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As you go along your weight loss journey with Phen Caps, it’s important to remember that it is a journey, and some days it is going to be a little harder than others. For this reason, it’s important to have some strategies to keep yourself focused so that you don’t lose sight of the goals ahead of you and why you want to achieve them. Here, we present the top eight ways to stay motivated and keep you on the right track to losing weight!
Name one reason why losing weight is bad for you - can you think of any? Now list the consequences of not losing weight. As painful as this might be to think about the possible negatives, it can also be motivating to think about where a different journey might take you. Write the negative consequences of not exercising and continuing to eat unhealthily, such as low self- esteem, pain, illness, and medical costs. Now, write down all of the reasons why losing weight is good for you. Making a long list of positive, reinforcing reasons to remind yourself why you’re doing this will give you a great boost and help you focus. The two lists will show you where abandoning your weight loss journey will lead, and why it’s important to stay on track.
Too often we can get frustrated focusing on the scale or the things we can’t do, but thinking this way is likely to deplete your motivational levels. Instead, concentrate on your mood after you’ve eaten a healthy meal or after you’ve done a workout - motivation doesn’t have to come before an activity, it can also come as a result of it. If you focus on how great you feel after a workout, not only will you gain the benefits of the exercise, but you’ll also get the reinforcement of remembering how good it felt, therefore increasing your motivation to do more.
Instead of waiting until you’ve got to the big finish line to reward yourself, plan something really amazing for your halfway point, like an exciting trip to a museum or theme park. This way, when the initial excitement and motivation has faded slightly and your main goal still seems distant, you’ll have something to look forward to along the way, meaning you’ll be less likely to throw in the towel when things get tough around that midpoint marker.
Although the scale can be a great tool for monitoring progress, many people can get into the habit of weighing themselves too often. While some research has shown that daily weighing can be helpful for people to maintain their current weight, the same is not true for those trying to lose weight. Weighing yourself every day, or in some cases even several times per day, can send you on a roller coaster of emotions based on temporary fluctuations in the scale, which aren’t based on body mass or fat. Instead, track your progress with regular weigh-ins around the same time each week.
Even if you do everything right, sometimes the scale doesn’t budge, but don’t let that discourage you! Keep a record of the accomplishments you’ve made, such as how many consecutive days you stuck to your calorie limit, or how you went to the gym five times this week. Celebrating these achievements will motivate you to set new challenges, such as aiming for five more crunches each workout, or trying to drink more water. Furthermore, if you are exercising you’ll be gaining lean muscle, which really does weigh more than fat, so also measure inches lost and how your old clothes fit and you’ll see changes in your body that your scale may not show.
If you’re struggling to stick to your weight loss intention, try to practice integrity in other areas of your life. Why not deliver on your promises to family, organize your finances, or clean out your closet? Try to focus on completing tasks in other areas of your life in order to strengthen your own belief in yourself, showing that you are more than capable of seeing something through to the end. Cleaning out your closet is also a great opportunity for you to sort out your ‘fat’ clothes so that you can donate them to charity. Getting rid of them will remove the possibility of going back to your unhealthy habits and your old clothes, and help you visualize yourself in your new wardrobe.
Many of us have a bad habit of using self-criticism as a motivational tool, especially when it comes to weight loss. However, not only does this tactic not work to motivate us, it could actually have the opposite effect by sabotaging our best efforts. When we become self-critical, we engage our brain’s survival reflex, increasing feelings of stress and releasing cortisol, which in turn causes cravings for fatty and sweet foods.
Instead, we should learn to accept and be comfortable with our bodies, even if they are not yet perfect, as this has been shown to have positive effects on weight loss efforts and in maintaining healthy eating habits. Also, try some self-appreciation; be grateful for how your body moves and all the things it does for you. Shift your focus from how you look to how you function, cultivating gratitude for your senses - your ability to walk, dance, and play with your children.
If all else fails, strip back your plans and take it half a day at a time. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the miles ahead of you on your journey, simply focus on what is immediately in front of you, such as the first half of your day - you can do anything for half a day! Once you make it past the first half, focus on the rest of the day to continue your good work, and to stay motivated rather than overwhelmed. Concentrating on the smaller details can put things into perspective and make you feel like you have a better handle on the bigger picture.
With help from Phen Caps and these great tips to help you power through an ‘off’ day on your weight loss journey, staying motivated with your exercise and eating plans should be a little easier. If you are struggling, it’s perfectly acceptable to have a bad day, but remember not be too hard on yourself. Instead, take a look at how far you’ve come and don’t lose sight of your goals and why you set them in the first place.
Let us know if these strategies have worked to help motivate you, and if you have any motivational tips of your own, we’d love to hear them!