something like this:

-I wanna be healthier

-I don't wanna be fat

-I wanna lose weight

How can you break a goal like that down?  What is the step-by-step process to acheiving a vague and nebulous goal such as "getting healthy" or "not being fat."

Instead, set specific goals that include a date of completion that are easily broken down into bite sized chunks.  For example,

-I want to lose 50 lbs in one year

-Therefore, I need to lose "x" lbs a month

-I will acheive that by eating "x" calories a day and burning "x" calories a week.

This process can really work for any goal that you have, wether it be health and fitness related or not.  Another way to have this goal-setting technique be helpful to you in finding weight loss motivation is to post your goals somewhere you can see them.  Keeping your goals in front of you will help keep you accountable.  Also consider sharing your goals with someone you can trust.  You may even inspire them to set their own goals!

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Rewarding Yourself
Credit: lulumelon athletica on Flickr

Reward Yourself Along the Way

Another strategy that has worked wonders for thousands of people is the idea of rewarding yourself for reaching goals.  But the idea isn't to just reward yourself at the culmination of all of your efforts-- sometimes holding a big reward hostage can actually stymie your weight loss motivation.  The point is to make up a series of rewards along the way that will keep up your forward momentum, allowing you to reach your goals. 

These rewards can be "things", such as "new workout clothes if you exercize 30 minutes, 3x a week for 4 weeks", or "a pedicaure when I lose that first 10 lbs."  If you are losing weight on a budget, you can also reward yourself with things that are free or low cost, such as afternoon at the library by yourself, or a picnic in the park.  Get creative, and find what moves you!

Credit: DanaK~WaterPenny

Positive Self-Talk and Affirmations

Positive self talk is critical to keeping up the spirits when you are in weight loss mode for the long haul. 

What makes you want to keep going, and what makes you want to quit of these statements:

"I am a fat pig."


"I am getting closer to my goal every day."

Another example:

"No, you can't have that piece of cake!"


"I am in control and making healthy choices to support my goal."

You see?  You should always try and talk to yourself like you would to a friend. Be supportive of your efforts, and do your best not to teat yourself down when you mess up.  Remember, 2 steps forward and 1 step back--- the net is still one step forward!

If you struggle with negative self-talk and beating yourself up, try writing down some affirmations and positive statements.  Then try reading them every morning, or when you are struggling to make healthy choices.  This can help you move forward towards your goal and keep up your motivation for weight loss. 

Here are some examples of positive weight loss affirmations to get you started:

I am in complete control of what I eat.

I find it easy and enjoyable to work out on a daily basis.

I eat nutritiously every day, knowing that this will move me towards my goal.

I will be a slim and trim person by __________

It is becoming easier every day to make healthy choices.

I love eating salads!


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Keep it up!
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The only way to fail, is to quit.

Weight loss is a long road, especially if you need to lose a significant chunk of weight.  But don't despair!  It's really the 6 inches between your ears that is what's keeping you from getting to where you want to be. 

I hope these tips and tricks can be of help to you on your journey.  I know they have been and continue to be helpful to me on my own quest to lose weight.