Friday, February 10, 2023

How To Stay Motivated To Lose Weight

So many times, it is easier to gain weight than it it is to take it off or even keep from gaining anything.  According to my doctor's scale, I'd put on something like 8 pounds in about 6 weeks which is something I have not had happen.  This made me step back, revisit my life, make some decisions including looking for ways to lose the weight while staying motivated.  I found something that works for me but I am not promising it will work for everyone but I'm including the most promising tips to help others.

When it comes to losing weight, you need two components.  The first is your diet while the second is exercise.  You need both components to successfully lose weight because you have to burn more calories than you consume.   Unfortunately, loosing weight can be quite difficult, especially if you lose your motivation.  When it comes to motivation, there are two types. The first is extrinsic or that which comes from outside in the form of rewards.  The second is intrinsic or motivation which comes from inside you.

According to a study of people who participated in an internet based program, the ones who lost five percent of their body weight by the 16th week, were the people who were able to maintain intrinsic motivation between weeks 4 and 16.  In fact, the study also found that those people who increased their self-monitoring, were more likely to be successful when it came to losing weight.

There are nine things you can do to help you lose weight.  First is to set realistic goals.  It is best to write down a very specific goal so instead of saying you want to lose weight, say instead that you want to lose 15 pounds by eating healthy foods and exercising more.  One has to also have a way of monitoring the diet and exercise and this would consist of writing down what you eat, how much you exercise every day and one a week write down your weight.  This way you can see what is happening.  

In addition, when you set these goals, you need to make sure they are attainable.  Goals such as losing one to two pounds a week is much better than deciding to lose 15 pounds in a month, or exercise 20 to 30  minutes a day if you know you don't have time to do an hours worth.  

Next, have a journal where you write down every single thing you eat, and how often you exercise.  You might also want to record what type of exercise you do.  You do not need a fancy journal, I use a spiral bound notebook where I write the date, a line for exercise and two for what I each each day.  I have a third line for when I need to record my weight.  Be specific when you record what you eat.  You might state you had 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal for breakfast with 1/4 cup milk and one tsp of sugar.  Make sure you also record any and all liquids you have every day.  In addition, include some self-reflection such as why did you keep wanting to snack all day, or why did you cut short the exercising or how did you feel after you tried that new workout? 

Provide positive self-talk to yourself.  Rather than thinking something is too hard, think of it as challenging, or rather than saying you should workout, just do it.  I find once I get started,  it is so much easier to complete a session.  If you don't manage to exercise that day, don't get mad at yourself. Forgive yourself and promise you'll do it tomorrow.  If you end up enjoying a piece of cheesecake, don't berate yourself, just accept that we all slip up, and start again 

As far as eating, do not go on a diet, especially one that is extremely restricting.  Start with a list of foods you like and want to eat but if they are higher in calories, look for variations that are lower in calories.  For instance, if you like a Chicken Alfredo, check the internet for a recipe that is just a creamy but has fewer calories so you don't feel deprived.

If you are a person who operates with todo lists or calendars, set them up for yourself.  Be specific when you schedule your exercise.  Don't just say walk but write walk for 30 minutes.  In fact, you can get your exercise via walking, dancing, working out, rowing, or other activity but you need to enjoy what you do.  

Look for a buddy who is there for you throughout your journey.  When you have a partner, you both keep each other motivated, you hold each other accountable, and you celebrate the small losses together.  Exercising with a friend, makes the time go faster and you have more fun.  From a personal viewpoint, I find having a journal the most motivating thing for me because I can see how much exercise I get and what I eat during the day so I know if I am eating properly.  I also know that weekends are the hardest thing for me because I'm at home all day, so I have to figure out what I can do to keep me from eating due to boredom.  

I hope this helps you.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.

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