Need fresh ideas to keep motivated to lose weight? Here's how

  • 2 Minutes Read
Katherine Isacks
Katherine Isacks, MPS, RDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

With all the special occasions, co-workers, holidays, travel, friends, and family, how does anyone keep motivated to lose weight? Read on to learn how to set achievable exercise and nutrition goals for weight loss.

How to keep motivated to lose weight

How to keep motivated to lose weight

Motivation. What on earth is motivation, and why does it matter regarding your health or weight? What is it about staying motivated that is so difficult over time? Why do we get burned out or allow ourselves to drift off course?

There are no "golden rules" or "silver bullets" to solve the problem of waning motivation. However, you can use tips to maximize your motivation level to lose weight and maintain health. So what can you do to stay motivated? In other words, how do you stay mindful and engage in behaviors that directly affect your health?

Setting exercise and nutrition goals for weight loss

Try setting SMART goals

One of the proven ways to keep motivated to lose weight is having a SMART goal, which is:

You will more likely stay inspired and reach your goal if you can define it clearly.

Is this really your goal or someone else's?

Examine your health goal-do you believe it is truly important? If someone declared the goal for you, and you don't believe in it or care about it, then find a different goal that works better for you.

What worked for you in the past?

If you were successful in the past, what did you do? What kind of mindset were you in? Did others support your journey? Did you do anything differently concerning dining out, shopping, meal planning, or meal frequency? Did you walk or exercise more?

Has a major life event thrown you into a tailspin?

During these times, health-supporting behaviors often get placed on the back burner. Changes, both positive and negative, can disrupt healthy lifestyle behaviors. Examples: getting married, having children, changing jobs, losing a job, commuting longer, or moving.

Will you decide that your own health and well-being are important enough to shift your focus a little bit more to yourself? Telling yourself you don't have time because of the children or an elderly parent, gives you only a couple of choices: you either make time now or have to make even more time later. Poor self-care means your health status worsens, requiring a lot more time and costly attention later.

Have you had a significant loss in your life?

Difficult and sad events can pose a huge challenge for staying on a healthy course. Consider divorce, loss of work, injury, dealing with a very troubled family member, or the death of a loved one. These life events can plunge us into a state of constant caring for others, or worse, a feeling of numbness, despair, or depression.

How to keep motivated to lose weight when you have experienced a life change

What can you do to replenish your mind, body, and spirit? Do you need professional support or guidance to help you get through this difficult time? Are you grieving, or has it progressed into full-blown depression? Depression can interfere with your ability to meet long-term goals that require regular attention and juggling of time.

What will motivate you to lose weight and exercise? What will point you to setting the SMART goals? Dig deep and find out. Then ask for the help you need to reach those practical goals you truly believe are right for you.

Related content

5 Ways you can stay motivated to lose weight
Start with these 5 steps to crush your weight loss goals

This content was reviewed and updated by Brenda Braslow, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES on September 1, 2022.

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Weight Loss->Motivation Weight Gain->Unwanted Weight Gain Weight Maintenance->Motivation
Sep 2, 2022

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