Top weight loss motivation tips for dieters who can't stay focused

Why you aren't motivated?
If that title appears harsh, I do apologise. I understand that weight loss motivation comes and goes .....

But get real - you either WANT to lose weight and be the shape you want or you're not really that bothered.

The short term pleasures of that piece of cake or couple of glasses of wine outweigh the long term enjoyment of being slim and happy in your body.

What? That's not true? HUH?

Oh, ok ... perhaps it's true some of the time, but you JUST can't seem to stay focused on your GOALS. Right? I understand. I've been there, too.

And really, you should let yourself off the hook. Just the fact that you want to lose the weight is a great start. So what is it that goes wrong with our weight loss motivation?

Well, firstly. Most diets have you pretty much holding your breath when you're 'on' the diet. And you can only do that for so long, for sure.

And second. You are hounded by past failures to lose the weight or to keep it off. So in the back of your mind, often you are half decided it's not going to work anyway, so you might as well not bother.

OK, so what ARE you going to do. Give up? NO, NEVER!!!!!

The best tip I can offer you is to set realistic goals not for losing weight, but for your wellness. If you can 'forget' about dieting, it can take care of itself. You can even see the funny side - here's some great diet jokes!

Here's an example:

How many times have you started a diet ... and as soon as you say 'right, here I go' you feel REALLY hungry or feel like you are on some kind of fast for Lent or Ramadan or something???

SO ... let's go back to our nutrition principles.

Go to the Ideal Weight page and review, then come back here. I'll wait for you.
gym exercises

BACK now?

OK. So you've got the idea that we're talking good nutrition as the basis for your 'diet'. Now, what you need to do is just cut back a little on the extras but not deprive yourself.

Add some exercise if you can ... a gentle walk, a short swim, a leisurely cycle, that kind of thing. And build up how frequently you can fit that in. Start with once a week, make it an unmoveable appointment - with yourself or meet up with a friend.

Take a look at the New Food Pyramid for some simple and focused guidelines on healthy eating and exercise.
Orange key guide OK, so this will give you energy and a feeling of wellness. It's absolutely essential to staying motivated to do anything really. cartoon woman achieving goal weight

So now onto some serious weight loss motivation strategies. If the above 'light' touch, good practice is not the problem, you're going to need some psychology tips.

1: Determine your Ideal Weight and Diet & Exercise Regime

In relation to the wellness routine above, it's motivating to consider what a great investment taking care of your body actually is. You're not going to lose weight if your body is dehydrated, run down, and inactive. Well, you may lose lean muscle and make things worse, but we're talking fat loss here, remember.

So, realizing that by improving your diet and nutrition, utilising supplements, cutting back on calories in a non-obsessive manner, and adding exercise as a consistent part of your day or week ... you can actually reverse the trend of your future ill health and potentially prevent future diseases occurring.

I'd say that's pretty good weight loss motivation!!!

So try a simple Wellness Self-Evaluation Test and see how you're doing and make a decision to improve one area each week/month.

2: Set Realistic Goals for Weight Loss

One approach that's always worked quite for me for weight loss motivation is to think about how long it has been since you were last at a weight or shape you were happy with. 1 year? 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? Well, that weight didn't come on for no reason.

What you eat and drink MORE over time to gain the excess weight, you have to eat and drink LESS of over time to lose weight.

You're simply not going to lose a stone in 4 days or lose 3 stone in a month, not matter what the adverts for weight loss pills or diet plans will have you believe.

Losing weight is a gradual process. And weight loss motivation requires daily focus.

Plan to lose 1-2 lbs a week. If you set your target of 1lb a week (why go crazy!), your goal should be to lose half a stone a month maximum. Does it matter if it takes 2 months? NO, you still lost HALF A STONE, that's better than nothing at all.

Well done to you! And this way, you will stay motivated, because it's really quite tough to lose the maximum 2lbs a week. You have to cut back quite a lot to do this and get the right balance with exercise too. So aim at something that is really achievable for maximum weight loss motivational power.


3: Be Accountable to Yourself

Weight and measure just once a week, ideally at the same time of the day, preferably first thing in the morning when you're 'empty' and 'naked'. That's likely to be your most consistent week in, week out so best for comparing as you track your progress.

Measuring is just as important as weighing, in many ways more so. Measuring changes in body shape (waist, hips, chest, arms, thighs, where ever you want to reduce fat) will tell you a lot more about how your body composition is improving. That is, it says more about fat loss than weight.

If you are building muscle (perhaps from poor diet in the past), then it's possible you will improve your body shape even when your weight stays the same (or goes up).

It's really vital for your weight loss motivation that you understand this. Because that will keep your willpower up if you don't see any weight loss, yet you KNOW your trousers are looser. This means you're making progress and losing body fat. GREAT!!!

Be honest about what you eat and drink!

Keep a Diet Diary and use the Food Pyramid outlined in Healthy Eating Guidelines to review and reflect on the excesses and deficiencies of what you are eating and drinking.

Use diet plans sensibly. Choose ones that fit your food preferences and lifestyle and don't obsess on every little thing. Use it as a guide, not a ball and chain (or whatever the dieting equivalent would be? - answers on a postcard! (Check out this great way to send personalized greeting cards and postcards - they're simple and fabulous!!! It can be very useful to note down in your diary, not just what you eat and drink, but when you eat/drink/exercise, and how you FEEL through the day or at the end of the day (have a taking stock to write down some thoughts - it only has to take 5 minutes).

Here's some questions you might ask yourself:

1. What kind of day have I had today (generally)?
2. What went well with my diet & exercise regime?
3. What went not so well?
4. How can I improve things?
5. How committed am I to take this action? (out of 10 with 10 being totally committed)
6. If not 8,9 or 10 - what will motivate me more or who can I ask to help me stay focused?

This kind of reflexive approach can really help you to see any patterns emerging.

You can record your mood, hunger, cravings, anxieties, what you are watching/doing, how many times you eat or drink water (very important), and also to take action to get around these weight loss motivation obstacles.

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