Join Date: Oct 2000
Weight Loss Motivation
I expect you feel that your weight loss motivation already exists by the bucketload.
You've been trying to lose weight for ages, right?
You want to be successful in your weight loss so much and yet you know that you struggle sometimes.
You feel at times that your willpower just fails you and you don't know why you can break your diet so easily when you want more than anything to be healthy and slim.
We've all been there! Why is it so hard and what can you do about it?
Here we explore
• what makes you eat that chocolate cake , when you'd rather not for the sake of your diet
• what stops you from going to your exercise class, when you know how much you would benefit from it
• what you can do to help your motivation to stick to your diet and exercise routine
So why do weight loss programs promise so much and succeed so rarely?
Weight loss programs fail because you want to eat more/move less than you want to lose weight.
It sounds simple and yet when we look at what drives you to eat and what stops you from moving the picture becomes complex and involved.
There's no one simple answer fits all. There are many reasons why food passes our lips and why we don't get off our sofas and "Just Do It" as the adverts implore us.
In What makes you break your diet we explore the many types of hunger and how to deal with each one, so that you can stick to your diet - weight loss motivation without the gritted teeth determination, which seems to be accepted by dieters as a necessary evil.
Our What stops you from exercising section looks at ways to motivate yourself to keep up with your exercise program, so you just do it, no matter what and achieve a double hit of losing weight and feeling wonderfully fit and healthy at the same time.
Weight Loss Motivation
What makes you break your diet?
No matter how great your weight loss motivation, you invariably break your diet at some point. Why is that?
You break your diet because you're hungry, in some way, and food is everywhere!
You just can't avoid seeing delicious food, even if you wanted to. It's in the office, it's at home, it's on TV, it's the focal point of nearly every social occasion, it's on every street corner. It's as if your weight loss motivation is under attack everywhere you go! And the more hungry you are the more delicious everything looks!
So given we can't remove all tempting food from your reach, controlling hunger is the key.
You may think that being hungry is a necessary evil when you're dieting. (Haven't we all heard the diet gurus of the past spouting "Hunger is your friend"?) But it's just not true! Help your weight loss motivation by dealing with your hunger, in the right way.
Now, how do you stop being hungry on your diet without stuffing yourself all the time eating the fridge empty?
The answer lies in identifying your hunger! What type of hunger is motivating you to eat?
1. True physical hunger. You haven't eaten for a few hours and your tummy is rumbling because it's empty. Cure for this is just to eat. And eat before you get too hungry and wolf everything down!
2. Low blood sugar hunger. Typically within a couple of hours of eating some quickly digestible starchy or sugary food you'll feel hungry again. The body is looking for food to replace the sugar quickly again. Cure for this is to eat slow-release foods regularly throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels even.
3. Cravings. These can be caused by
o a sensitivity to food - you may actually crave the stuff that you're slightly allergic to e.g. Allergy to wheat and you crave pasta and bread. Cure is to detect and deal with your allergies. See a specialist if you suspect that your cravings are allergy based. Clues are always craving foods with the same basic ingredient, wanting to eat them several times a day, finding it physically difficult to leave them out of your diet.
o a deficiency in nutrients. Your body craves what it is lacking. Cure is making sure you have a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement each day.
o a feeling of deprivation. Cure is not to ban any food from your diet. Everything in moderation.
4. Comfort eating. There are quite a few reasons why we eat for comfort. These range from stress, low self-esteem, guilt, loneliness, boredom .... The list is endless. The cure involves identifying your own personal reasons for using food as comfort, facing up to your need and finding other ways to get solace than trying to fill the gap with food.
5. Social Hunger. You're not really hungry but you have been offered food and it might upset your friend if you refuse. After all she made you a cake, went to all that trouble. Or you're out at a restaurant. Everyone else is eating dessert. You've just eating a main course so you're not hungry but you join in anyway. Cure is to be clear about your reasons for wanting to lose weight /stay slim and to value yourself enough to be assertive (without hurting the feelings of others) as well as deciding to put your long term goals before short term satisfaction.
You need to be a bit of a detective in identifying your own patterns of eating and what is contributing to your breaking your diet. Use the clues above to start solving your own situation.
Weight Loss Motivation
Keep up your exercise routine
When it comes to weight loss motivation, are you an exercise drop-out?
You start, full of good intentions, resolving to get fit, healthy and slim and then, somewhere along the line, you lose interest and stop going for your walks, stop attending your class. It's a common pattern. Why do we do this?
Do you say to yourself...?
• It's too much effort. I can't be bothered.
• I don't have enough time, I'm under enough pressure as it is
• It's much harder than I thought
• I'm not enjoying it
• I can't see what difference it's making
• I feel too awkward, I feel people are looking at me
Ask yourself why you no longer have the level of desire that you once had, to find the clues you need to know what to do about it. Your own weight loss motivation will be a combination of factors unique to you.
Do you still want all that exercise can deliver?
If you do, then it means finding a way to keep your desire to be fit alive, while reducing the things that make exercise feel like a negative experience for you.
Motivate yourself to keep going :
1. Focus constantly on what exercise can give you. This is a key principle for Weight Loss Motivation. If you don't really want the results you will get, you will never keep up your routine. Continually confirm to yourself your decision to get fit, slim and healthy.
2. Look at how you feel about exercise
What do you say to yourself at these times? If you had a personal trainer to support you what would they be saying to you? How would you then view it differently? Be your own coach and help yourself get going.
3. Just resolve to do a little. Constantly tell yourself that you are doing well while exercising, knowing that you can stop at any minute. Don't distort how hard it is in your mind. People often exaggerate the effort, the discomfort of exerting themselves. Feel the pleasure of pushing yourself a little. Some discomfort is part of really beneficial exercise. Acknowledge those sensations as momentary.
4. Focus on the things you like about exercise rather than the discomfort - the good feeling you have about yourself once you've done your session, the feeling of being out in the fresh air, the camaraderie of the girls in your class, the great music etc.
5. Focus on the good you're doing to yourself, not how unfit you feel.
6. Say to yourself "I'm getting stronger, slimmer and fitter every second I keep going". You are doing yourself some good every time you exercise. Don't worry about visible results. Congratulate yourself every time you take any exercise at all.
7. Don't compare yourself to others. There will always be people slimmer or fitter than you. Make the focus of your weight loss motivation your own personal best.
8. Resolve to reserve the time for exercise. What is more important than your health? Watching TV? Cleaning? Overtime at work? I don't think so. What priority are you giving your well-being. Remember that if you are fit, well and happy with yourself this will benefit others too. Every child deserves a happy parent, every boss would rather have a fit employee.
9. Adopt a positive attitude towards exercise. Decide to look forward to each session and to get the maximum benefit out of it.
10. Chart your progress. You'll see how each week you're able to do a little more.
11. Find an exercise that you feel comfortable with. Enlist the support of a friend as your fitness buddy. If you're not sure you can do anything, just start by walking short distances every day and then gradually add speed and time to your workout.
12. Look for fun ways to fitness - try dancing, ice skating, skiing, hill walking. Find your own pleasurable activities. Fitness does not have to mean the gym.