We have all experienced the excitement of having committed to a weight loss goal, you can practically feel the fat melting off having just made the decision to lose weight! And then reality kicks in, weight loss motivation wanes and suddenly we are reaching for the junk food and the TV remote…
However there ARE people who manage to stay motivated to reach their weight loss goals, so how do they do it? This is the question we put to 37 health and fitness experts and we have listed their answers below.
There is a great mixture answers from professionals such as personal trainers, fitness authors and bloggers and weight loss coaches, plus you also get to hear from people who have battled with the bulge themselves – some even losing in excess of 100lbs!
We hope you enjoy reading through these weight loss motivation tips as much as we enjoyed compiling them.
What is your number 1 tip for staying motivated when trying to lose weight?
#1 Weight Loss Motivation Tips
Ben Greenfield ~ Ben Greenfield Fitness
Post a photo on your mirror of the body you want and look at it every day. For bonus points, put it on refrigerator too.
Tina ~ Carrots ‘N’ Cake
Know that the changes you are making are long-term, lifestyle changes, not quick fixes, so ENJOY the process, take your time, and find what works for YOU!
Terry Asher ~ Gym Junkies
Want to stay motivated when trying to lose weight? Have sex; yes it’s great for you. It releases tons of endorphins in your brain when you have an orgasm.
There’s also plenty of research showing that the more weight you lose the better your sex life becomes. Being motivated for losing weight does not have to be boring!
Jennipher Walters ~ Fit Bottomed Girls
Find and focus on your why! Take a few minutes to think or journal on why you want to lose weight and why you deserve to be healthy. As the answers pop up, keep drilling down and asking why you want those things. Keep asking “why?” until you get down to a really basic and emotional feeling that resonates with you. Most of the time, it’s something like: “I want to feel confident,” or “I want to be seen for who I really am.” Then put reminders up around you that inspires and reminds you why you’re making healthy choices. When you have a strong emotional connection to your why, it’s much easier to make the better-for-you decision!
Keith Lai ~ FitMole
Be like Chinese bamboo.
The Chinese Bamboo Tree is a story of persistence. In its first 4 years, Chinese bamboo doesn’t appear to grow above soil no matter how much sunlight, water, and nurturing it gets.
But in its 5th year, it is said that Chinese bamboo grows to over 80 feet in just 6 weeks time.
So what’s the moral of this story?
No, I’m not saying you need to wait 5 years to see weight loss results.
But most people these days can’t even wait 5 days.
There’s no such thing as a quick fix, and if you expect yourself to lose 20 pounds in one week, then you’re going to be in for a rude awakening.
So be patient.
Weight loss takes time and consistency always wins in the long run.
Lee Sutherland ~ Fitness in the City
‘Motivation can come in so many forms these days – social media, famous people, strangers…but why not look a little closer to home and become your own motivation. Don’t you want to be the best version of you? To see how strong/fit/energized/awesome you can become? Use THAT as a driving force. Not someone who has a different body shape, or may be paid to workout for hours on end.
Once you stop looking outwards for motivation (because hey, that is always pretty short lived right?) and start looking in at what YOU want to achieve, it suddenly becomes a lot clearer and less daunting. If weight-loss is the goal, it is all about consistency. Keep adding in fresh real food (think proteins, greens, good fats, seeds/nuts and a little fruit) so it crowds out the not so good stuff (yep, that includes processed food), move that body daily in some way and you will be on your way my friend!’
JC Deen ~ JCD Fitness
“Get some form of accountability in place, whether it be a group of others supporting you, or a coach. Don’t try to do it by yourself.”
Justin Miller ~ Limitless 365
Consistency is something that you can control. You have a choice every day to workout to not. You can decide to go on a walk instead of watching TV. You can decide to wake up 15 minutes earlier and practice Yoga. You can decide to skip out on happy hour and get in a workout instead. You can decide that doing the laundry is more important today than going to the park and doing a couple bodyweight movements.
One way you can practice more consistency is by paying attention to the way you talk to yourself. Listen for when you say things like “I have to do this”, “So and so needs me to do this,” or “I’m supposed to or should be.”
There really is not much you HAVE to do. Realizing you have a choice is a very powerful thing.
Next time you catch yourself saying “I have to” try changing it to “I choose to.”
I choose to workout.
I choose to prepare my healthy meals ahead of time.
I’m choosing to work late instead of heading to the gym.
