4 Life’s top 5 tips to get you motivated to lose weight!

Most people understand what they need to do to lose weight. It’s easy right? You just eat more fruit and vegetables, less processed foods and exercise more. But if it was really that simple, why is it so difficult to start the weight loss journey and commit to exercising and healthy eating long term?
Lifestyle change is very much a black or white situation for many people. It’s all or it’s nothing, they are either exercising and eating healthy or they are inactive and eating the wrong foods. It all comes down to motivation and whether you are intrinsically or extrinsically motivated.
What are these different types of motivation we are talking about? If it’s sounding “gobble-de-gook” then perhaps you should continue reading.Have a think about what you love to do. Something you enjoy that has become a part of your life. This may be gardening for example. Why do you love to garden? What motivates you? Is it the neat, weed-free grass and the lovely flowers blooming, or is it the time spent outside in the fresh air and sunshine, having some time to yourself?

If the end result is what you seek, but you don’t enjoy the process, you are using extrinsic motivation to do that activity. People who want to lose weight are often motivated by the number on the scales. When this number doesn’t change quick enough, or they have made drastic changes to get the number down, starving themselves of the things they love, then motivation soon slips away, and they are back at square one.
Intrinsic motivation is key to long term commitment. This is when someone is driven by internal factors, such as enjoyment, or a moral obligation – because they feel an innate need to.

Considering exercise as a chore that needs to be done to fit in to that bikini for an upcoming holiday may work for a few weeks, but this type of motivation is rarely sustainable. Going for a brisk walk along the water, or doing some yoga before breakfast each morning may be what you really enjoy. If you complete this regular enough so that it becomes a habit, you will soon not have to think about it and it will become a part of your day to day life. You will crave the endorphins released and miss it if you skip a day.Balance is the key to success. So instead of black and white, think grey! 5 tips on how to create a heathy relationship between exercise and food is provided below.

  1. Weigh yourself less and focus more on your mood/feelings and sleep quality. By eating well and exercising regularly you will release those feel good endorphins, feel more energetic and get a better nights’ sleep.
  2. You can have your cake, and eat it too…just not every day. Whether it’s a glass or wine or the squares of chocolate that you habitually enjoy each night, why not try cutting back to one a night? Then perhaps to only a few nights per week. This way you can really look forward to it and savour each mouthful, rather than feeling guilty for having it too often, knowing that you shouldn’t be.
  3. Choose a type of exercise that you enjoy. If you can’t stand the seat of a bicycle, then why not try walking? Or if walking upsets your joint pain then perhaps you could try some water based exercise. Yoga and Pilates are also great ways to get you moving.
  4. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier in the morning. The early bird gets the worm remember? And what better way to start your day than 30 minutes of exercise? You’ll feel more energetic during the day whilst being more productive.
  5. Set short term goals to commit to while keeping your ultimate long term goal in mind. This may just be adding chia seeds to your morning porridge for added nutrition. Or filling a 1L water bottle each morning and focusing on drinking all of it each day for one week, then increase it to 2L the next week. Slowly replace poor habits with good habits.

Still struggling to make a start? Unsure what would motivate you to make the changes you need towards a healthier lifestyle? Try asking yourself WHY you want to change. And write it down. See our Decisional Balance toolto help. Make sure you include how you will FEEL to make these changes, or not, to really tap into your intrinsic motivators!