Saturday, 15 February 2014

Tips for Weight Loss Motivation

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Since posting about my weight loss journey last month, I've had a lot of messages from people who are currently embarking on their own weight loss journeys, many asking for tips and advice. I'm not a diet or fitness expert, so I'm not going to sit here and tell you how to lose weight. But, having been there myself, I know it can be difficult to find the motivation to carry on sometimes, so I thought I would share with you my tips for staying motivated whilst losing (and maintaining) weight.

1. Find a plan that works for you. It's so important to find an eating plan that works for you, otherwise you will never have the motivation to stick to it. I chose Slimming World because of the variety of food I could still eat, but it doesn't suit everyone. Do your research and find out the do's and don'ts of your chosen plan before you commit to it fully. There's such a wide variety out there that you are bound to find something that suits you. Similarly with exercise, you need to find something that fits in with your current lifestyle. If you only have a spare 10 minutes, go for a walk or jog around the block. If you prefer to have more of a routine, join a weekly class.

2. Set yourself realistic goals. You're not going to lose a stone overnight, so don't push yourself to do so. Setting yourself unachievable weight loss goals will only demotivate you more when you are unable to reach them, so always set yourself an achievable target. This might be to lose 2 pounds each week, or 2 stone before a holiday in three months time. Also, take into consideration what is healthy for you individually. It wouldn't be healthy for a person of 5ft tall to be aiming for the same weight target as someone of 6ft. You can find BMI charts online which will show you a healthy weight range for your height.

3. Give yourself visual reminders. Whether it's that dress in the next size down that you want to fit into, or a "before" picture that you never want to go back to, it always helps to have visual reminders to inspire you. When I first started my weight loss journey, I bought myself a size 10 dress and told myself that was what I would fit into when I got to target. Whenever I felt like giving up, I would get the dress out and remind myself that I don't want the money I spent on it to be a waste. Another good way to keep a visual reminder is to take monthly update photos. Take a picture of yourself in similar clothing throughout each month of your journey as a photo diary you can use to look back at your progress - it will be so motivating to see how far you've come.

4. Always plan ahead. Planning your meals for the week ahead before you go food shopping is a great way to stay on track. If you know what you need before you go out, you're less likely to sneak in any extra naughty foods, or grab a takeaway as you've got nothing at home. If you know you've got a busy week ahead, make large batches of meals the week before and freeze some of the portions, that way you've got something to quickly heat up and eat when you're in a rush. If you can, try and plan times during the week where you can fit in some exercise. If you have some exercise time pencilled in, you're more likely to get up and do it rather than just thinking "I'll do it when I find some time".

5. Make little tweaks to your lifestyle, one step at a time. Changing too much too quickly in our lives can sometimes be too much for us to cope with, and can lead to us giving up. Changing one or two things at a time, and learning to adapt to those changes first is a good way to ensure you continue with your weight loss journey. When I joined Slimming World, I made sure I got to grips with the eating plan before I introduced exercise into my journey. And when I did start exercising, I started slowly and built it up, just walking round the park to begin with, and eventually going for a run. You don't need to make massive changes straight away to make a difference, just take it one step at a time and you will still feel the benefits.

6. Treat yourself when reaching milestones. Lots of weight loss groups give out certificates as a reward when members reach various milestones, usually for every half stone lost, but you can also reward yourself when you reach these mini targets too. Had your eye on a new handbag? Promise yourself you'll go out and buy it when you get your next stone award. It will motivate you to keep going to get something you really want.

7. Don't beat yourself up if you slip up. We're all human and are bound to have a slip up along the way. Perhaps you had a bad day at work and felt like you needed a takeaway. These little slip ups, as long as we don't let them get us down, can actually be a good thing. No one wants to feel like they are on a diet for the rest of their lives, so we need to treat ourselves every now and again. We still want to go out and enjoy time with our friends, so if that means taking a night off plan then so be it. Just draw a line under it the next day and go back to plan. The more you beat yourself up about it, the worse you will feel, and the more you will crave the naughty foods to make you feel better. I've had times during my journey where I've had a cheeky takeaway and still come out with a weight loss at the end of the week because I knew as soon as that meal was gone, that was my treat for the week and it was time to get back to healthy eating. Going back to my first point, finding a plan that works for you will also help you get back on track after a slip up, as you'll want to get back on it more if you've been enjoying it.

8. Try new things & mix things up throughout your journey. Whether it be trying out a new healthy recipe or buying a new workout DVD, bringing a bit of variety to your weight loss plan can help you stay on track. It can be so easy to get stuck into the same old routine, eating the same thing for breakfast every day, or doing the same old circuit at the gym, but eventually you will get bored of it. Trying something new keeps the interest there and, you never know, you may find a new favourite. There are so many places online that you can search to find a new recipe or workout to try. Or if you go to a weight loss group, ask other members what they do - they may come up with something you've never would've thought of!

9. Seek help from others. Friends and family can be a great source of motivation. Tell them about your journey so they can help you when you're having a down moment, or they can celebrate with you when you achieve your next milestone You may even gain a new gym buddy through it! This is a really tough journey to go through, and you don't want to be doing it on your own, so make the most of the support from the people around you. If you don't want to tell the people around you straight away (I know it can be quite scary at first, especially if they haven't been through this sort of thing themselves) there are also lots of online communities dedicated to weight loss which you can join, so you can talk to people who are going through the same things as you. As well as the emotional support these communities bring, they are also a great place to swap tips and recipes.

10. Remember this is your journey - don't compare yourself to others. No two weight loss journeys will be the same. The person who joined group at the same time as you has reached their target before you - so what? That's great for them, but if you keep going you will get there too. Weight loss should not be competitive or turn into a race. The more we compare ourselves to how other people are doing, the less we focus on what it right for us and our own health. Stick with what works for you and celebrate in others success and soon they will be congratulating you too.

Good luck to those of you who have started a weight loss journey of your own, I hope my tips have been useful to you. If you have any tips of your own, please leave them in the comments section as I would love to read them.


  1. These are great tips! I used to find it hard to motivate myself but recently I've become totally addicted to healthy eating! Lucy xx

    1. Thanks hun! I know what you mean about becoming addicted - it makes me feel so much better physically so you do become a bit addicted once you get into it xx