You know how it is:
You’ve just started your new diet.
You’ve read the book or the blog.
Been inspired by the weight loss figures you’ve seen.
And you’ve decided you’re really going to do it this time.
The only snag is, at the back of your mind there’s this nagging doubt.
The one that tells you that you’ve been there, done that, had to buy the new (bigger) T-shirt when the weight loss promises didn’t work out.
But you’re telling yourself this time it really is going to be different.
The days of yo-yo dieting are over.
This time, when you shed those unwanted pounds, they’re going to stay shed and the new smaller clothes you buy will continue to fit you, rather than taunt you from the wardrobe.
The promise of losing lots of pounds in not many days without having to turn into some kind of freak who only eats lettuce is still fresh in your mind.
Then you start the new weight loss program.
The first few days are kind-of OK.
You’re telling yourself it’s not for long and that you’ll be able to have some tasty food again soon rather than the “meals” that would barely satisfy a toddler that you’re eating at the moment.
Or maybe you’ve gone the Paleo and you’re able to eat plates full of previously forbidden foods until your stomach almost bursts.
But deep down you’re yearning for whatever isn’t allowed on your new lose weight regime.
That’s normal – the bible called it forbidden fruit, so the idea of forbidden foods has been around for a very long time.
We’re almost designed to crave things that are banned.
That’s why alcohol consumption didn’t stop during the Prohibition.
Which can make staying motivated to lose weight a battle of willpower.
And we know what tends to win when we have to use willpower.
So what can you do to keep your motivation up until those scales finally read a nice looking figure and your clothes don’t make Homer Simpson look like your role model?
Start by going public with your weight loss goal.
Post it on Twitter and Facebook and anywhere else your friends might notice it.
Maybe text a few close friends asking them to nag you if you stray from your chosen weight loss path.
That works better when those friends see you regularly.
I had someone text me a few years ago but I rarely meet up with them in real life and judging by his recent Facebook photos he’s not exactly kept up his motivation.
To me, he looks chubbier than ever. So I guess the various friends he texted didn’t see him often either.
But if you’ve got an understanding friend or – better yet – one who also wants to get rid of that spare tyre around their waist, report in to each other on a daily basis.
The mere fact of reporting can make all the difference.
Personally, I keep a spreadsheet so I can check back on my weight.
Sometimes it’s not exactly uplifting reading.
But it’s a record.
So when my friend (who’s also on what seems to be a permanent diet) asks when was I last this low in weight, I can check back and congratulate myself that I’m the lowest I’ve been for a certain number of weeks or months or even years.
They do say what gets measured gets done and that’s just as true of weight loss as it is in other areas of your life.
Whether you take your weight daily (at the same time of day to rule out as many variables as possible) or weekly or less often doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you’re weighing yourself.
And preferably recording – honestly – the figures.
Another way to stay motivated to lose weight is to use an app that calculates the number of calories you’re eating.
Food diaries were never a particularly good way to track what you eat.
It’s way too easy to “forget” to write down the occasional cake or whatever.
An app isn’t much different – you still have to do the tracking – but because you’ve got your phone with you all the time, it can be a lot easier.
Again, more so if you’re working alongside a friend.
Even if you’re not normally the gambling type, a bet can be a good motivator for weight loss.
Agree with your friend that whoever has lost the most amount of weight by a given date wins some money from the loser.
Even something as low as $5 or $10 can be a real motivator.
Or a meal out as a congratulations 🙂
Another thing to help keep you motivated is the actual design of the weight loss program you’re following.
Some programs are designed to be used as a short burst – maybe a few days or weeks.
They’re usually easier to keep your motivation because the end is already in sight.
But there needs to be a maintenance plan for when they finish.
It’s even more demotivating to lose weight for a while and then watch all the lost pounds creep back on, often joined by pounds that weren’t initially lost so you end up heavier than you were before your diet started.
Been there, done that, moped about it.
It’s pointless putting yourself through food misery only to make up for it at the end of your diet.
Things like the 5:2 diet and the 4 Hour Body (slow carb) diet work by allowing you to eat relatively normally.
On the 5:2 diet, you’re really only dieting for two days a week. The rest are pretty much normal.
The 4 Hour Body is more extreme – you’re dieting 6 days a week but allowed to binge as much as you want on the 7th day.
It also allows wine (preferably red) on a daily basis which a lot of people like because alcohol is often forbidden on diets.
To almost borrow a phrase from a charity here in the UK, a diet is for life, not just for Christmas.
That’s where the diet plan comes into its own.
Weight Watchers has been successful with that kind of program – the points system works for a lot of people, as does the motivation that comes from weighing in at the local meeting.
One other way to stay motivated to lose weight is to train your mind to help you rather than hinder you.
That’s actually easy.
Hypnosis can take all the otherwise hard work involved and just communicate directly with your subconscious mind – the part that’s currently doing its best to tell you that “just one” slice of cake won’t harm.
It’s as simple as downloading a professionally recorded track, pressing play and letting the hypnotist and your mind take care of the rest.
It can make all the difference between staying motivated or giving up (again)
Click this link for a top quality, affordable, hypnosis track to help you stay motivated to lose weight.