We often look at unfortunate situations through a pessimistic lens, such as: “I want to lose weight, but I haven’t been able to do it in the past and keep it off. Should I even bother?”

When people are trying to lose weight they may be discouraged by the lack of progress and by the fact that they have repeatedly failed to achieve their goals. Think about a situation, such as slipping up on your diet by eating a slice of cake. Since you’ve already failed, you continue to indulge and binge on even more junk food, because “what the hell,” but all of this drives you further away from your original objectives. Instead, forget about that one little slip up and shift your focus toward fixing it for the future. Then you can get back on track more quickly.

Of course, all of this is easier said than done, but there are some tricks that can make it easier. Here’s how the experts say you can stay motivated to stick to your goals throughout all of the ups and downs of the journey to lose weight.

lose weight

Get the Timing Right

The timing of when you set your goal can be very influential on overall success. People are more motivated to create and initiate goal pursuits at moments that feel like a fresh start, such as the beginning of the week, a new season, or right after the holidays. Around those moments, people are receptive to messages that encourage them to find solutions, and also more willing to put aside their past failures and try out new solutions.

My most motivated clients to lose weight are those with a major event — say, a wedding, finishing a 5K, or a triathlon — on the horizon. You can channel more motivation by focusing on an event you can work toward.

Picture a Fitter You

Take a few minutes to flip through old photos of yourself on your phone as a visual reminder of how far you’ve come in the journey to lose weight.

It can get extremely discouraging when you hit a plateau, but when this happens, it can be motivating to look at old photos of yourself from when you first started your weight-loss journey.

lose weight

See Yourself Slim

Top athletes use visualisation to help them get in a positive, motivated mindset before a big game. You can practice visualisation for just 10 minutes a day simply by closing your eyes and picturing yourself getting healthier and slimmer, keying in on how you look and feel, and imagining a more confident, energised, and proud version of yourself.

Need something more tangible? Create a vision board compiled of photos of yourself at a healthy weight. This can boost your confidence and motivation, reduce stress, and actually train your brain to resist temptations.

Find a Weight-loss Support Crew

Those closest to you can make all the difference when it comes to keeping you accountable and to share your challenges with. When you’re tempted to cheat on your diet or skip a couple of days at the gym, you’ll have someone to help get you back on track to lose weight.

Seeking a weight-loss mentor/ nutritionist/ coach or a role model can help, too, but just be sure the person you pick has a lifestyle comparable to yours.

If you’re following someone on social media, look for people who offer advice and who are always very open and honest with their followers. Nothing can sap your motivation quicker than a social-media feed filled with flawless (and perhaps Photoshopped) snaps of skinny people telling you how awesome their lives are and how you need to lose weight.

Is Your Weight-Loss Plan Failing You?

Finally, it’s uber-important to identify the signs that the weight-loss plan you picked just isn’t working for you.

A plan to lose weight should enhance your life. You should feel capable, accomplished, and energised by your food and fitness plans. It should not feel like a punishment.

lose weight

So, how do you know if you haven’t picked the right weight-loss plan?

  • You are hopelessly tired.
  • You are insanely grumpy.
  • You are sneaking into the pantry at night and binging.
  • You’ve adopted an all-or-nothing mentality.
  • You stop socialiaing or isolate yourself.
  • You are dreaming about foods that you can’t eat.
  • You are obsessed with tracking devices of any kind.
  • You are frustrated to the point of anger, despair, or tears.

And, of course, there’s the classic marker: The amount of weight and inches you’re actually losing.

© 2017 – VIDA Magazine – Daniel Pitre