50 ways to stay motivated to lose weight

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Well, it's the middle of January, is your motivation starting to wane? Never fear! We asked some of the nation's top experts – doctors, psychologists, fitness experts, life coaches – to give us 50 of their best inspirational tips for staying motivated to lose weight.

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50 ways to stay motivated to lose weight

  1. 1. Read more:http://www.weightlossvn.com/2012/11/50-ways-to-stay-motivated-to-lose-weight_23.htmlHow Can I Get Motivated to Lose Weight?Well, its the middle of January, is your motivation starting to wane? Neverfear! We asked some of the nations top experts – doctors, psychologists, fitnessexperts, life coaches – to give us 50 of their best inspirational tips forstaying motivated to lose weight.Here’s what to do when you are losing steam, not pounds:1) Think wellness not weight loss. Do you only make good food choices whenyou are trying to lose weight? This could lead to rebound weight gain if you goback to your old habits once you’ve reached your goal. “You have to eat everyday, so why not eat better every day?” advises Rania Batayneh, MPH.2) Set reasonable goals. Ask yourself if what you are trying to accomplish isreasonable. “Trying to achieve too much in too little time can actually set youback” warns Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of Integrative Health and Healingat Miraval Resort & Spa. Losing 50 pounds in 2 months is unreasonable, butlosing 10 pounds in 2 months is.3) LIMIT but do not ELIMINATE. “Eliminating your favorite foods will justmake you want/crave them more,” says Rania Batayneh, MPH. Instead,Batayneh suggests allowing yourself those less healthy choices, but finding away to limit your intake (in portion or frequency) to avoid feelings ofdeprivation.4) Pace yourself. Taking on too much at once is a recipe for disaster. Instead oftaking on a bunch of new tasks you aren’t exactly looking forward to (a new
  2. 2. exercise plan, new strict eating regime), why not take bite-sized action steps?“Work on a task youve been postponing for ten minutes and then decidewhether or not to continue. If you discontinue the task, schedule another time toget it done” suggests Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of Integrative Health andHealing at Miraval Resort.5) Try tipping your scales with blue. Did you know that the color blue is aknown appetite suppressant? Why not use a little color to help you stay ontrack? “Eat your dinner on a blue plate and youll discover that you need less tofeel full,” advises color intuitive expert Elizabeth Harper.6) Take stock of any and all of the positive changes new eating habits havebrought you. Instead of focusing only on the changes you aren’t seeing yet(i.e. a drop in your scale weight), focus on the benefits you are noticing, likesaving money by not wasting it on junk food, or your increased energy levelfrom exercising, advises Valerie Berkowitz, author of The Stubborn Fat Fix.7) Celebrate the small victories! “Remember that fitness is more like amarathon than a sprint,” advises certified trainer Stacy Berman. “By settingsmall weekly or monthly goals you will be able to track your progress whichwill keep you motivated to continue as you reach them and step by step” saysBerman. And once you’ve achieved a goal, no matter how small, celebrate it!You don’t always want to feel like you are far away from the finish line –celebrate each milestone as you achieve it along the way.8) Wear red to get going! “If your energy is low and you feel lackluster abouta project or event (or working out?) then wear red,” suggests color intuitiveexpert Elizabeth Harper. According to Harper, red energizes your system,boosts your confidence and empowers you to action.9) Trick out your tracksuit! “Buy yourself some stylish workout gear thatmakes you look good”, suggests Kate Brown, Community Director for DailyBurn. “When you look good, youll feel good,” says Brown. Plus, you’ll bemuch more likely to put on your new gym outfit on those rough days (when itscold out/you are tired/its that time of the month, etc).10) Drop the "perfect" mentality. Did you slip up? Have a moment ofweakness? That’s OK, says Valerie Berkowitz, Director of Nutrition for TheCenter for Balanced Health. “Use any splurge as motivation to get yourselfback on track,” recommends Berkowitz. Rather than using it as an excuse to
  3. 3. have a donut for breakfast, as in I cheated last night, I might as well keepcheating, simply tell yourself that you will recommit, and make up for it.11) Be kind to yourself. Give yourself a hug once in awhile! Train hard, eatright, sleep well, but once a week, allow yourself an indulgence, says personaltrainer Stephen Cooper. Enjoy your favorite dessert, get a massage, or simplytake some time for yourself to relax.12) Nix the “all or nothing” approach. It’s critical that the changes you aremaking aren’t "all or nothing", says Beth Campbell Duke of Duke PersonalBranding. Use a calendar and gold stars to reward the efforts you are making. Itmay seem goofy, but it gives you a great snapshot of your efforts, so that nexttime you miss the gym or start to go back to old eating habits, you are lesslikely to feel like you failed at everything and give up.13) Have an accountability partner. Find a friend, trainer, or group (10Pounds DOWN anyone?) that will keep you on track when you miss a workout,or feel like quitting suggests Stephen Cooper, certified personal trainer.14) Each day write down how your weight loss is making you feelhealthier. Focus on the feelings of better health, and not on thinness, suggestsexercise physiologist Dr. Michele Olson. You may find yourself moremotivated to continue working towards your goal, especially on days when thescale isn’t budging.15) When you