You’ve tried to get up, get out and eat right but it all collapses a couple of days in and you’re right back to where you were, making unhealthy choices, not exercising, feeling uninspired and unmotivated to lose weight.
You know you need to but you can’t find the desire. Don’t be disheartened- it’s possible!
Here are some foolproof ways to find that motivation.
Get motivated to lose weight!
1. Visualising for weight loss
In a recent study researchers from The University of Pennsylvania tracked a group of obese women and their weight loss journey.
The women were asked to fantasise about 4 hypotheticals- two situations where they saw themselves losing weight and two scenarios where they were tempted by food.
Those who had negative fantasies, i.e. saw themselves not losing enough weight or saw themselves indulging in food, lost on average 12 kgs more than those who had positive fantasies!
This surprising result could be attributed to the fact that those who imagine their ideal self may be undermining their motivation to lose weight because the results of exercise and eating over one week is not instant. Losing weight takes time, consistency and patience.
In order to facilitate motivation, be realistic about how much weight you can lose. Instead of the end goal of, for example, 40 kgs, break it up into increments: I will give myself 3 months to lose 10 kgs. Then when you’ve achieved this goal, you’ll be driven to achieve the next 10kg goal over 3 months until you get up to 40kgs. The key to keeping up motivation is not just to visualise the end game.
You need to also visualise yourself having a stressful day and eating unhealthy foods, missing a day or two of exercise. When (not if!) you find yourself in this situation, accept it and move on. Do not focus on your failures, restart your commitment to weight loss. If you continue to dwell on your stumbles along the way, it will only hold you back.
2. Willpower for weight loss
Research has found that willpower is similar to a muscle, it starts off strong then fatigues if you don’t give it a rest.
Relying on willpower for motivation and weight loss can be a downfall because any other activity that requires effort, such as functioning through the day after a bad nights sleep or dealing with stressful events, depletes willpower.
Research in social psychology has shown that we are more likely to stick to a commitment if we make it publicly. This is because we are held accountable by others to stick to the commitment and the fear of not achieving this commitment drives us.
Start telling family and friends about your weight loss journey. Set your social media profiles on private and make a post about your commitment to lose a certain number of kilos.
3. Role models for weight loss
British psychologist Richard Wiseman conducted an experiment of 5000 people on the psychology of weight loss motivation. He tracked half the participants achieving their goals for one year, the other half for six months.
Unfortunately, he found only 10% had achieved their goals. Due to this dismal success rate, Wiseman looked at what motivated people to achieve their goals. He found that role models if used correctly are one of the most inspirational and motivational sources of goal achievement. Unfortunately sticking a photo up of someone you think looks good is not going to cut it.
A good role model is someone you can relate to. Read their autobiography, blogs or watch interviews of them. Choose a role model based on their decisions not on their looks. Having Elle Macpherson on your fridge is not going to motivate you to do anything except eat more as your anxiety rises through the roof and your thoughts of inadequacy and helplessness increase.
Weight loss is not an easy journey and is filled with obstacles. Commit to your journey and surround yourself with like a minded and positive community, like The Healthy Mummy community!
Join thousands of mums on the MUMS ONLY Challenge
Whether you have five kilograms to lose or 35 kilograms to lose – The Healthy Mummy is here to SUPPORT YOU and your PERSONAL WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY.
To find out more on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge click here.