Weight loss motivation tips are all over the internet and they all seem generic!
So I decided to make this list of rules I used to shed weight permanently.
Yes, permanently. I lost about 50 pounds over the years and haven’t gained them back, so you can trust me that these work.
What happened before that is that I would join the gym and go hard 5-6 days per week for an hour, and then when it got to be too overwhelming I would just quit. You could say I used to be an “all or nothing” sort of person…but that has changed over the last few years by a conscious decision I made to stop accepting ideas that used to percolate in my head like a bad pop song on repeat.
In terms of weight loss motivation tips, these are definitely not my favourite:
“No pain no gain”
“Push harder today to see a difference tomorrow”
“Pain is weakness leaving the body”
“Sweat is fat crying”
“Everything you want is outside your comfort zone”
These types of expressions used to be weight loss motivation tips for me, and perhaps the low self-esteem I used to feel pushed me to continually inflict pain on myself through harsh workouts and calorie restriction. None of it worked in the long term and all I had to show for it at the end was exhaustion, malnutrition and injury.
It took some time of self-reflection and counseling to stop this cycle of self-deprecation and come up with some new rules for myself. And the results have been nothing short of miraculous.
These days I eat more, push myself less and embrace my own unique blueprint. The closer I follow these new rules, the happier and healthier I am. And I find that the more my clients follow them, the better results they experience as well. So without further ado…
My Top 12 Weight Loss Motivation Tips That Actually Work
(1) Accept yourself for who and what you are, right now
In terms of weight loss motivation tips, this one is the most important.
I invite you to close your eyes and visualize a mirror in front of you. In that mirror you see your reflection with a lot of clarity and detail. Assess what you see and what you are dissatisfied with. Be real about it and dive deep into your mind for reasons as to why things are the way they are. Then, just accept it.
This is you. It is the sum of all your habits, thoughts and feelings about yourself. Some of them came from you, others came from people in your environment. Assess what is true and what is not and then I invite you to wipe that image in the mirror away and create a new image of who you would like to become, based on ideas that come just from you and not from any other person, advertisement or representation in popular culture.
From that moment on whenever you picture yourself I would like you to focus on that new image. Don’t ask how it will happen, just believe that it will and listen to your intuition about cultivating new daily habits that will contribute to this new version of yourself.
(2) If it hurts, stop
This one is simple. If we are in pain for any reason we should not work out. Period.
Pain is naturally “de-motivating” so this one is essential to my top weight loss motivation tips because it literally re-programmed my mind to love exercise.
(3) Rest adequately before next workout
If fat loss is the goal, then we need to take a look at our relationship with food. Exercising is not the most efficient way to lose mass. Exercising builds mass in the form of muscle in the case of strength training. It builds a strong body, good posture, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance.
We need to rest adequately between workouts in order for muscles to repair. Two to three times per week is all that is required for the average person.
(4) Engage in self-love practices
Showing self-love through self-care boosts self-esteem through the manufacture of brain chemicals that promote feelings of well-being.
Once a week I ask all my clients to get a massage, esthetics treatment (like a haircut or manicure) or to spend time in a sauna or steam room. It’s just as important as anything else.
Another way to engage in self-love is meditation.
Meditation gives the mind a break and refreshes you from the inside out. I use an app called Headspace and recommend it to all my clients.
(5) Eat a variety of foods you love
What you eat becomes You. In my mind it’s logical to think that if you love your foods then they will produce positive effects of love in your body.
Any weight loss motivation tips that promote restriction are destined to make you fail because pain negatively affects the mind. It helps to adopt the belief that the best foods are also the healthiest, and that way the mind is programmed to crave the foods that have the most positive effects for the body.
(6) Always switch it up
Doing the same routine over and over may build strength, but only in a limited range of motion by stimulating the same set of muscle fibres. This often leads to imbalances and injury.
It has been observation that the most physically fit people switch their routines often in order to challenge themselves in new ways, and build strength in new areas.
(7) Keep a positive frame of mind always
This is a hard one, especially if you’re like me and live in a cold climate and have to get up at 4:30 in the morning for a 6:00 a.m. client when you’d rather be in bed and watch the snow fall.
