Sometimes the motivation to lose weight is so strong that you can pass up a slab of your favourite dessert like someone just offered you the chance to bite into the 1994 dog eared issue of Cosmopolitan magazine from your doctors waiting room. Other times, you can feel like a hoover vacuum, emptying snack bowls as you graze feed your way to a total caloric melt-down.
Motivation in fitness is primarily fuelled by two factors, change and preparedness.
When you see positive changes in the mirror, when you feel an elevated change in your mood, confidence and outlook, when you experience the way your clothes fit better - all of this change builds up your motivation score.
Preparedness comes down to not having to test your motivation on the fly, when you are more likely to be off balance, hungry, emotional or just bored. When you are not prepared to make a good choice, or you are in an environment where you feel vulnerable, your motivational powers are at their weakest, leaving you susceptible to making decisions that don't support your fitness and weight loss goals.
It’s you against...the world.
During the daily hustle of life, motivation to lose weight can come and go, and most of the world's food and entertainment marketers are spending billions of dollars actively trying to pull you off track. It’s a gauntlet of temptation out there, and heading out each day without a plan to support your motivation is likely going to fail. Here are 12 proven, common sense strategies for keeping your motivation powers for weight loss intact.
Accept that your motivation is low.
Don’t beat yourself up. You will face enough outward resistance in your weight loss quest, don’t pile up more on yourself. The truth is, weight loss can be extremely challenging, evidenced by the incredible obesity epidemic that has overtaken our modern societies. In this fight, you can’t afford the luxury of a negative thought. Treat yourself like someone that deserves your compassion, care and understanding. You need to support yourself in this journey. Your motivation isn’t a shield, it’s a feeling. Align your thoughts in a way that allows you to support yourself. Treat yourself like best friend - not a bully.
Ask yourself what is going on with you.
In the spirit of kindness, ask yourself what is causing you to feel a lack of motivation. Your lack of motivation to lose weight might be something quite simple. Maybe you are bored. Maybe you are just a bit tired because your sleep has been off. It’s possible that you are feeling a lack of motivation in an adjacent part of your life - it’s hard to feel genuinely motivated as a whole if you have a complicated family or work situation. Checking in with yourself to figure out what you are actually feeling can go a long way to solving your motivational issues. Don’t try and take on motivation in general terms - break it down into causes - this will help you avoid catastrophizing a temporary loss of motivation and help you get to the smaller, fixable, root causes of what has your tank feeling low.
Start looking around.
When it comes to powering your motivation, change is good. Maybe it’s time to shift gears and get into a new fitness program. When was the last time you tried a completely new workout or trainer?
The act of trying something new - be that a free 5 Day Strength Training Bootcamp, a free 5 Day Intro to HIIT Bootcamp, or a new fitness streaming platform, can reboot your motivation by focusing on the challenge of a new experience. If you are sleepwalking through your fitness journey, then your motivation will likely also be asleep. Set an alarm, and wake it up with something new.
Don’t allow yourself to get bored.
If you’ve been doing the same workout, using the same gear, wearing the same outfits, listening to the same music, I’m willing to bet that your motivation is suffering because you are likely bored out of your skull. It’s possible that your fitness grind has become groundhog day. Boredom is something that can go by undetected for months or years. Once boredom calcifies like a blocked artery, it will eventually kill your motivation. Change kills boredom. If you feel like you have mastered your workout routines and exercises, try throwing our Balance Trainer into the mix. All of those exercises that you are doing in your sleep will suddenly become new again, and the challenge will reawaken your mind and body, feeding your motivation with some new effort juice. The new muscle activations and core clenching movements that the Balance Trainer provides will reignite your workouts and give you a fresh pulse on your fitness. You can pick up our Balance Trainer here for 50% off with code TRAINER50 while limited supplies last.
Schedule your motivation.
If you wake up every night at 1:35 am to go foraging in the kitchen, and these nightly carb attacks are playing havoc with your motivation, make the time to disrupt your nightly tip toe session with some motivation. Put a healthy snack in the fridge that you will actually want to eat. Have a glass of water ready.
Motivation only becomes an effective superpower when you’ve planned on using it. How ready is your motivation?
Limit the opportunity to make bad choices.
If your intention is to stay motivated to lose weight, set yourself up for success by limiting your chances of motivational failure. Your environment (including the people around you) will offer up some of the biggest challenges to your motivation. Do the people in your life truly support you? Do certain places and locations make you feel more vulnerable than others? If you bring home certain foods, are you asking for trouble? When we plan to use our motivation, we have the time and foresight to make better choices. Don’t choose to knowingly put yourself and your motivation under threat. Choose you. Choose to support your goals. Protect your motivation so it can be there for you when you need it. This is another form of self-care.
Set yourself up for success.
If you are ‘hangry’ (hungry to the point of frustrated anger) and I put some extremely tasty fast food in your hands, what chance are you giving your motivation? A general lack of daily awareness, planning and foresight will cripple your motivation. As we’ve said, motivation can be a powerful force, but only if you plan its use. Motivation won't serve you nearly as well when you are faced with making lightning fast decisions without a lot time or options. You take motivation to a long distance gunfight - when you have the space and time to select your target and aim. Motivation in random situations and unplanned environments that are full of temptation is like walking into a knife fight. Things can go off the rails fast and your success or failure is going to be a coin toss.
Guilt and shame don’t help.
If you mess up on your diet or miss your workouts, don’t add insult to injury by laying down an all inclusive guilt trip. If you ate something that qualifies for the cheat meal hall of fame, put it into context. How did you eat yesterday? This week as a whole? Focus on the larger patterns of wins to keep yourself motivated.
Try one new healthy recipe per week.
A varied diet will keep you from getting bored - remember - change is good for you. When was the last time you ventured down a different aisle at the grocery store? When was the last time you discovered a healthy new flavour? It’s likely time that you shake things up in the tastebuds department. Delicious, healthy foods can kickstart more than just your weight loss - they can be a powerfully motivating factor in making better food choices as a whole. If you are looking to rock your diet, check out our BodyRock Meal Plan - it comes with an easy to prepare cookbook and recipe guide that our trainers use to keep their nutritional motivation firing.
Shop and Workout.
Shopping is one of the most psychologically powerful motivators. When was the last time that you invested in a new piece of fitness gear to add a new challenge to your workouts?
Put away the scale.
The scale is the blackhole of motivation. Motivation (along with confidence, self-worth and hope) gets sucked into that dial as soon as you step on, and it can’t escape the vortex of self doubt that starts to swirl as soon as that number displays itself. Looking for motivation? Go with how your clothes fit and look in the mirror. Numbers on the scale can lie like a politician, especially if you are Strength Training. The numbers on the scale can remain fixed, even as you are shedding inches and burning off excess body fat. Don’t fall for it - love yourself enough to start tracking your progress on how you look and feel. Your favourite jeans fitting better will boost your motivation to lose weight more than any number ever will.