fall down, get right back up and try again. You can’t controleverything, so why beat yourself up about a missed workout or diet slip up? Itseven OK to miss a workout once in a while says fitness expert Tony Horton. “Itdoesnt erase all of the hard work youve accomplished up until now, or meanthat you have to start over,” says Horton, “just pick up where you left off whenyou were able to”.16) Focus on what is going right. “Too often we become discouraged becauseweve missed a workout or two,” says Sport Psychology Professor Dr. RobBell. Instead of beating yourself up over the things you haven’t done (like eatperfectly or workout every single day), take a moment to acknowledge theactions you are taking towards your goals (such as cooking a healthy dinner,walking during your lunch break, etc) - while you are doing them.17) Stop focusing only on physical changes. Switch from vanity-based fitnessor weight loss goals to those that are activity, time or frequency-based,
  4. 4. recommends fitness instructor Kelly Gray. For instance, instead of vowing tohave a 6-pack in 6 weeks (which can be quite a feat to accomplish) aim to beable to run for 45 min 2-3 times a week. You won’t see results instantly fromworking out, but you can FEEL them instantly.18) Use your social network! Post it, tweet it, blog about it, whatever you like,but put it out there! “If you tell others that you are striving for a major goal, youwill find support that keeps you accountable and makes your steps to successless overwhelming” says Shelagh Braley of My Life List. By sharing yourgoals online, you may find someone else who shares your goals and can add toyour support system (just like we do here at 10 Pounds DOWN!).19) Schedule all your workouts at least a month ahead of time. Creatingworkout “dates” on your calendar really gives your plan priority and structuresays fitness expert Tony Horton, author of Bring It: The Revolutionary FitnessPlan for All Levels That Burns Fat, Builds Muscle, and Shreds Inches. Plug itinto your iphone, Blackberry, or Outlook calendar or write them down on anold-fashioned wall calendar.20) Choose one or two new, healthy habits to take on – not 10 or 20. Small,simple changes can help you reap large results says aging and longevityspecialist Sukie Baxter. Decide to do one or two small things each day, such asdrinking a smoothie first thing in the morning or carrying a water bottle duringthe day to stay hydrated. A few small daily steps can help you stick with newchanges, avoid overwhelm.21) Take a cue from your local coffee house and set the mood for yourmind. Many of us visit these high end coffee chains daily and happily plunkdown $4 for a cup of coffee (which if you think about it, is insane); but theirjob is to make you feel good in the store, so you don’t mind spending it. Andthat’s the key to making good nutrition and exercise a permanent part of yourlife says Kate Galliett, Personal Trainer forBarone Spinal Care. Get yourselfpumped up for your new workout plan in as many ways as you can – just likethe photos of the delicious drinks, upbeat music and tantalizing aromas thatsurround you in the coffee shop – so you don’t mind ‘spending’ the time andeffort on it.22) Change the scenery around you. “Behavior is often shaped by ourenvironment rather than pure willpower, says Catherine Kruppa, MS, RD ofThe Houstonian Club in Houston. For example, deciding to eat your favoritefrozen yogurt only while you are at the yogurt shop, rather than taking it home
  5. 5. and eat it out of the carton while watching TV. You’ll still enjoy your favoritetreat, but will likely end up eating much less of it.23) Sleep on it. According to Feng Shui, everything has energy. “Write downyour goal and sleep with it under your pillow” recommends Feng Shuiexpert Donna Stellhorn . Literally ‘sleeping on it’ (your goals) will helpincorporate that energy into you, and may help you manifest them sooner.24) Turn off the negative self-talk. Choose to avoid negative thoughts. Andwhen you do start to think negatively, have an "out" that will quickly take youaway from the negative thoughts suggests personal trainer Kate Galliet, “I askmyself, "Whats the payoff?" If the pay-off of the brownie that I want to eat isnot something that makes me leaner, fitter, happier in the long-run - Ireconsider my decision.”25) Have a Plan B ready. Setbacks will happen, but its how you deal withthem that matters most, says Catherine Kruppa, MS, RD. “Successful goalgetters use setbacks as motivation to re-commit,” says Kruppa, “identify whatcaused your slip up and use it as a learning opportunity”. Have a few differentoptions ready if your plan doesn’t work, and use obstacles as learning tools totry new things.26) Be Your Own Cheerleader. Place post-it notes all around your house withmotivational reminders such as, "I feel great!” or "food is fuel, I eat whenneeded," suggests certified personal trainer and chef Ursula Rafer.27) Keep your motivation (and goals) evolving. “I find my motivation aroundme - whether it is staying healthy to be around for my daughter, strong enoughto carry her or fit enough to keep up with her,” says health and fitnessblogger Maria Garofalo Mccauley. “When my motivation wanes after reachinga specific goal, it’s time to set a new one! Goals are evolving and dynamic Ilove always having something new to shoot for”.28) Cross train your habits. Mixing things up isn’t just good for your fitnessplan, but it also works with your daily choices as well says personal trainer PJStahl. For example, instead of eating out on Friday night, and potentiallyconsuming back all the calories you worked off all week in one sitting, why nothave host a healthy potluck dinner for you and your friends? Trading one oldnot so healthy habit for another healthy habit that you’ll look forward to just asmuch can help you make lasting changes.
