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How to stay motivated when losing weight

Getting started with healthier lifestyle changes in order to lose weight is tricky, maintaining your new routine and continuing to build motivation to carry on can be harder.

Motivation is what will help keep you on track to reaching your goals and many of us will have different motivations. Losing weight is no easy feat, but by adopting a positive attitude, you really can achieve anything you set your mind to.

In this article, we’re going to share some simple ways to keep yourself motivated when losing weight, so that you always feel up to the challenge.  

How to stay motivated when losing weight

1. Identify your goals

If you haven’t already, set some goals so that you have something to work towards. These goals should be SMART, which means:

  • Specific -  for example, don’t just say your goal is ‘to exercise more’, specify how many pounds you’d like to lose over the next 2 weeks or the number of calories you’d like to burn each week.
  • Measurable - make sure that there is a way to measure your goal. In the case of losing weight, you could weigh yourself at the end of each week and log this information.
  • Achievable - make sure that your goal is realistic and achievable. For example, saying that you want to lose 1 stone in a week is unreasonable and when you don’t hit your targets, you can feel less motivated. Setting yourself a goal like ‘I’m aiming to lose 2 pounds each week for the next month’ is going to be much easier and if you find yourself hitting or exceeding your expectations, you can always set yourself a new goal.
  • Relevant - your goal should matter to you to keep you interested in achieving it. Think about the health benefits ahead or how your confidence will grow with weight loss. 
  • Time-based - setting yourself an ‘end date’ will give you something to work towards. For example, you could set a date where you will assess your progress and set new goals. 


2. Remember why you want to lose weight

Write down all of the reasons why you decided to lose weight and place them somewhere to remind you of those reasons every day. For example, you could note reasons on post-it notes and stick them on your fridge or beside your bed so that you can always see them. 

If you found it difficult to pinpoint the reasons why you want to lose weight or you’re looking for some inspiration, here are some common motivators:

  • Wanting to reduce health risks - those who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk of developing health issues such as type 2 diabetes, artery disease, some types of cancer and strokes (NHS).
  • Wanting to be more active with the family - playing and running around with children can be exhausting and sometimes you may feel unable to join in and spend quality time together. This can leave you feeling deflated but by losing weight and exercising more, you’ll notice you gain more energy and are more able to keep up with all the action.
  • Wanting to gain more confidence - our weight can impact our self-esteem and confidence but taking control over your health can give you the boost you need to go about each day. 
  • Wanting more independence - our body weight can sometimes be restrictive - whether that is down to not having the confidence to run errands alone or simply not having the energy. By adopting a healthier lifestyle, you’ll notice a positive difference within yourself (both mentally and physically) which can help you to regain independence. 
  • Wanting to improve mental health - Being healthy and active can have a real positive impact on your mental health, helping you to think more clearly and decrease stress levels. 


3. Log your progress in a journal

Keep a diary and monitor your progress daily to ensure you’re on track. Make note of what foods you are eating, any emotions and changes in your weight. Writing down how you’re feeling about your weight-loss experience is a great way to get in touch with your thoughts and research has shown this helps people lose more weight. That said, try not to fixate on the numbers staring back at you on the scales - weight loss can take time and whilst you may be shedding fat, you may also be gaining muscle which can skew the scale's reliability; gaining muscle is perfectly normal and will help you to build up more strength. 

4. Celebrate each and every success

As we’ve established, losing weight isn’t always easy and most of us will struggle or doubt our abilities from time to time - this is why we need to celebrate each success, no matter how big or small. Lost a couple pounds in a week? Great! Feeling less stressed each day? That’s also great! It’s important for you to praise yourself for both physical and mental changes as a result of your hard work and you could even consider treating yourself as a reward. That said, if you decide to reward yourself, try to avoid unhealthy treats and look into ways to further motivate yourself (i.e. you could get yourself a new pair of running shoes or take a cooking class).

5. Get support from others

Whether you’re struggling or not, don’t be afraid to reach out to loved ones or a weight loss support group and talk about your weight loss goal with others. Here at LiveWell Dorset, we’re always here to lend a supportive ear to guide you through your journey and can give you the help you need. Equally, it can be really beneficial to let family and friends know that you are trying to lose weight and you could even inspire them to join you in becoming healthier. 

6. If you slip up, don’t let it get you down

We all make mistakes, learn to forgive yourself if you ever have a bad day and don’t let it take away from the positives you’ve achieved. 

If you’ve got any social events coming up and you’re worried about resisting temptation, you could always bring along healthy alternatives or let those around you know that you’re trying to stick to a diet plan. 

7. Spice up your workout plan

If you keep doing the same old fitness routine, you risk becoming bored and therefore, demotivated.Tackle this by actively searching for new and exciting exercises to try or consider joining fitness classes where you’ll be introduced to new calorie-burning ideas.

Why not take a look at some of our home exercises to lose weight to get started?

8. Explore new healthy meals

Just like exercise, if you’re eating the same meals each week you could grow tired of the usual dishes and become tempted by unhealthy foods. Why not try to learn a new healthy recipe or experiment with flavours to bring a little more life to your plate? 

You can find new meal ideas and plan ahead with the Easy Meals app, a free app developed by the NHS. 

Want help to keep motivated when losing weight? 

If you’re looking to lose weight to maintain a healthier lifestyle, we are here to help! Here at LiveWell Dorset, we have a friendly team of advisors and coaches to support you through your journey of losing weight, keeping you motivated and on track to reaching your goals. Why not register with us today or get in touch to learn more about our services?.


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How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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