New Year Resolutions get a bad rap for being difficult to maintain – not because people are setting wild and out-there goals, but because it is genuinely hard to stay motivated in long-term efforts. Losing weight is one of those efforts because it requires a lifestyle change and not just a quick Band-Aid fix. It’s common for many people to shine with their weight loss goals during January, start to falter in February, and completely lose motivation around March. With the first two months behind us, we wanted to share some of our expert tips on how to keep your weight loss motivation after the first few months of the year.
The most important thing when setting yourself on a weight loss plan is to set realistic expectations. It’s not feasible, or healthy, to drop 20 pounds a month; setting goals that are too high will lead to stress and slip-ups, which will ultimately set you down the wrong path. Recognize that losing even a few pounds and keeping them off has incredible health benefits, and there’s no shame in taking things slow but steady. When you set hard goals like ‘I need to lose 15 pounds this month’, you’re setting the bar too high for yourself. Focus on things like ‘I want to walk an extra 15 minutes each day’, and you’ll find that it’s easier and more rewarding to succeed.
A great way to keep yourself motivated on your weight loss journey is to celebrate your successes, no matter how big or small! You deserve to give yourself some credit for achieving any milestone, but be careful to pick your rewards wisely. Rewarding yourself with food most likely isn’t the best call when trying to lose weight, but treating yourself to a manicure or getting a new outfit in your now-smaller size will help you feel good about yourself and your achievements.
If you find yourself losing motivation because you feel bad about being tempted by the office donut every now and then, remember that every plan has setbacks from time to time. There’s no shame in indulging in a slice of pizza once every few weeks and it can actually be beneficial in the long run. Cutting everything out at once is mentally taxing, and could potentially strain the relationships in your life and cause you to feel discouraged with your weight loss. You don’t need to stress about every family gathering because there will be ‘bad’ foods there, or worry about how many calories are in the beer you had at last night’s barbecue. Slip ups and accidents happen, and they aren’t the end of the world.
Weight loss is about feeling good about yourself, and we want you to feel good about what you’re doing. It’s difficult to keep motivated, but focusing on the small victories and letting yourself indulge every now and then can ultimately help you in your weight loss journey