The Do's and Don'ts of Weight Loss Motivation
One of the best weight loss strategies is by keeping motivated, as it can earn great success by keeping you complied and inspired to reach your goals. But how do you keep motivated to lose the weight? Here are the do's and don'ts of weight loss motivation:
DON'T: Set Unrealistic Goals
"I want to lose 100 pounds before my class reunion" or "I want to run my first marathon in a few months." Do any of these aspirations sound familiar? While they certainly have potential to be achieved and are admirable, making unrealistic and lofty goals can actually be detrimental to their success. Biting off more than you can chew can be disheartening, especially if they are not met in a specified time or even quickly.
DO: Make SMART Goals
Making SMART (an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) goals has shown to be most effective and increase compliance. A general goal would simply state, "I want to lose weight." A more approachable SMART goal may specify, "I will lose one pound each week by eating a well-balanced diet, exercising more, and tracking progress through before and after pictures and weekly weigh-ins."
DON'T: Dwell On Mishaps
Even if aiming to follow the most structured and ambitious schedule, a busy life can cause missed morning workouts and meals resorted from the drive-thru. However, it is important to not dwell on such mishaps, move on, and be easy on yourself, as recurring negative thoughts can detour and diminish motivation.
DO: Overcome Setbacks
So maybe indulging on a scoop of ice cream rippled into an empty carton... But rather than dwelling on individual situations and fueling the risk of emotional eating even more, learn from and overcome setbacks. Doing so detours destructive feelings and behaviors, ultimately keeping motivation on track and accelerated.
DON'T: Focus Most on the Scale
The scale can keep weight in check and all, but obsessively focusing on the number reflecting back at you is not recommended. Compulsively stepping on the scale can be mentally damaging, along with setting the stage to low morale for the rest of the day and discourage any motivation.
DO: Focus On Health
Rather than fixating on the scale, focus on overall health. By joining the "No-Scale Club", you are likely to heighten senses, reduce anxiety, and unleash freedom, along with greater attention to other health parameters. More specifically, individuals are encouraged to validate progress and success using body measurements, progress pictures, and self-worth reflections.
DON'T: Discount Minor Victories
Did you wake up early to exercise for the first time in months, only to be hard on yourself not running as quickly as normal? Rather than deconstructing any perceptions or realities, focus on those victories, even if they seem minor. Because hey, your motivation to not snooze your alarm and head out for a run takes precedency over not lacing up and hitting the pavement!
DO: Celebrate Small Wins
Similar to the running example described above, allow yourself to celebrate (sm)all victories of any size ! It is also important to remember weight loss does not occur overnight, and those small victories that lead to larger results should be recognized and celebrated. Ultimately, small wins can result to large results and motivation to keep going.
DON'T: Reward Yourself with Food
While it is certainly okay to indulge every now and then, it is important to not continuously reward yourself with food. For instance, if you tackled a rigorous workout, and though you should properly fuel for muscle recovery, do not actively seek out a box of donuts or cookies. Weight losers tend to overestimate just how many calories they burn, in turn resulting to overcompensation with food and increasing the risk of weight gain.
DO: Offer Non-Food Incentives
Whereas regularly rewarding yourself with food is off the table, there are numerous non-food incentives to consider, including a new pair of headphones, an hour massage, or simply other "you" time. It is important to reward yourself for all the hard work you have put into your journey, as even small rewards can motivate people to go the extra mile and earning success!