Saturday, December 24, 2011

Motivation May Be the Key Ingredient in Helping You Lose Weight

A lack of motivation may be stopping you from losing the weight you want. While you may know a lot about what exercises to do and what food to eat, but you also need a healthy dose of motivation to go after it for as long as it takes to reach your weight loss goal.

Unless you are motivated to get up and cook that healthy meal or go out for that run, you’re going to find yourself sitting in front of the television doing nothing and becoming depressed. Take some time before you start and figure out what motivates you to lose weight. It doesn’t necessarily come naturally, so take a look at some interesting ways to get yourself moving towards your goals.

The first thing you can do when you are looking for motivation to lose weight is to start keeping a journal. Sometimes, nothing is more motivating than seeing how far you have come. This is something that can be a pain in the beginning, but it can help you go the distance with your weight loss plan.

Take pictures of yourself and start keeping a daily record of your weight. Measure yourself and write down every little 1/4 inch that disappears each week. This is something that can clearly show you the progress you have made. The more documentation you have, the more you will be able to really see how far you have come. This can be very motivating!

You may also want to see if one of your friends wants to lose weight with you. If you have a friend who can share in your diet talk or exercise talk, it is much easier to get excited about it. Ideally, your friend should have roughly the same goals as you. You can celebrate milestones with each other, share tips and hints, and even compare progress. Your exercise partner will hold you accountable and make sure you show up at the gym when you say you’re going to and that you are sticking to your weight loss regimen. It is a small thing, but it can really make a difference on days where you don’t want to workout or go for a walk. Someone else is counting on you.

Also keep in mind that when you are gearing yourself up to lose weight, even the most interesting type of exercise can get a little boring over time. While it is fine to have an exercise routine, give yourself permission to change it up a little and cross-train. Take a fun class in a type of physical activity you have never tried before. The interest in learning something new and having a class structure to go to can keep you motivated as well. Have you always wanted to learn to belly dance or try a martial art? Maybe you are interested in rock climbing or you love the idea of learning synchronized swim. Take some time and follow your interests. It doesn’t all have to be treadmills and free weights.

These are just three places to start when you are looking for motivation. Be creative! If there is something that works for you, go with it and remember that if it works, it works. Keep reassessing what motivates you as it may change with each pound you shed.

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