Over one-third of the population is either overweight or obese. Being overweight is enough of a concern, but obesity increases the risk of illnesses such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and kidney and liver diseases substantially. Overall health and disease prevention should be the ultimate weight loss motivation for everyone, but these goals can sometimes slip out of view in our daily lives.
Being healthy, improving the way you feel, and decreasing the medications you must take are much more obtainable and practical goals than losing weight to look like a picture you see in a magazine or an actor on TV. Losing weight for vanity’s sake is rarely a motivator that lasts over a long period, but losing weight to improve your health is a long-term weight loss motivation that may yield amazing results.
We have taken a thorough look at why it is important to lose weight and why weight loss motivation is a challenge for many. Here, we will provide you with some proven tips that work for many people: advice that may allow you to stay motivated over the long term and reach your weight loss goals.
What Are the Most Important Reasons to Lose Weight?
When you ask a person the most important reasons to lose weight, you may hear a wide range of reasons that are important to them personally. The reasons below, however, are cited most often, and we agree that they represent the most important reasons to lose weight.
1. Overall Health
While eating right and exercising are great ways to lose weight, some people cannot get truly motivated until there is an issue with their health and well-being. Our overall health should be important to us. By losing weight, overall health will begin to improve. It will be easier to climb the stairs without exhaustion and breathing difficulty, for example. Joints won’t ache as badly as they did before. Heart, kidney, and liver functions should improve.
2. Disease Prevention or Reversal
It is a fact that we should begin to think about our weight before disease becomes an issue. But the sad fact is that, in many cases, diabetes, stroke, heart attack or heart disease, and other issues with our bodies have to rear their ugly heads before we take note and take real action. Many diseases such as diabetes can be prevented, or the effects and dangers will be reversed to some degree just by managing our diets and controlling weight.
3. Mental Health
If you look better and feel better, your overall image of yourself will likely improve. Your confidence in yourself and your ability to accomplish your goals will increase, and your overall mood will change for the better and be more positive. This change for the better will give you even more weight loss motivation.
4. More Energy
Whether one of your priorities is playing with your kids or grandkids, going for a long walk each day, or hitting the nearest ski slope, you will have more energy to do the things you need and want to do if you maintain a healthy weight. Some activities that were limited or impossible when you carried that extra weight around will no longer be out of your reach. Once your ability to do these things is recovered, you will have even more reason to be motivated and keep making progress.
5. Your Children May Be Less Prone to Becoming Overweight or Obese
When parents lose weight and begin to make better choices in eating and physical activities, these choices often get passed along to their children. Children learn from their parents and they often do what they see them do. If parents and grandparents are making better food choices, engaging in physical activities due to increased energy, and modeling a healthier lifestyle, children will learn to do these things, too.
6. Ditch the Meds
When people lose weight, they are often surprised and pleased to discover that they no longer need certain medications that, along with their benefits, have unpleasant side effects and create dependency. People who take medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, and acid reflux, to cite just a few ailments, can sometimes eliminate this requirement through weight loss and other healthy steps.
Overcoming the Challenges of Weight Loss Motivation
Weight loss motivation is a challenge for many of us, but there are ways to overcome the lack or loss of it and be successful in meeting your weight loss goals.
1. Find Your Triggers
We all have certain things that make us want to eat and cause weight gain. Our triggers are usually not real bodily hunger, but mental triggers such as boredom, anxiety, stress, or sadness. These states and emotions will challenge your weight loss motivation and can become stumbling blocks if you are not careful to learn what they are and find ways to overcome them.
For example, if you eat because boredom sets in, get up, move, and find something to do to stave off that boredom. If it is sadness, call a friend or someone you trust and have a conversation. Good habits to replace bad ones are the best way to overcome these challenges.
2. Get Mentally Prepared
It all starts in the mind. Deciding to lose weight and following the plan you set for yourself to do that must start in your mind. Mentally prepare yourself every day for what you will do that day to help you reach your goals.
3. Creating Goals and a Plan
Create specific, obtainable goals and then decide how you will reach them. For example, it is better to say, “I will reduce processed foods and soda, increase fresh foods and water, and lose 10 lbs in three months,” than it is to just say, “I’m going to lose 50 pounds,” and not have a plan for how to do it. Not having an obtainable goal and a plan will lead to frustration and disappointment.
4. Get Accountability
Once you are mentally prepared, know what your goals are, and have your plan in place, ask someone you trust to help you stay motivated. A spouse or friend can help encourage you to reach your goals and hold you accountable to your plan and goals. Although you can reach your weight loss goals alone if you must, it is always good to have a person who can help you conquer challenges along the way. If you are going to the gym as part of your weight loss goals, you can enlist a personal trainer or coach to help keep you motivated, too.
