When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, the most important thing isn't diet or exercise. It's motivation. If you can keep motivated, you can meet your goals, become more physically fit, and live a healthier lifestyle.
Unfortunately, most of us have problems staying motivated. Sure, it's easy to decide to diet and exercise and stick to it for a couple of weeks; but eventually, nearly all of us get to a point where we lose our focus and give up.
When this happens we not only gain back whatever weight we may have lost, but we often put on even more pounds than we had before we started. This can be a real blow to our self-esteem and make it even harder for us to try to lose weight in the future.
The good news is that it is possible to find ways to stay motivated and keep focused on your weight loss goals - once you know how. When you achieve this level of focus, you will not only lose weight now; you'll find that it's much easier to keep the weight off in the long term.
They provided us with a bunch of tips that have worked in the real world to help the people they've worked with to stay motivated, and we are happy to pass them on to you.
Realize that your subconscious is the biggest thing holding you back from staying motivated. On a conscious level, you know you want to lose weight - but your subconscious may not be on board. It is filled with negative thoughts that expect failure. So, you need to change your subconscious expectations for yourself. Most of us have a negative inner dialogue going on, but that dialogue can be changed. When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, stop them in their tracks and replace them with positive thoughts. Over time, this will become automatic and it will stop your subconscious from sabotaging your weight loss and healthy living efforts. Breaking the subconscious chains that are holding you back from real weight loss is the most important thing you can do.
Find a diet buddy, and set them up on speed dial on your phone. The two of you can work to support each other. When you feel tempted to break your diet or skip out on the gym, give them a call and let them talk you into doing the right thing. Be there for them in the same situations. Between the two of you, you both have a much better chance of sticking to your weight loss and exercise plans.
Stop focusing on how hard it is to lose weight. If you are constantly thinking about how much work it is to lose weight and stay healthy, this will fill your brain with negative thoughts. That's not good. Don't let yourself focus on the negative. Instead, keep in mind all of the benefits of losing weight. Make a list if you have to! By focusing on the positive, you'll be much less tempted to go off your weight loss plan.
Every week, take a picture of yourself in the mirror. Then post this picture someplace where you will see it every day. Keep adding new pictures every week. By actually seeing how much progress you are making, it will be much easier for you to stick to your goals - because you'll be able to visualize the results.
Start a blog about your weight loss goals. By writing once or twice a week about what you are doing, you'll be able to keep track of your progress and work out your inner demons. You'll also get people to comment on your blog and encourage you to stick to it.
Reward yourself every so often. Set a simple goal - say, losing five pounds. When you make that goal, go out and buy yourself something really nice. Get your favorite author in hardcover instead of waiting for the paperback to come out. Buy your favorite movie on Blu-Ray. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it's something you like that you wouldn't normally buy for yourself.
Don't give up if you have a slip. Look, nobody is perfect. We aren't machines. Sometimes we are going to screw up and have a slice of chocolate cake. It happens. But don't treat it like the end of the world. Many people figure that once they've gone off their diet once, they might as well give up. Don't! Instead, try to figure out why you were tempted and spend a little extra time in the gym that week.
Try to find ways to make working out fun. Just sitting alone in the gym on a stationary bike is not very inspiring for most people. It's boring and easy to give up. Why not pick up a new sport? You'll end up making new friends and by playing a game, you'll be having fun while burning off calories. And you'll keep doing it because you won't want to let your team down.
If you have a partner, have lots of sex! Sex not only feels good, but it burns off calories. More importantly, it releases the same endorphins into your body as eating chocolate. And here's something you may not know - when you start to lose weight, your libido will improve and you'll experience much more sexual satisfaction. Women in particular have reported becoming more orgasmic the more weight they lose.
Keep temptation out of your home. When you are alone watching television is when you are most likely to break down and cheat on your diet. Go through your cupboards and get rid of temptation food. Then go to the grocery story and buy a lot of healthy food. Throw out all your takeout menus. Without temptations surrounding you, you will be much less likely to break your diet. Your moment of temptation will pass and you'll stay motivated and on track.
Create an upbeat playlist for your iPod. It's been shown that people who listen to fast, upbeat music while they work out have more positive associations with exercise and are less likely to stop doing it.
Subscribe to blogs of other people who are trying to lose weight and get in shape. Reading about other people's weight loss struggles will help you realize you are not alone. Plus, you may gain some surprising weight loss tips and be able to share your experiences with other people as well.
These tips are not particularly hard to incorporate into your life, and they have worked to help thousands of people stay motivated so that they not only lose weight but also keep it off.
You can start slow and add one tip a week into your life, and over time you'll finally start seeing the body you've always wanted staring back at you in the mirror.