  6. 6. 29) 3-Step your goal. Having a large goal (such as losing 50 pounds) can bepretty overwhelming and easy to lose motivation with since it takes some timeto achieve. Break down your goal into three, smaller, mini goals or stepssuggests fitness expert PJ Stahl. Creating a 3-step goal process can also helpyou gradually build healthy choices into your life, rather than trying to overhauleverything all at once.30) Evaluate your goal. How much do you really want to achieve it? If yourgoal isn’t valuable or important enough to you, you’ll lose interest fast says lifecoach Ronald Kaufman. Take a moment to re-evaluate what you are workingtowards – if its not something that is very important to you right now, this maynot be the time to try to achieve it, or you may need to create a revised goal,one that does excite you and motivate you.31) List the painful consequences of not achieving your goal. Sure, it’s niceto think about all the great things you’ll have/feel once you’ve achieved yourgoal, but it can also be motivating to list all the possible negatives that maycome about if you DON’T achieve it. “Write out all the negative consequencesof not exercising (poor health, pain, limited abilities, medical costs, lack ofsocializing, low self-esteem)” recommends Ronald Kaufman, authorof Anatomy of Success. And with each negative consequence, asks yourself:“What’s the consequence of? and “What’s the consequence of …?” – writingdown all of your answers until you’ve finished your full list, and then referback to it anytime you need a dose of motivation.32) Use You Tube for Inspiration. Some of the best motivational speakers areall available right at your fingertips! Why not download a few of your favoritevideo clips from You Tube suggests Danielle Miller of One Smart CookieLLC. Get started with Miller’s picks: Will Smith on Success and Richard St.John’s TED talk.33) Stay away from bad influences. Are there certain stores, foods or evenfriends that lead you to make unhealthy choices? Try to stay away from triggersthat may tempt you back into the unhealthy habits you are trying to breaksuggests personal trainer Nicole Palacios. Instead, find people, places andthings that will have a more positive influence on your lifestyle, and will helpfacilitate your goals.34) Keep a success journal. Documenting your successes in a journal can helpbuild your confidence in your abilities to accomplish your goal suggests bodyimage and success coach Stephanie Mansour. Keep a success journal next to
  7. 7. your bed and write down each day’s successes (which can be as seeminglyinsignificant as - fought through a sluggish day and still went to the gym).35) Name one reason why losing weight is bad for you. List as many reasonsas you can about why losing weight is bad for you. Can you think of any? Now,write down all the reasons you can think about why losing weight is good foryou, and make a nice long, positive list for reinforcement recommends Dr.Michele Olson, Exercise Physiologist at Auburn University Montgomery.36) Do some constructive venting. Research shows that "venting" actuallyhelps us transition from "stuck mode" to "solution mode". But instead of justcomplaining about why you can’t have what you want, list the three mainthings that are draining your energy from achieving your goal. “Take one ofthem and write down what you feel about that ‘drainer’ - what expectationsarent being met? What are you tolerating as a result of the drainer? Whatvalues are being compromised? Are you beating yourself up with ‘shoulds’ orother guilt? Once youve finished unpacking your energy drained, ask yourselfwhat you really want,” suggests Julie Lynch Principal of UncommonConsulting.37) Take it one ½ day at a time. Sometimes you just have to focus on one halfday at a time, says life coach Diana Fletcher. Instead of focusing on the milesand miles ahead of you on your journey, simply focus on what is immediatelyin front of you, such as the first half of your day. You can do anything for a 1/2day! Once you make it past the first half, focus on the next to stay motivatedrather than overwhelmed.38) Share your weight loss goals with friends and loved ones. Create asupport team – that will cheer you on and help keep you accountable alongyour weight loss journey, recommends Dr. Michele Olson.39) Get a taste of what you want. Sometimes losing just that first pound canbe the biggest motivator, says fitness expert Cari Shoemate. If you haven’t lostanything yet, think back to a time when you have lost those first few pounds –and let that feeling carry you through that tough workout that you arestruggling with.40) Recognize how far you’ve come. “I keep myself motivated by setting newgoals when I’ve reached one,” says weight loss success story blogger LindseyWarren Gambles, “I figure I can always add on a few more minutes of exercise,push myself just a little harder, do a few more crunches, pick up heavier
