8 Tips to Motivate Yourself to Go on a Diet
Lack of motivation is the number one cause of diet failure. We will give 8 tips to boost your motivation level and finally start losing weight.
1. Think about why
Have you ever listed all the motivations that make you want to lose weight? It can be very beneficial to put them down on paper to increase your motivation level. Take at least 15min to think about all the aspects of your life that would be improved. Some examples :
Be more attractive/seductive
Take off complexes in a swimsuit
Being able to wear the clothes you want/fit into old jeans
Participate in a running / physical challenge
Complete this list with goals that are unique to you. You can reread it later when you want to snack or not want to go to your workout.
2. Define an action plan
No improvement happens without a change in our habits. If you want results, you will have to go through several changes (which are not necessarily synonymous with sacrifices).
To lose weight, you need to focus your attention primarily on two things: nutrition and exercise (to which sleep could be added). So, define in writing all the efforts you think you will make on these aspects, and transform them into concrete changes in your everyday life.
For example: If you feel like you don’t have time for sports, get up 30 minutes earlier every morning; Decrease the time spent on social networks / watching TV in favour of physical activities; Remove certain harmful foods from your eating habits; Learn one new cooking recipe per week; Any positive change in your daily life is good to take!
3. Don’t look for the easy options
More and more people are basing their hopes of losing weight on easy solutions, believing they have found a way to lose weight effortlessly. Be careful, slimming programs and food supplements can be your ally and your worst enemy.
Everything is not to be thrown away. Used correctly, the active ingredients contained in the capsules for weight loss, in particular of the appetite suppressant type, can actually help to give a feeling of satiety which decreases the cravings for snacking.
But don’t be fooled, only a rebalancing of food and regular physical activity will have lasting effects on the achievement of your goals. Getting in shape and being in good health requires long-term efforts and not just one-off periods. Choosing the easy options to motivate yourself is to step back to jump better because one day or another the efforts will have to come from you.
4. Learn not to always listen to yourself
This is advice that goes a little against the grain of what we are used to hearing (you have to learn to listen to yourself, know how to listen to your body, etc.) but you will understand.
Efforts, our brain doesn’t really like that. He prefers everything that is usual and will generally keep you in your comfort zone. As a result, when going to play sports, he may give you a warning signal that you will vulgarly translate as: laziness. This is even more true at the very beginning, after a long period of inactivity.
You must therefore succeed in overriding the indications that your brain may give by understanding the fact that the beginning is always the most difficult. For example, it’s common to not have the motivation to go to the gym, but once you get there the feeling is usually gone.
The best practice for those who lack motivation to exercise is to impose a weekly routine with time slots dedicated to sports. If you feel lazy, tell yourself that once this 1st step is over you will experience pleasure, and especially great satisfaction once the session is over.
5. Do not focus on the scale
There is more to your effort and diet management than just one number on the scale. Many people stress about weighing themselves and finding that they haven’t lost anything or “worse” that they have gained a few hundred grams. It’s the best way to get demotivated when you feel like you’re trying a lot.
In reality, different reasons can explain weight gain: stress, lack of sleep, menstruation, muscle gain, water retention, etc. This is not a drama, and weight gain is not necessarily fat gain… Drink 2L of water and you will automatically gain 2kg.
You should never be discouraged, efforts will always pay off. Rather than taking the weigh-in as an indicator of physical progress, prefer photos! Take a picture of yourself in your underwear before your diet, and repeat the operation every month. You will see the physical changes before / after, no matter what the number on the scale says.
6. Plan healthy snacks
Small regular snacks are often responsible for weight gain. Indeed, when trying to lose weight, we most often focus on meals: we try to eat balanced, not too fatty, not too sweet, etc.
But if you provide your body with fewer calories (= energy) during the meal, it may demand more from you a few hours later … This prompts you to go snacking to suppress hunger. If you hang in there you’ll create repeated frustrations, and if you crack up you’ll grab something quick from your closet and set your sights on cookies, breakfast cereal or chocolate.
By providing healthy snacks when you go shopping, you increase your motivation level because you will no longer be afraid of snacking. You allow yourself the right to crack between meals, but a healthy crack! Here are some examples of snacks:
Vegetables (baby carrots, radishes, cherry tomatoes, etc.)
Fruits (apple, pear, banana, etc.)
Nuts (fines, walnuts, etc.)
7. Set yourself challenges
Nothing is more stimulating than setting challenges and knowing how to reward yourself in return. There are hundreds of possible challenges depending on your specific objectives and / or where you know in advance that you risk a decrease in motivation.
If sport is your weak point, challenge yourself in the short and medium term to maintain a good level of motivation. Some examples :
Do a little more at each session: run 2 more minutes, increase your speed,
Try out new sports,
Set a minimum number of steps per day (download a pedometer application on your smartphone),
Achieve challenges with the same exercise to be performed every day (squats, abs, plank). Do not hesitate to train your friends in this type of challenge.
If you have the possibility, make these challenges public, for example via your social networks or by telling your loved ones. It will give you extra motivation to get results. Once the challenge has been met, reward yourself with a good meal, a new item of clothing, etc.
8. Don’t set your expectations too high
All work deserves a salary. When we put in the effort we hope to see results in return, that’s normal! In the case of a diet, the results are sometimes random. You may go through periods of stagnation where you will feel like you are no longer moving forward and all that hard work has gone for nothing. Remember this is normal, don’t be discouraged!
Setting goals in terms of lost pounds is not recommended (see tip 5), yet that’s what most women do. Objective 5kg in 1 week, 10kg in 1 month… That’s too much! A healthy food rebalancing should allow losing between 700g and 1kg per week. Beyond 5kg lost per month, there is a risk of deficiencies.
My recommendation: put in place all the good practices of a healthy lifestyle and see the results without expecting miracles. No effort is ever totally wasted, no matter how disappointing the results on the scale or your physical change are, always tell yourself that at least you are healthier. You ate healthy, you played sports. In short, you took care of yourself!