Easy Steps to Stay Motivated to Lose Weight

Losing weight is hard work. You may find it hard to stay focused everyday on eating right and exercising. But losing your focus can mean a plateau or even regaining the weight you have lost. Here are some easy steps to follow to help you stay motivated and on track.

Create daily short-term goals

Long-term goals are important to give you a target, but they can be discouraging if they are your only focus. Make short-term goals that you can achieve on a daily basis, such as “I will run for 30 minutes on my lunch break 3 days this week”. Short-term goals allow you to feel a daily sense of achievement and the confidence that you can continue to lose weight.

Surround yourself with motivators

In a 2007 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine researchers Nicholas A. Christakis, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., and James H. Fowler, Ph.D found that a person will be more likely to lose weight if he has friends who have successfully shed pounds. If you spend a lot of time with people who are also trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you will have more resolve to stick with your healthy habits.

Reward yourself

Don’t wait until you have lost all the weight to treat yourself well. A new skirt or pair of pants that can be tailored as you lose more weight will make you feel good about yourself right now. Treat yourself to a massage after you have run your first 5k. Hire a baby-sitter and enjoy a romantic dinner with your spouse after a hectic week.

Seek out new challenges

It is hard to stay motivated doing activities that you have mastered. Keep your workouts challenging. Invest in a heart rate monitor to make sure you are working out in the proper heart rate range. Try a new class at your gym. Keep your meals exciting by signing up for a healthy cooking class. A challenge will keep you mentally engaged and take the boredom out of your routine.

About this Author

Tamara S. Melton received her master’s degree from Georgia State University, and is a registered dietitian through the American Dietetic Association (ADA). She has written nutrition and health articles for consumer publications for the past five years. Melton is certified in adult weight management through the ADA.