No matter where you are in your weight loss journey, it’s not uncommon to find your motivation waning over time.
Because weight management is typically a lifelong endeavor, boredom can easily set in or life can get in the way of your best intentions.
Either way, there are strategies that can work across the board to boost motivation when you need it the most.
1 – Remind Yourself Why You Want to Lose Weight
It’s important to explore why you want to lose weight on a deeper level. For many people, the motivation is to feel better, look better, have more confidence, be more comfortable with others, or achieve better health. These are the long-term aspirations and values that people strive for and are only achievable by maintaining focus.
Having a strong internal drive to lose weight is likely to be more sustainable and lead to long-term success.
2 – Boost Enjoyment to Fight Boredom
A healthy lifestyle program filled with ‘shoulds’ may be hard to sustain.
Instead, I empower you to build a healthier lifestyle that’s enjoyable, energizing and something you look forward to. Here are some examples.
- Regarding healthy meal planning, take time to find new healthy recipes so you and your family don’t get bored. There’s more to a dinner meal than a grilled piece of chicken, vegetable and starch.
- Consider planning themed dinner meals such as pizza night, taco night, pasta night, burger night, soup and sandwich night or breakfast anytime night. To sneak healthier foods into these meals, use progressive meal planning. Progressive meal planning allows you to make small changes to what you are already doing instead of creating an entirely new plan.
- Look up recipes to find ones that are calorie-controlled and contain more plant-based foods, lean proteins, higher-fiber and better-quality whole grains and healthy fats. For more ideas, you can check out my self-help book, Six Factors to Fit: Weight Loss that Works for You!
Regarding your exercise program, think about things you can start implementing to boost enjoyment. Here are some ideas:
- If you like music, adding an inspiring music playlist to your workout can be enough to elicit good vibes and make exercise something you look forward to.
- If you’re behind in watching favorite TV shows, consider putting home exercise equipment in a room with a TV and pair your workouts with watching your top, exercise-only shows.
- Try pairing exercise with listening to a favorite podcast or audiobook.
- Journal ‘daily deposits’ of how exercise positively affects your day, or even your life (e.g. taking regular walks improves my mood).
3 – Stay Connected with Others
As you build healthy weight loss into your life, you also want to build a supportive network of likeminded people to support your efforts. This may include family members, neighbors, friends, work colleagues or health care providers. It can even include an online support network.
My most successful patients are the ones who find ways (even virtually!) to stay connected with others, whether through attending free YouTube workout sessions, talking to friends who share healthy recipes, following blogs on stress management or meeting virtually with a personal trainer, physical therapist, registered dietitian nutritionist or a health psychologist.
The bottom line is to find what works for you. For most people, this involves not going it alone.
Stay safe and be well!
Robert Kushner, MD