But you know what? It’s really all about perspective, and it takes creativity to find new ways to look at things. Instead of complaining internally each morning I like to think about how beneficial the cold weather is and how it makes my nervous system strong. And I may have to be at work for 6 a.m. but at least I get to wear gym clothes and runners each day.
I’m feeling better even as I type this! So how will you twist your “negative” circumstances into positive thoughts? Let your imagination take you to a better place.
(8) Never push beyond maximum effort
Hearing the grunting and groaning in the gym kind of makes me laugh at times, but it’s serious when one considers the effect this excess pushing has on the nervous system. It creates excess stress hormones that compromise the efficiency of the digestive system which may lead to inefficient burning of food and excess body fat. It also leads to premature aging.
Look at kids. They are beautiful and perfect. Have you ever seen kids playing and challenging each other to run or jump to a point of pain and discomfort? Why should we?
(9) Reject all ideas of perfection
I used to think that once I became “perfect” I would have all the things I’ve wanted to have – like love, wealth and satisfaction in my work.
Well this idea was doomed to failure because (a) there’s no such thing as perfect – we all have different ideas; (b) ideas about “perfection” are always changing; and (c) it kept on postponing the things I wanted into a time in the future that was never going to happen.
“Perfect” is the state of equilibrium we experience in the present. If at this moment we feel that we deserve X, Y, and Z then that is what we will experience. But if we want something beyond that then we must desire it, believe in it and expect it to happen.
In other words, a healthy body must be something you see in your mind each time you picture yourself. Use the world’s most powerful computer – your brain – to do the work for you. But you must see this version of yourself first, and believe it’s going to happen.
(10) Engage in energy-building activities
Cardiovascular exercise and strength training drain energy from the body. This is why we need good nutrition, adequate time to rest and recover and good quality sleep.
Some days we don’t have the energy to do it and that is ok. There’s energy-building activities we can do instead, like Yoga, Tai-Chi, hobbies like playing instruments, conversations with good friends, hitting the sauna and anything else that makes you feel refreshed and invigorated.
(11) Always be consistent
Way back in the day I used to hit the gym hard each day for a month and then quit. This strategy never worked for me, and definitely doesn’t work for the majority of people that quit the gym by February each year.
I recommend the following: pick two days and schedule them in for at least 30 minutes of doing something you like. Try to maintain this habit for at least three months. If you are successful at choosing an enjoyable activity you will find that you will want to do more.
Much better to do two weekly 30-minute sessions of activity for a year then five 60-minute sessions for a month and drop out. The results will build slowly on top of each other and before you know it you will be trying on your warm weather clothes and realize nothing fits. It’s an amazing feeling!
(12) Have a clear set of reasons for why you want to be fit
This one is last on the list but it is no less important than any of the others.
If you’re going to visualize your new “you” in your mind then you need to have good reasons for why you want to get there.
I can’t tell you how often I have seen perfectly healthy beautiful people hate on themselves because of a few pounds. Their reasons for transformation aren’t clear. They don’t know why they want a different body and I really think their negative feelings stem from the guilt they feel when looking at idealized images of beauty in the media.
Come on now!
If you want a different body, then what are you going to do with it? Come up with all the good reasons and picture them in your mind. By doing that you can come up with your own weight loss motivation tips to add to mine.
In my case I want to have a healthy body so I can do my job to the best of my ability. I picture myself giving classes and training my clients in the gym with this body.
I want to have a healthy body when I’m older so I can play with the kids in my extended family. I picture myself doing cartwheels at 50.
And you know what else? I want to be the one in the retirement home that is giving yoga lessons to all the other people that live there. I picture myself helping all my friends in the recreation room and then when we’re done we all get in the mini-bus and go to the casino.
Seriously! I do this. And from my experience it works really well. Having all these ideas percolating in my head makes me take care of myself in a way that is effortless and automatic. I hope everyone tries it.
And that concludes my top 12 weight loss motivation tips. I hope you use them and lose weight permanently like I did.
I’m sure others will have their weight loss motivation tips to add. What’s yours? Please add it in the comments below and if you think someone will find this post interesting then please share it. Thank you!