6 ways to kick start your weight loss motivation
Motivation is a funny old thing. It's really quite challenging to stay motivated, on point, on your game, for a long time. And achieving your weight loss goal can take a while, certainly if you want the results to last.
The secret to achieving your weight loss goals is eating well consistently, at a balance of around 80/20 (80% lean good foods, 20% is whatever you want it to be).
Consistency requires you to make those great choices most days. Lack of motivation doesn't come when you have one crazy wine fueled night out - lack of motivation comes when that night out leads to a day of eating crap, then the next and then the next. It comes when you can't see anything other than eating crap in your future and never achieving your goal. I'm being dragged down even typing these words!
There is another way, taking a little time to understand your amazing human nature can pay off. Here are 6 really great tricks for helping you eat well consistently without taking that slide into lack of motivation.
These 6 come different perspectives and places, find the one that seems to click with you and try that one first.
1. Get clear on your why:
Motivation is defined as "a set of reasons or a reason for behaving in a certain way."
Why are you doing this? What will it bring you? both materially in terms of weight lost and how you'll look but also how you'll feel when you are comfortable and at one again in your skin.
It can help to have a totem, something physical that reminds you of your why. One client has a summer dress she loves that she wants to wear this year. For me, my motivation is to keep my energy levels high - I know if I eat well and move most days I have energy - if I eat badly for a couple of days I really have to drag myself off the sofa and out. What's your why?
Sometimes we look on motivation as the single required force that keep's you moving forward. Your ability to consistently behave in a certain way may need more than motivation alone. Particularly around food! Read on for 5 more tips...
2. Never (ever) say you are 'On a diet':
The First rule of Eat Love Live!
By saying you are on a diet you open yourself up to resistance from that powerful tiger brain of yours. Food is critical to your survival and by overloading your thoughts with eating less and deprivation, which is how we view diets in the main, you'll start to alert him to the fact you are reducing calories. And you'll start to crave high fat, high sugar foods.
We are fantastic creatures, just amazing in our ability to survive against the odds. Why do we think a think a diet will somehow be able to override thousands of years of evolution?
So don't say diet - change a handful of things so you keep eating easy. If you need a place to start make it snacks, wine and sugary breakfasts are the main culprits - pick one and make it work better for you.
3. Simplify your choices, eat and repeat:
Let's say you are a month in and you are starting to feel like you don't have mojo anymore. See what you can do to make eating well simpler. Can you have just 2 pack lunches you rotate in the week so you don't have to think about it?
Pick the 4 evening meals you love and eat and repeat.
Make it easy on yourself and build in those Reds (See no 6.) so you get the food adventure you crave, it's OK to have a slightly boring diet if it helps you achieve your goal.
4. Stop thinking you need to be motivated to succeed:
Motivation is your reason for eating well, but there are stronger forces at work, like your Tiger, that can override a weight loss goal.
What you really need is the ability to 'just do'. Forget about how long it will take you to reach your goal, forget about planning for it and thinking about it, just focus on making your next choice one that works for you and your goal.
That may mean eating a salad for lunch when you really wanted a duck wrap. It's not always going to feel amazing when you make that great choice - but if your goal is weight loss every single choice adds up and when you weight yourself (Once a week at most!) - then you'll get that little kick of success again and you can reconnect with your motivation.
5. Celebrate the small stuff
The difference between someone that succeeds in the long term and someone that quits and reverts is an Oww brain vs a Wow brain. An Oww brain feeds on pain, ' this is hard to do'. 'what's the point', 'I can't lose weight' etc. A Wow brain is motivated by gain at every step - even when things go belly up ' Interesting, OK next time I'll do this instead', 'I lost a pound this week that's brilliant', 'I ate 6 portions of fruit and veg today, nailed it'.
Wee are conditioned to want everything fast, including weight loss. It's so key to celebrate each little step because it's hard to get that satisfaction rush when it will take time to achieve your ultimate goal.
Celebrate even what you consider to be slow and steady weight loss - because like the tortoise and the hare the slow weight loss will win in the end. All weight that's lost fast will come back on, because nothing has changed really. You will return to the same relationship with food and the weight will go back on. Slow weight loss always wins the race because you change for the long term.
We have a tendency to deploy a 'scorched earth' policy if we eat in a way that doesn't help with our goals. Everything goes out of the window. What you need to remember is how far you've already come, a week of eating badly can't undo any of that - just make a great choice in the next moment.
6. Plan ahead some Reds: On my programmes my clients have 2 'Reds' a week. A Red is a meal when they eat whatever they want. Red isn't for a warning, Red in this case is for passion, the mantra is eat well for health and happiness. To be able to eat well consistently, for 80% of the time you absoutely need that 20%. 80/20 - it's the law! Plan a week ahead and mark out your two 'Reds'.
Your Tiger is yours to tame. Motivation or mojo aside- being on a diet will not serve you. Make small tweaks, celebrate the small stuff, love your 80/20, understand your true nature in all it's power and beauty. And just do.
PS: Grab my free download with Tiger Taming built in - the 28 day ELL journal - kick start your weight loss one week at a time - click here!