Michael Wood ~ Michael Wood Blog
To keep someone motivated throughout a period of time when they are trying to lose weight – check in periodically with smaller, short term goals to help them reach their weight loss goals. For example, if someone has a goal to lose say 20 pounds in about 2 1/2 months then I would have goals to preserve lean muscle tissue and drop body weight and body fat – a specific amount of each every three weeks.
Amira Lamb ~ Holistic Hottie
Find joy in the process instead of punishment.
Training isn’t about beating yourself up. It’s about building yourself up. You’re (probably) getting stronger and more powerful as you change your body composition. You’re discovering how your body, mind and emotions are responding to exercise and how you’re now feeding yourself. This can be very eye opening for some people!
By focusing on the “wins” that have nothing to do with scale weight, motivation can be easier to maintain. Scale weight can be unnerving. One week you might lose X amount of points but then you might not lose any the next. Or you might not lose anything for two weeks straight until suddenly a substantial amount is lost.
If you’re feeling stronger, more energetic and more resilient – the scale won’t get you down – or at least not for long! You’ll start to see the scale as simply an interesting source of information rather than the ultimate golden standard. And this is one of the reasons why some people ditch the scale all together.
Personally I like the scale. I use it for feedback but I don’t agonize over numbers.
Jason Jacobs ~ Finding My Fitness
That’s the golden question. I spent a few years looking for the magic bullet for finding motivation, and I finally just realized there isn’t one. Why do some people succeed in their efforts and others have to keep trying over and over? Bottom line, they haven’t found a compelling enough reason why.
So how do you fake motivation until you have it? It depends on the person. You have to find out what drives you. For me, when I felt like I could really start to stick to a plan was when I started tracking my activity. I set goals (10000 steps, 15 flights of stairs, 30 minutes of activity, and 5 miles per day). My fitness tracker makes this really easy, and the competition against myself is what has actually worked the best for me.
Gail Spencer ~ Go Go Gail!
The thing that keeps me motivated, that keeps me going even when I don’t see progress, is the promise I made to myself to never, ever, ever give up. So I guess you can say Winston Churchill keeps me going!
Mike Medeiros ~ Exercise and Nutrition Tips
When setting a goal for weight loss it is important to make that goal something that is attainable and reasonable. Many people often will set the bar to high only to get discouraged when they don’t come close to it. Reaching these smaller goals will give you the motivation needed to make your ultimate goal.
Heather ~ Fit Aspire
My #1 tip for staying motivated is to understand WHY you are trying to lose weight. How is this goal related to your overall value & dreams? If you have a deeper reason, you’re more likely to keep pushing when you hit your first roadblock.
My #1 tip is to join a challenge group with others trying to lose weight. The support and accountability you’ll get creates massive momentum which keeps you moving forward.
Otherwise, you start a diet on Monday and eat a whole cake by Friday because you feel restricted. Hence, you start again on Monday, right? This pattern can go on for YEARS. (It did for me!)
It’s a game changer when you pair up with others trying to lose weight. You no longer feel alone. You feel supported. You feel motivated. And THAT’S what will get you to the finish line!
To build consistency in a fitness regimen, make your fitness time as official as possible. Put it in your calendar, make a date with workout buddies, hire a trainer — do whatever you need to do to make it a nonnegotiable block of time, every time.
Drew Manning ~ Fit2Fat2Fit
My number one tip for staying motivated is finding accountability. Finding an audience to keep you accountable is what has helped so many people maintain a healthy lifestyle. So whether that’s a friend, family or an online community or a running group, fitness class, basketball team, etc. it’s so essential to have this support group.
I have many friends who have been on The Biggest Loser and Extreme Weight Loss and unfortunately, most of them gain the weight back after the show. The ones that have kept the weight off all have one thing in common…and that’s staying accountable. They continue to post on social media about their successes, their struggles, their races they enter, their food, their workouts, their epic fails, or cheat meals. No matter what it is they find a way to stay accountable to their audiences and so it is for the rest of us.
Finding a support group is the number one tip for staying motivated and staying accountable. Even as a personal trainer I need to remember this. Signing up for a race or a competition of some kind helps me stay accountable, because if I’m just working out to look good, that gets old real quick. There has to be a bigger reason. So find your support group and stay accountable to that you can maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Danica ~ Chic Runner
My number one tip for staying motivated when trying to lose weight is to start each day fresh. No matter what you did the day before, every time you wake up is a new opportunity to eat healthy and have a great day. Don’t hold your old habits or what you did yesterday against yourself or you’ll be fighting an uphill battle!
