Weight Loss: How to Stay Motivated
With the New Year comes new excitement and a fresh perspective on your health. It encourages you to reflect on your previous goals, and to begin focusing on some new ones.
After the thrill of overindulging throughout the holidays, often comes a resolution for weight loss. This excitement helps you to wake up for that early morning workout, squeeze in time to meal prep, and even say no to the pastries in your office lunch room.
But after the excitement settles down and weight loss stalls, how do you stay motivated? As a nutritionist, the following tips are what I recommend or my clients to stay focused as their initial motivation wears off.
Focus on One Change at a Time
New goals bring a lot of excitement, as well as a need to make all the changes at once. But maintaining multiple changes in habits at the same time leads to feelings of overwhelming guilt, and, eventually, throwing in the towel. And back to your old habits you go!
To see success in weight loss and maintain motivation, it takes patience and a willingness to go at it from a different angle.
Begin by focusing on one small change that you feel confident you’ll succeed at quickly. This will give you your first win, which leads to the encouragement you need to keep going. When you take the necessary time to build on each habit, they will start to stick. As you master each habit, the more difficult changes will not be as hard as you first expected.
Here are a few changes I get my clients to start with:
- Drink 8–10 glasses of water a day.
- Add 30 minutes of exercise to your daily routine.
- Eat 1–2 cups of vegetables at each meal.
Try Something New Weekly
Often, motivation gets lost simply because weight loss has stalled, but if you switch things up by trying new things, you can keep your body guessing and the pounds falling off.
Boredom is another reason why motivation dies down. By adding new things in weekly, you keep yourself excited and focused—even when the scale isn’t moving. That’s an important step in changing habits!
I always encourage my clients to pick one of the following new habits to add to their routine each week:
- Pick out a new fruit or vegetable.
- Try a different exercise class or workout video.
- Find a new recipe to add to your meal plan.
Look for Small Wins That Add up to Big Changes
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to lose perspective when you lack excitement and motivation? You work so hard to make a little progress, and then quickly forget why you started in the first place. Those big wins keep you motivated, but being able to stay motivated when it feels like you aren’t moving forward is even more important.
Becoming aware of each win, big and small, helps you maintain perspective when you’re feeling discouraged or tired of putting in the effort. Learning to celebrate everything is one of the most critical steps in successful habit changes.
I encourage my clients to keep track of the following:
- Write down three big goals you want to accomplish: One physical, one mental, and one habitual.
- Keep a weekly progress report where you write down three wins from the week, no matter how big or small they may seem. This is also a great way to keep track of your progress on your big goals.
- Every month, reflect on your big goals to keep yourself on track, and reflect on your weekly progress reports to remind yourself of how hard you’ve worked, and how far you’ve come.
When it comes to weight loss, the initial motivation is great for getting you started, but that motivation needs to flex your willpower muscle over and over until these changes become your new habits. If one of your goals this year is weight loss, try these tips to keep you on track to meet your 2018 goals!
Sharisse’s Easy Detox Juice
1 red pepper
1 red apple
Peel your beet and carrots, and cut them into large
pieces. Core and seed your pepper and apple, and
cut them into large pieces. Juice in your juicer, add
the lemon juice, and serve immediately. Or, place
in a high-speed blender until smooth (you may
need to add a little water to get the desired
Sharisse Dalby, Nutritionist (RNC)
Registered nutritional counselor, she helps families and children
beat their health struggles, focusing on digestive and emotional