There is an old saying that where there’s a will, there’s a way. If you really want a goal, and are motivated to do what it takes to obtain it, you can be sure to reach your goals in most cases. Sometimes it really takes an incredible amount of “will” to accomplish something. What do we do when our “will” seems to be at its limit?
Many people start the weight loss journey with enthusiasm and energy. They want a healthier weight, so they alter eating habits, start exercising, and change their lives in significant ways. What happens when the journey is longer than expected? Or the goal seems to be moving away more quickly than you can move toward it? You may be tempted to leave the path you’ve started, but if you are motivated enough, you should be able to work through the difficult moments.
Bolstering your motivation is important in order to stay on track. There are a few tips and tricks that can help maintain this motivation at every step of the way.
Keep your Expectations Real
As with everything in life, losing weight in a healthy, sustained way takes time. If expectations are too high—such as those given by certain fad diets—there are bound to be disappointments, which can be huge motivation crushers. If everything goes well on your weight loss regime, it will generally take at least a month to notice any real changes with your body.
Don’t Start With a Bang
Keeping motivated can be a difficult thing to manage. When you first set out, you’re motivated by everything—change your eating habits, go to the gym regularly, take walks, take the stairs, and so forth. But just as a marathon runner who starts running the race at full speed would run out of energy (regardless of the motivation), you can also “burn out” if you take too much on too soon.
Focus on Yourself and Not the Weight Scale
Stop making the scale the sole judge of your success. Instead, think about how well you feel when you return from jogging, or after a healthy meal, or when hubby starts seeing the difference. These are motivation-boosting milestones on your weight-loss journey that you can be mindful and appreciative of. Remember to enjoy the journey, not just rush towards the destination.
Set Smaller Goals
If you wish to lose 50 pounds by the end of the year, you may be in for a disappointment. It is a great goal, but one that is difficult to reach. If you set smaller goals to reach, and set more of them, there is a better chance you can reach one. When you do, there’s motivation to make the next one, or you’re better enabled to handle setbacks when they come. Bigger goals seem to happen without even noticing them.
Don’t Skip Meals
It can be a great temptation to skip a few meals throughout the day and try to jump-start weight loss this way. Skipping a meal, however, is only going to hinder your progress. Eating right has worked well thus far, and that isn’t going to diminish. Try eating healthy snacks instead, or cut out any unhealthy options you are still allowing yourself to eat. Cut out bread completely, or eat only natural carbs such as fruit. Eat some green, cleansing vegetables also as a healthy alternative. You can also try adding a super supplement, exogenous ketones, to your protocol. These can greatly support your weight-loss journey by boosting your metabolism and switching your body to start burning fat for energy.
Do More Strength Training
If you have been focusing on cardio this could be a big part of your plateau. Metabolism slows down when you lose weight because your body thinks it doesn’t need to burn calories as quickly. One way to speed metabolism is to strength train. If you do strength training for about 30 minutes per day, your muscles will be toned and natural in appearance.
Get More Sleep
A lack of sleep can slow down your metabolism and stop your muscles from repairing themselves. Try to get to sleep early enough to get a minimum of 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try eating more foods that naturally increase melatonin production or a nighttime tea before bed. Use an app or watch to track the amount of sleep you get each night to try to stay consistent. This is a great way to focus on this goal.
It’s also possible that your body is overworked. Muscle fibers deteriorate and reconstruct as you work out. If you’re not getting enough rest, they won’t rebuild, but will continue to collapse. Try taking three days off and give yourself a rest. It may sound like a setback, but you’ll be happy that you did it. You can still take a walk if you need to stay moving, but take the rest, and then get back to work.
Almost everyone who undertakes this weight-loss journey hits a plateau at one point. It is normal and just a bump in the road of your journey. If you work hard, you can overcome it with some adjustments. Try each of these points to see if they will help you get through, and keep up your motivation!