Ivan ~ The Body Building Blog
Losing weight is no easy mission. The task itself requires a lot of knowledge in the field of nutrition, dieting techniques and training. The hardest part, however, is staying motivated throughout the whole process. I mean, after all what you are aiming for is long-term consistency – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. One of the best ways to elevate and retain motivation is to always be in a competition, not with someone, but rather yourself. No matter what results you achieve always try your best to better them. Because fitness in general is not about making sure you are better than someone else but making sure that you are a better you.
John Romaniello ~ Roman Fitness Systems
Create deadlines and stakes. These are literally the only reasons people do anything. You need a timeline to get it done by, and if you don’t get it done then there have to be consequences. Set yourself up for success, and the only way to do that is to set a deadline and create stakes for yourself.
Abby ~ Back at Square Zero
Plan your workouts in advance and schedule them on your calendar like you would any other commitment. Make a commitment to yourself.
Connecting with like minded people is paramount in living and maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle. Your support network needs to have your back in conjunction with your intrinsic motivation. YOU ultimately are the one preparing and eating healthy choice meals and moving your body everyday.
Keep a journal and evaluate those days that you haven’t moved your body, keeping hydrated or eaten healthy foods. This way you can recognise any mood swings or outside influence and can make changes next time it happens.
Above all, be kind to yourself. YOU ARE AMAZING and worth living and leading a healthy and happy life!
Jill Knapp ~ Get Up and Get Moving
My number one tip is staying consistent with eating healthy and exercise. Losing 100 pounds was no easy task but I stayed consistent with eating healthy food and getting in my exercise and after awhile the results started showing. Once you see the results it helps motivate you you to keep going. No matter how much you need to lose results drive motivation and from motivation will come results. SO KEEP PRESSING FORWARD AND THOSE POUNDS WILL COME OFF!!!
I also share that giving up sugar really was a powerful tool. It helped the weight come off faster and after the initial painful detox phase gave me much more energy.
“Don’t make your goals all about the number on the scale or a notch on the belt, if you simply quantify your goals you’ll never be happy. Please don’t misunderstand me, quantifying goals is fine and good, but when we QUALIFY our goals, we start to look at life and lifestyle. We ultimately make daily decisions based on the quality of life we want in the years as we age. After all, we all agree that it’s not just about the years in our life – it’s about the LIFE IN OUR YEARS – so let’s make them the best that we can and our daily decisions will start to reflect that lifestyle.”
Joel Snape ~ Live Hard
Firstly, stop thinking in terms of weight: body composition is far more important than what it says on the scale. After that – at least for me – the key isn’t motivation, but planning.
Take 10 minutes, right now, to come up with worst-case scenario plans that’ll let you stay on track when everything’s falling apart. What’s the best healthy food option (think protein and veg) in range of your office if you need to grab lunch on the go? What’s the quickest effective workout you can do with the kit you’ve already got in your house? What snack option do you *know* will help you steer clear of the biscuits if you keep it in your desk drawer? Staying on track is easy when everything goes right: planning now will help you do it when everything goes wrong.
Mark McManus ~ Muscle Hack
Remember this: Every Single Workout Takes You Closer To Your Goal.
They say, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” And it’s true.
Imagine your dream body is out in front of you – 1000 steps away. Every single workout is a single step forward towards that body. This will develop in you the needed discipline to be consistent in your work.
The distance between dreams and reality is called discipline.
Julia Buckley ~ Julia Buckley Fitness
Some people spend so much time thinking about how much they want to get fitter, leaner and healthier, then when they’re in their workout they keep taking the easy options, never really leave their comfort zone and rationalise giving up on tough workouts by saying they got disheartened just because it was hard.
You’ve got to let all that go.
Making that dream body a reality is going to take more than just really wanting it!
When a workout gets tough remind yourself that this is the point when the time and effort you’re putting into exercise is most worthwhile, the point where you’re actually doing what it takes to make changes happen.
Where “before” starts to turn into “after”.
Krista Stryker ~ 12 Minute Athlete
Keep your workouts as short and efficient as possible! When you think you have to spend an hour or more in the gym to make it worthwhile, you’re more likely to skip your workouts when you’re feeling unmotivated or when life just gets in the way.
