Motivation spells success – no doubt about it! In terms of weight management or achieving a health goal, motivation is even more paramount, because it usually involves a long process and series of changes. These lifestyle and eating changes are difficult and even uncomfortable for most of us. However, with anything that is really worthwhile in life, it requires a long-term commitment. To keep motivation alive, you need to recognize what your challenges are and when it might be slipping. The following is a list shows some very common weight-loss challenges to help you determine what your potential stumbling blocks are when trying to lose weight as well as what you can do about it. Awareness is the first step to overcoming these challenges.
“I am excited in the beginning but lose it after a short while.” If you would like to keep your weight-loss goal for the entire year, something only 8% of resolution-setters achieve, then pace yourself! Remember: It was the tortoise that beat the hare in the race! And, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, blowing all of your energy at the outset of a new diet or exercise plan does not ensure success, because motivation at the critical four-week point is a better predictor of lon
g-term success. Avoid this trap by swapping gung-ho manifestos, such as “No more sugar ever!” for realistic, enjoyable weekly goals, like trying a new low-sugar recipe each week. Check-out our recipe page for ideas to get started on your weight-loss goals. When goals are manageable, measurable, and enjoyable, you are more likely to see them through.
“I lose motivation when I do not see results every week.” Often, people do not give themselves enough time and set unrealistic time expectations to lose weight. However, even small weight losses count. You need to realize that small steps are still steps forward in the right direction. People often quit right before they see results, but you must stick with it long enough first. With weight-loss, specific time frames will vary depending on your goals, but it may take as long as a few months to start seeing a visual change aside from the numbers on the scale.
“I am tired of focusing so much time and energy on my weight/diet.” When you are trying to lose weight, focus on the journey and not the destination for a better shot at success. Researchers from the University of Toronto found that setting a performance goal is less effective than setting a learning goal. So, consider focusing on learning when to buy food, how to prepare meals, and what to eat when dining-out.
“I rarely take the time to compliment myself on my achievements.” In the beginning, the reward may be seeing the number on the scale drop quickly, clothes fitting better, and people giving you compliments. There are also other ways to measure success and accomplishments that you might also want to acknowledge and affirm. Think of successes in the forms of behavior and attitude change, such as generally feeling better, being more active, giving up unhealthy foods, drinking more water, feeling more confident, having more energy, feeling healthier, etc. What are other measures of success that will motivate you? What do you do to currently reward yourself for your efforts? What types of rewards can you plan to give yourself each week? What kind of things can you say to yourself that will motivate you? Make them positive.