“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” – Zig Ziglar
Setting the stage for weight loss and self-motivation is as important as the weight loss plan itself. Before you make space in your daily schedule for diet and workout sessions, you need to set up your mind for losing weight successfully. That means you should prioritize weight loss and never say you don’t find the time when it comes to health and fitness.
Define realistic and flexible goals
Break down your one big goal (losing 30 kilos, for example) into smaller goals, as I’d mentioned in “9 reasons why you are not losing weight.” Not only for weight loss motivation, but this also works for achieving any goal. START with what you feel you can achieve, and slowly raise the bar. For example, you can start with 1 or 2 kilos per month and then increase to 3 or 4. That means becoming more stringent in both diet and exercise as you proceed in losing weight successfully and sustainably.
Choose the right time for weight loss
Choosing the right time to start on your weight loss diet plans workout schedule is very important to keep you motivated to achieve your weight loss goals. Don’t start the weight loss plan when you’re going through some major changes like moving house or changing jobs. Take ONE CHANGE AT A TIME. Wait for things to stabilize and choose a time when you are not more stressed than usual. That being said, don’t go to the other extreme and find excuses to postpone your weight loss plans. THIS seems to be more of an issue, right? I get you, I’ve been there! Remember, the waiting applies only to MAJOR events in your life.
Don’t plan to lose weight just for a major event
Trying to lose weight because your sister’s/ best friend’s wedding is coming up next month? Or a family get-together? It just doesn’t work because, number one, you’re sure to lose the motivation and throw away all that caution and restraint the moment the event is over and number two, you’ll lose all faith in the weight loss plan because even if you had lost weight, you’re going to gain it all back in no time. Any weight loss plan has to be slow and steady for it to work and be sustainable. Your weight loss plan has to be an ongoing one if you want to stay motivated.
Check with your doctor
If you’re taking medication or gained too much weight in too little time or if you feel the weight gain is genetic, then you might want to consult your doctor before embarking on a weight loss plan. Not completely lose motivation and ditch your efforts, but start your weight loss plans AFTER you have addressed the health issues.
Choose your weight loss meal plan
A weight loss plan is more about WHAT YOU EAT than anything else. Seeing a dietician is the best option; in case it’s not possible, you can draft your own weight loss diet plan based on your current diet and lifestyle. It might seem daunting to make overall changes in your diet, so start by planning to cut down on sugar, salt, processed and fried food in your current diet and add more protein and vegetables. Once you start seeing results, you will be motivated to tweak more of your diet until you find a perfect diet that fits your routine and lifestyle.
You might want to read Tips on meal prep for weight loss.
Start a journal to stay motivated
I used to jot down on a notebook my weekly goals, diet, and exercise sessions and would be thrilled to tickmark each column when it gets done. Old-fashioned, but very effective. Try it and you’ll love it too! And don’t forget to add your once-a-week cheat day meal, when you can allow yourself a controlled portion of the food you’ve been craving for. Whenever you start losing focus and find it hard to stay motivated, pick up the journal and look at what you’ve gone through to reach the current situation. Feeling pride in yourself can motivate you to do better and better.
Control stress for effective weight loss
Stress is a highly overlooked cause of weight gain. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol are known to increase your cravings for junk food and accumulate belly fat. So it’s a lose-lose situation. Find ways to de-stress so that you eliminate one of the silent roadblocks that prevent the motivation and drive towards weight loss.
Don’t give up if you slip a little from your goals
All is not lost if you eat a cupcake. Since you’ve broken the rules for weight loss, don’t go for another. And another. Don’t use it as an excuse to give up. STOP right there and promise yourself to be motivated and get back on track. Forgive yourself and jot down in your journal to do some extra squats and cancel your cheat meal for the week since you already used it up.
Believe in yourself
Don’t let past failures haunt you. It’s not the failures, but the negative thoughts about the failures that are the worst enemies of self-motivation. Just because you failed to lose weight once doesn’t mean you can’t lose weight forever. The best thing is that you’re determined and well prepared (that’s what it means if you’re reading this!) to start your weight loss plan and that’s half the battle won. This time you’re more INFORMED. More PREPARED. And definitely more MOTIVATED. Period. You ARE going to SUCCEED.
So, is all the hype and preparation for weight loss necessary, and worth it? Of course. If you do not have a proper plan in place, there’s a lot of chance that you might lose motivation and enthusiasm and just give up. So, go for it!