How do I stay motivated to lose weight?

The Question

I've started and stopped TONS of diets. I'm so frustrated that I can't stick to a plan. But I still want to lose weight. I don't know what to do. How do I stay motivated to lose weight?

The Answer 

Thank you for the question. The first thing I want to say is this...

Nothing has gone wrong here. This is actually very common. And beating yourself up about it is the first thing I'd recommend you work on because that's only going to get you further from your goal.

Instead, you can recognize that you're in the learning phase. You're learning about the changes you want to make in your life when it comes to food. You're learning which foods feel good inside your body and which foods don't.

If you approach weight loss as one big experiment, you open up your mind to learning. You give yourself space and time to figure it out. You have more compassion for yourself. And you'll have more fun reaching your weight goals with this mindset. 

When you stop beating yourself up and you start to genuinely feel like weight loss is one big experiment and you're learning your way through it, I've got 3 tips for you to stay motivated. 

Tip #1: Write down your "why" everyday

You know the process of losing weight is going to require you to change some things in your life. And change can feel hard. So, decide why you want to lose weight. Make sure your reasons for wanting to do this are compelling to YOU. And make sure they're strong enough to keep you on your plan even when things feel hard.  

Once you know what your reasons are, write them down every morning. Maybe you'll write it in your journal, on a post-it note, or some other place. Doesn't matter where exactly. Just write your reasons down so you can set your intention at the beginning of each day. And look at those reasons throughout your day whenever you need motivation. 

Tip #2: Follow a food plan that you actually like 

I don't know what types of foods you usually eat or what foods are on your plan. But if you're used to eating hamburgers and french fries everyday and you start following a plan that has you eating salads everyday, you might be setting yourself up to fail. 

I recommend you create a food plan that you will actually enjoy right now and will want to follow. Maybe your first plan has hamburgers and french fries on it. That's totally fine. Meet yourself where you are right now. Get used to following a plan and learning how to stick to it. Then, gradually make adjustments to your plan over time.

Each time you adjust your plan, make it a little healthier than the last one. Just make sure you actually like the foods on your plan each time it's adjusted. If you like the foods on your plan, you're more likely to follow it in the long term. And this can keep you motivated.

Tip #3: Commit to your new lifestyle NO MATTER WHAT

Are you committed to your weight loss goal no matter what?

No matter how hard it is. No matter how long it takes. No matter what. 

And after you reach your weight loss goal, what will you do? Will you continue following your plan so you can maintain your weight for the rest of your life? Or will you go back to the way you were eating before you lost the weight? 

This is really important for you to think about. The diet mentality has us eating a certain way for a period of time so we can lose weight. Then, after we lose the weight, we tend to go back to the way we were eating before. And the result ends up being weight gain.

The diet mentality can lead us to constantly losing and gaining weight. And this can be exhausting to even think about. 

Instead, I recommend you think about losing weight in a different way.

You're creating a new lifestyle for yourself that feels authentic to you. You're learning how to connect with your body and understand what it feels like when you're physically hungry. You're learning how to make decisions that align with your ideal lifestyle. And you're going to follow your new lifestyle for the rest of your life so you can keep the weight off forever. 

Are you committed to your new lifestyle no matter what?

Your level of commitment will influence your level of motivation.

Thanks again for your question. I hope my answer helps you.

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