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9 Ways to Stay Motivated in Your Weight Loss Journey

Losing weight takes a lot of motivation. At first, you’ll find you’re motivated because this journey is still shiny and new. But fast forward a few weeks, and you may find yourself starting to lose that loving feeling. So, how do we keep motivation when we can feel ourselves starting to slip? 

  1. Find Your “Why” 

Understand why you’re losing weight in the first place. This requires self-reflection, as your “why” should represent more than just improving your appearance. Are you doing this for your overall health? Or to be able to keep up with your friends and family? These types of “why’s” can motivate you now, and even after you’ve lost the weight to keep the weight off. 

  1. Write it Down 

Keep a journal to track the calories you’re consuming in comparison to how many you burn. For many of us, we can underestimate the number of calories we’ve actually eaten. This will help hold you accountable, and you’ll be able to more easily adjust your lifestyle accordingly. 

Keep a journal for your mental health as well, as it can help offload negative feelings. In addition, it’s a good way to identify patterns of stress and lack of sleep among other factors that may impact your weight loss journey.  

  1. Have Realistic Expectations 

On average you should expect to lose one to two pounds per week. Expecting to lose any more than that is unhealthy and unrealistic. In order to lose weight and keep it off, you need to commit to building new, healthier lifestyle habits to replace your old ones. These changes take time, so don’t try to rush things.

  1. Set Actionable Goals 

The number on the scale is a measure of how well your goals are working, not a goal itself. A goal is something you can actively do, and a weight target doesn’t indicate how you will achieve that number. Your goals should be things like, reducing the number of coffees you drink to one per day, or climbing the stairs twice a week to get to your apartment rather than only using the elevator.

  1. Plan for Challenges

There will be times where you face challenges and setbacks, and you need to be ready for them. Events come up that will include indulgences, and you may find yourself spending time with people who are less than willing to support your weight loss journey. Know in advance how you plan to deal with this.

  1. Incorporate With Your Lifestyle

Pick a plan that fits your lifestyle, and you know you can stick to. If you know for a fact that you’ll be miserable waking up early to work out, pick a different time to do it. 

Also, life can get in the way of things sometimes and you may not be able to make it to the gym. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator and walking to the nearby store rather than driving are ways you can still exercise in an everyday setting. 

  1. Get Help with Accountability 

Most people tend to stick to their goals when they have other people holding them accountable. Tell friends or family members who you trust to support you with your goals. They can check in on you to ensure that you actually complete the goals you set for yourself and can act as positive reinforcement when you need it. 

In addition, hiring a trainer, working with a dietician, or talking to a psychologist, are all ways you can deal with the stresses that the weight loss journey brings, in a healthy way.

  1. Practice Positive Self-talk 

We tend to be our own harshest critics. Despite what many sports movies may tell us, people aren’t actually motivated by negative comments and critiques. As weird as it may feel, complement yourself. Tell yourself that you’re doing a good job, and that you’re proud of yourself for how far you’ve come. It will make a difference.

  1. Reward Yourself

Finally, reward yourself for successes. What you’re doing is really hard, reward yourself whenever you are able to accomplish a goal, as well as a few weeks later, if you’ve managed to stick to that goal. 

Lily Frances | Staff Writer

Spring 2024

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