5. Clean Out Your Pantry
If it isn’t in your house, you can’t eat it on impulse. Clean out all the unhealthy food triggers from your pantry and refrigerator. Get rid of processed and unhealthy foods and stock up on more fresh, all natural foods. Get healthy snacks and bottled water or buy a water filter. Create a food chart, plan your meals, and make your food choices better ones. Making better choices available to yourself and being able to see them when you go to the kitchen is a great way to overcome another hurdle keeping you from meeting your weight loss goals.
Tips for Staying Motivated & Getting Fit
Next, we are going to look at proven ways to stay motivated, lose weight, and get fit.
1. Photograph Your Progress
Start with a picture of you at your heaviest and then, each month, take a picture of yourself in the same clothes. Note the changes. Be proud of them! You are making progress and seeing that progress might just be the purest, most powerful weight loss motivation. Post your progress on social media if you are comfortable doing so. Receiving encouragement from others is another great way to stay motivated.
2. Buy Something You Will Eventually Wear
Whether you love a great pair of jeans, or you prefer a swimsuit, a pair of shorts, or an attractive blouse, buy something that you will eventually be able to wear when you “downsize.” If your goal size is to fit into a size six, then buy something in size six and hang it somewhere you will see it every day (maybe beside the mirror). Remind yourself daily that you will fit into that garment one day.
3. Plan a Reward for Yourself
Weight loss takes time. Just as you didn’t get where you are in your career or family life overnight, you won’t reach your weight loss and fitness goals overnight. So, to keep yourself motivated, plan something that you really want to do when you reach a set milestone, such as taking a vacation, indulging in a spa day, or something else you wouldn’t typically do for yourself. If your goal is to lose fifty pounds, reward yourself when you reach twenty-five. Or, if it is taking a while to reach half of your goal, consider giving yourself a small reward such as a pedicure when you lose the first ten.
4. Remind Yourself What Could Happen
It is great to look at all the positives, but it isn’t a bad idea to remind yourself what could happen if you don’t lose weight. Living a longer, healthier life is the ultimate weight loss motivation, so remind yourself what could happen. Read up on what excess weight does to your heart, kidneys, liver, and other organs and when you feel like you can’t keep going, remind yourself that your health is certainly worth all the effort and discipline.
5. Consider Family and Children
What could you do with your children, grandchildren, spouse, or other family members if you lost weight and had more energy? Write these aspirations down and look at them regularly. Love is a powerful motivator, too! Losing weight and getting healthy for the ones we love is great weight loss motivation.
6. Fulfilling Your Dream
Do you have a dream? Is there something you always wanted to do or somewhere you always wanted to go? Perhaps you want to hike the Appalachian Trail, or climb Mount Everest. Maybe you want to learn to ski or try skydiving. Whatever it is, there is probably something that your weight and fitness level holds you back from doing. Put a picture of that dream before you and use it as weight loss motivation when you need it most.
7. Two Are Better Than One
Another way to stay motivated is to find a friend that also wants to lose weight and begin your journey together. Weight loss motivation comes into the picture naturally when a friend joins in. You can trade healthier recipes, walk, exercise, and simply hold each other accountable until you both meet your goals.
8. Find Like-minded People
Even if a friend or relative isn’t available to go on a weight loss journey with you, there are weight loss groups that you can join where you can meet people who are trying to lose weight. This is a great way to stay motivated and to meet new and interesting people. A quick Web search should lead you to great options in your area.
9. Mix It Up
Boredom can push any aspiring weight-loser off track and cause him or her to lose motivation. When it strikes, you should try new recipes, go to different walking spots or a different park, and look for different workouts. However you decide to do it, mixing things up will help you keep boredom at bay.
10. Share with Others
Share your progress and encourage others to join you in getting lighter and healthier. Study emotional triggers, learn what sugar does to the body, research what improving your diet can do for your heart and other organs, and then share what you learn with others who are struggling. Helping others on their journey is a powerful way to stay motivated and to keep others motivated as well.
Without a doubt, getting healthy is the ultimate weight loss motivation. Improving health and well being, having a better quality of life, preventing or reversing disease, and being able to enjoy more activities with the ones you love means everything. The tips we have shared should help in getting you to where you want to be in your weight loss journey. We believe that incorporating these practices into your everyday life will get you started and motivate you to continue.
Once you begin to see progress and reach certain milestones, don’t forget to reward yourself for them. This, too, will build your confidence and keep you motivated. Others will notice… and don’t be surprised when they come to you wanting to know what you are doing to get such great results! Don’t hesitate to share your journey with them because doing so is a great way to build weight loss motivation for others and for yourself.