  8. 8. dumbbells, eat a little healthier.” Gambles also likes to take a look at pastachievements and acknowledge just how far she’s come – a strategy that hasbeen proven successful for long term weight loss.41) Pick up on visual cues. We are visual creatures, so use that to youradvantage! Flip through a new fitness magazine or scroll through a website, orwatch some fitness shows on TV to get inspired. “Use the cute workout clothesyou see, great bodies and also workouts all as new motivational tools”recommends Exercise TV trainer Cari Shoemate.42) Take note of your options and actions. Research shows that makingspecific movements forward, no matter how small, gives us more motivation tokeep going. “Take 5 minutes to brainstorm all the options you have forbreaking through whats holding you back and for making progress toward yourgoal (write down every option you can think of - including things like changingor tossing out the goal)” recommends Julie Lynch Principal. Review the listand pick out one option and then turn it into an action: decide what will you do,with whom, and by when.43) Know Yourself. Understanding who you are as an individual, and why youmake the choices you make, is so important. Don’t work against your naturaltendencies- work with them! If you are a walker, don’t try to force yourself intobecoming a marathon runner. If you are a social butterfly, take a new fitnessclass with a friend, or if you prefer solo exercise, try out a new Pilates DVD athome.44) Reward your Righteousness. When you know you have been good toyour body, treat yourself! Find a reward that inspires you- a new pair ofsneakers or workout outfit, a new music CD for your walk or pamper your feetwith a pedicure for all of your efforts. You might be surprised – that gold-star,pat-on-the-back goes a long way towards helping you stay motivated.45) Bliss Out. We all need a boost now and then, and sometimes the best wayto get it is by doing LESS, not MORE. Resist the urge to push yourself to yourlimits, and try going the other way. Try out a yoga class, treat yourself to amassage or simply sit still and just focus on your breath for 10 minutes today.46) Create a vision. If your goal is to lose weight, create a mental picture ofyourself having already achieved it. What will you look like, feel like, andmove like when you have accomplished that goal? Living as if you are alreadythere makes realizing your vision something you focus on daily.
  9. 9. 47) Stay simple. Avoid the lure of quick fixes like cleanses, sweat suits orextreme diets. Instead of overhauling everything, keep it simple. Substitute halfof your usual morning OJ with sparkling water or try your usual sandwich withone less slice of bread and more lettuce instead today. Swap out your favoriteTV show for a half hour with a book that you have been waiting to read. Offerto take your friend’s kids for the afternoon so that she has a few hours of “me”time, and then she can return the favor. Over time, these tiny steps can producemajor, lasting, easier to maintain, results.48) Get a theme song. Rocky had a theme song, so why shouldn’t you? Itsounds corny, but playing it (even singing and dancing along to it) can reallyboost your spirits when you are feeling uninspired and help you check back inwith your motivation. (One of our favs? Spaceman by The Killers – we love theline “It’s All in Your Mind”).49) Stay sane by cheating - once in awhile. “Planning a cheat, whether its asnack, a meal, a weekend or a week vacation, can make all the difference in theworld, says Valerie Berkowitz, M.S., R.D., C.D.E. By allowing yourself a little“controlled” wiggle room, you can avoid falling off the wagon big time. Andonce your “cheat” is done, go right back to your plan.50) Donate your "fat" clothes. Instead of holding onto your ‘heavy’ clothes –visualize yourself in your new wardrobe, recommends fat loss bootcamp Stephen Cooper. Better yet, picture how great you’ll feel in your newbody and clothes and get rid of the possibility of going back to your unhealthyhabits.Read more:http://www.weightlossvn.com/2012/11/50-ways-to-stay-motivated-to-lose-weight_23.html

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