Sticking to super-efficient high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts that take no more than 10-20 minutes will help keep you on track even when you feel like doing anything but working out. Similarly, focusing on full body exercises that don’t require much equipment like burpees, push ups, and bodyweight squats, will help you lose weight faster as well as improve your overall fitness and strength.
Bonnie Pfiester ~ Pfit Blog
Motivation is a funny thing, it comes and it goes because it’s based on emotions. Our success can’t be determined on our unstable emotions. We need something more dependable. Positive results comes from making positive decisions.
I encourage my clients to rely on facts to motivate them. You can’t argue with facts. Facts are consistent and dependable – unlike how we feel. The fact is, you WILL get results if you keep putting in the work. The fact is, you WILL feel great after a workout no matter how bad you may feel before or during it. The fact is, fitness is science and it works. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it – every single time.
If you lose motivation or need more motivation, I encourage you to focus on the facts. Focus on WHY you are doing this. Focus on RESULTS – the results you want and the results you have already gotten. If you wait to feel motivated to do this, you may never do it at all. I rarely FEEL like working out, but I always want the results. So, decide today to just do it – whether you feel motivated or not. Eventually, your results will be the hard evidence you need to keep you showing up day after day.
Taylor Ryan ~ Lifting Revolution
My #1 tip to losing weight is to set up 1-week goals. Instead of focusing on wanting to lose 25-pounds, focus on a goal you can accomplish this week. Maybe that’s “Go to the gym 4 times” or “Pack my lunch every single day”. Action driven goals that done week after week can produce results and keep the process more fun and driven. It’s frustrating to think of the overall outcome you want, but if each Sunday you sit down and plan out your action steps for the next 7 days, things become a lot easier and a lot less intimidating!
Roni Noone ~ Roni’s Weigh
My biggest tip is to simply do What You Can When You Can. So many people give up instead of riding the highs and lows of change regardless what the goal is but especially with weight loss. Celebrating even the smallest accomplishment along the way not only helps you stay motivated but it builds confidence and momentum. I believe so strongly in this concept I wrote a book about it called What You Can When You Can: Healthy Living on YOUR Terms. The secret is, there is no secret just lots of little steps that inch you closer to your goals.
Jenn Mitchell ~ Come Back Momma
My tip is to schedule your exercise like it’s the most important meeting of the day. Make it non-negotiable.
Elle Linton ~ Keep It SimpElle
To remember that this is a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix. You want to slowly target each and every area of your life, from walking an extra bus stop to work all the way through to what goes on your plate for each meal. Celebrate your small wins each and every time too so you don’t forget where you started and how far you have come.
Katie Foster ~ Runs for Cookies
My number one tip for staying motivated while trying to lose weight is to always have a pair of jeans on hand that are one size too small. It’s fun to try them on once a week to see how close they are to fitting. One day, they’ll fit! And then you can buy a pair that’s a size smaller. It’s another way to see progress without relying on the scale.
Adam Bornstein ~ Born Fitness
Make the first step doable…and the second…and the third. The reason most weight loss plans fail is that they are designed for failure. Each goal is inherently unrealistic, which limits the chance for you to succeed. A better approach: go slow to go fast. Master one step after another. Success breeds success. Once you start believing, then you are in control. And that’s when change occurs.
Leah Segedie ~ Mamavation
Make the process about more than just you. For instance, if you are a parent think about how a healthier lifestyle is good rolemodeling for your kids. It was always easier for me to advocate for myself in situations when I knew that little eyes were watching my every move.
Another frame of mind that is useful is it’s not about having to do something, it’s about getting to do something. There are people in the world that have more restrictions than you like the inability to walk. You have the privilege to do these things. They are NOT a burden. They are a blessing!
Dorothy Beal ~ Mile Posts
Document it! Write your goals down, write the steps you are realistically willing to take to get to those goals. Measure your body, take a picture, write down how you feel when you start. Throughout the process periodically take progress pictures, re-take your measurements and write down how you are feeling with the changes. We all want progress, and fast, so it can be discouraging if you work hard and don’t see any immediate results. It doesn’t mean you aren’t changing, it just means you might not be able to see it yet, so focus on how you are feeling. Do you feel better? Are you finding yourself happier in your own skin? Then change is happening.
What an amazing and inspiring group of experts! Thanks so much to everyone who contributed.
I hope one or two of these answers resonates with you and helps in your weight loss journey, if so, be sure to connect with them via their website or social accounts.
Please share this post if it has helped you find your weight loss motivation and you think it might help someone else!