Apart from my love of helping people actually lose weight, I also have a soft spot in my heart for helping people get motivated to shed the pounds themselves. Today’s article is going to focus entirely on how to get motivated to lose weight and what you can do to help yourself lose those extra pounds when you think you can’t.
Staying motivated is the key to success when losing weight, not the actual workouts. If you can keep your eye on the prize long enough, you can get things done. Below I will share some of my favorite motivational advice to hopefully inspire a few more people to actually get out and lose the weight they want to.
Before we even dive into staying motivated while you work out, it’s important to first understand why it is that you want to lose weight. Why a lot of people fail at losing the extra pounds is that they don’t have any “reason” behind their weight loss goals. It’s all well and good to say “I want to lose 30 pounds by Christmas,” but if you have no reason for wanting to do so, actually losing the pounds is going to be that much harder. If you’re stumped for why it is you’re losing the weight, some of the following are perfectly acceptable reasons as to why you want to lose the weight.
Feeling sexier: It really is fine if you just want to lose some weight to feel better about your physical appearance. Liking the way you look boosts self-confidence, not losing weight, so if you can achieve an ideal self-image by losing a few pounds, then by all means go for it!
Dating: If you find that it’s hard to land dates because you have a few extra pounds on your thighs or elsewhere, then it couldn’t hurt to try and work them off.
There are plenty more reasons to choose from, but the important thing is that you have a reason to work towards. Not having a reason will only lead you to failure if you’re not careful.
What I always tell my friends who are aspiring to start working out regularly in hopes of losing some weight is to start with small goals. Setting a goal for yourself to look like Jennifer Lopez by Christmas is just unreasonable and will only make you feel bad about yourself if you don’t achieve it. Start small. I repeat: start small.
Depending on how much your initial weight is, some goals may be out of reach, but I think a good starting point for anyone working out is to lose 5 pounds. This may not sound like a lot on paper compared to your total body mass, but as an actual weight, 5 pounds is quite a bit. Think about holding two heavy books and remember that’s how much weight you’ll have trimmed off of your body once you achieve the goal. Losing weight isn’t easy, but setting reasonable small goals is. Start small and build your way up.
Day by Day
Another thing I don’t recommend to newbies is to try and jump straight into working out every single day. Working out daily is hard and even I can’t always find the time to do it on a daily basis. If you’re going from not doing much exercise ever to a full workout routine overnight, you’ll probably find it stressful and will want to quit within the first few days.
The best thing to do is set aside an hour or two a week to begin with to head to the gym and run on the treadmill for a little while. Once you build up a comfort level with the gym you can visit it more frequently. Moreover, you can start making your workouts more intense.
If you take nothing else away from this article, please remember this step. Having a log book to keep track of your workout progress is a phenomenal way to keep yourself motivated. All you have to do is have a small journal where you can keep track of what you did at the gym and for how long. If you ran at 8 miles an hour on the treadmill for 3 minutes today, write it down. By doing this you not only give yourself proof that you actually have accomplished something, you also give yourself room for improvement next time you go.
Say you only managed to do 10 repetitions with a certain weight set today, next time you go you can aim to either increase the amount of weight you’re lifting or increase the number of repetitions you accomplish. And in terms of running, even if you only run for 10 seconds longer at a certain speed the next time you go to the gym, that’s still an accomplishment to be proud of. Every little bit counts and when you’re trying to stay motivated, that’s what matters.
Working out every day isn’t the most fun thing in the world to do. In order to keep yourself from going insane without any of the “treats” you used to enjoy, it’s quite alright to have a Snickers or a soda every once in a while. We’re all human and living off of protein powder and treadmill running isn’t going to cut it at the end of the day. Obviously, don’t overindulge on snack foods, but having some every once in a while is a good way to keep yourself sane. I have a soft spot for lemon pound cake and like to cut myself a slice or two once a week just to reward myself for keeping up the hard work.
Keep With It
This may be the most “generic” motivational tip of them all, but it’s the best one I could ever give. As long as you keep going at what you’re doing, you’ll see progress. Remember that your next “goal” is only a pound or two away and that if you spend the week putting your heart and soul into trying to lose those next few pounds, you’ll eventually get there.
If you find that you’re really struggling to lose any kind of weight, a personal trainer is a great way to help get yourself on the fast track to weight loss. I don’t normally recommend personal trainers to people, but if you want to learn some great weight loss exercises to try out yourself, a personal trainer is a good way to go. They’re expensive, so only get one if you absolutely need to.