Dietitian’s 10 Proven Weight Loss Motivation Tips

Woman eating salad

Okay, first the bad news: Losing weight is and always will be hard work.
The good news? These proven weight loss tips will motivate you to stay on track and see results faster!

Weight loss begins in the mind

The success or failure of your weight loss attempt not only depends on your body, but your attitude and thoughts, too. What many people don’t realize is that weight loss starts in your head!

Man and woman sit together and eat

Weight loss motivation – an example

Let’s begin with an example…

Sabrina says: “I’m unhappy with my figure and I’ve got to lose at least five kilos before summer”. 

Amy, on the other hand, states: “I’ve decided to do 2-3 fitness activities a week and eat healthy for the next three months.” 

I can assure you that Amy has not only lost more than five kilos in three months, but she has also gained muscle. She feels better in general and is determined to stick with this lifestyle. Whereas Sabrina probably has tried one diet fad after the other… with little to show for it. 

Do you see the difference?

How you phrase your goals determines your attitude. The same applies for training motivationEvery second of your life, you can choose to guide your thoughts in a particular direction. Would you prefer to focus on the positive or the negative? If your goals express your joy and motivation, then you will achieve them twice as fast.

Here are the weight loss tips that will change your attitude for success:

10 weight loss motivation tips for a winning attitude

1. Weight loss begins with mindfulness

Mindfulness is a particular kind of attention. If you are mindful of the present moment, you can observe your own thoughts and behavior patterns. This knowledge then helps you to change them. Maintaining a curious and neutral stance is important for recognizing your own patterns like stress and emotional eating and then changing them for the better. Being mindful of deeply ingrained eating habits can bring you one step closer to achieving your weight loss goal.

2. Use the power of thoughts

Perhaps you are familiar with the following Chinese proverb:

“Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words.
Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions.
Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits.”

No matter what your goal is, everything starts with your thoughts. 

Do you want to shed some weight, run a half-marathon or quit smoking (without putting on weight)? How are you thinking about it? Are your thoughts positive and full of confidence that you will reach your goal? Or do you have private doubts and think you will fail anyway? Guide your thoughts consciously in a positive direction and take the first step on the way to accomplishing your goal.

3. Focus on things that make you happy

We are good at what we like. “Weight loss” has a negative connotation and doesn’t sound like fun, but you can change that! You alone decide what to focus on.

You don’t like to run and prefer spending your time sunbathing at the lake or the swimming pool? Okay, then plan to swim for half an hour on a regular basis. The gym isn’t your thing? No problem. How about a 25-minute bodyweight training in the comfort of your living room or in your backyard? At every moment, you are the captain of your (weight loss) journey – so do you want to create obstacles for yourself or do you want to make your journey as smooth and pleasant as possible?

Remember:

No matter what your goal is, everything starts with your thoughts.

Two girls high five after their workout.

4. Stop thinking about food constantly

“The less I think about food, the healthier my life is.”

I read this sentence in a newspaper a few years ago, and I think there is a lot of truth to it. Women, in particular, will agree with me that we sometimes think an awful lot about what and when we should eat. Not to mention our thoughts spinning around like a hamster on a wheel or the feelings of guilt that plague us while and after we eat chocolate cake…

We spend way more time planning our meals and dealing with the related feelings of guilt than is necessary. So, get off the hamster wheel and start leading an enjoyable life.

5. Find out what really relaxes you

A hard day at work, the kids constantly sick, the car needs to get serviced… are you basically unhappy with life in general?

This is when, stressed and full of (suppressed) emotions, we reach for a brownie, a bar of chocolate, something with sugar or pretty much anything sweet. But the relief doesn’t last long and feelings of guilt are already on their way. Now we not only feel stressed but bad about ourselves.

 Identify your stressors and come up with strategies for dealing with them when you are stressed. This will help you to keep your hands off the sweets. Also, try out other methods of stress relief like taking a relaxing bath, going on a walk, watching your favorite TV series, cuddling with your dog, calling a friend, etc.

Young woman smiling after a workout

6. Think in shades of gray … rather than black and white

Or in other words, don’t ban anything. It’s all too easy to say tiramisu is “bad” and fruit salad is “good.”  Hello, guilty conscious!

Our bodies want (and should be allowed) to enjoy the tiramisus of this world. Everything is allowed in moderation. It’s better to enjoy a reasonable slice of chocolate cake than eat an apple and then two days later think about nothing other than cake (and probably wolf down three huge slices in one sitting the week after). The goal is to develop a relaxed and enjoyable relationship with food. A pizza has a lot of calories, but that in itself isn’t a big deal. What matters is how much and how often. 

7. Eliminate distractions when you eat

Bon appetit! When it is time to eat, make sure to do this consciously and mindfully. 

Set the table, sit down, light a candle – take your time and eat with purpose. Chew slowly and thoroughly and let the taste linger in your mouth. Eliminate distractions like the TV, radio or smartphone. Focus on your meal with all your senses.

When you are finished, you can enjoy the satisfaction of not only pushing your plate aside, but the topic of food, too.

My experience:

“The less I think about food, the healthier my life is.”

8. Hunger or emotion – learn the difference

What does it feel like to be hungry? Where do you feel it when you are full?

When we were children, we knew the answers to these questions and left a half-eaten plate of spaghetti on the table with the words “Thanks, I’m full!” Sometimes, we wish we still had this ability now.

As adults, we are used to cleaning our plates even when we are stuffed. And of course there is always room for dessert, isn’t there? Try to eat only when you are really hungry and stop as soon as you start to feel full. This will put you on the right path to your ideal weight.

And get to know your feelings. Hunger, thirst or pent-up emotions like “a belly full of anger”? We often reach for chocolate when calling a friend would bring us more help and relief. Emotions are always a sign that we need something – usually not food but rather care, attention or a relationship.

If you learn to recognize your feelings and resist the food cravings when you feel emotional, you will not only lose more weight in the long run but also lead a more relaxing life.

Two people eating breakfast

9. Aim for a full life rather than a full belly

We all want different things, but we have one thing in common: As social beings, we all need contact and connection to other people.

If this need is not fulfilled, we sometimes satisfy our “hungry hearts” with some kind of substitute. In our search for fulfillment, an addiction can form that fills our lungs or our belly. We are talking here about cigarettes, sugar or alcohol, for example.

When you feel yourself longing for one of these, do the following: Don’t give into the initial urge, sit down, and think (and feel) mindfully about what would really fill the hole you feel inside yourself. Find out where your craving leads and how you can deal with the source of this lack.

10. Visualize your goal

We tend to better remember experiences and thoughts that are associated with positive emotions. This makes the process of learning faster and more enjoyable. Our bodies and minds cannot tell if we actually experienced something or if we simply visualized it in our mind’s eye.

Use this effect for your weight loss motivation and imagine how you will look at your ideal weight and, more importantly, how you will feel. What clothes will you wear? What will you do in your free time? Create these thoughts and feelings within you – set a reminder in your smartphone to set aside 5 minutes three times a day to imagine yourself in your future body and the new lifestyle that goes with it.

Remember: Thoughts become your words, words become your actions, and actions become your habits. We all have goals – some bigger, some smaller. If you want to accomplish these goals, you need one thing in particular: perseverance. And we can only achieve that if we like what we do.

Young man walking and scrolling on his phone

And don’t forget that life is there to be enjoyed. My goal is to learn how to enjoy everything I do and experience. For if you do not develop a taste for enjoyment, nobody will develop a taste for you.

Tip:

If you are interested in additional strategies for setting goals and maintaining motivation, try out these Story Runs. Kick-start the path to your desired figure and get closer to your ideal weight step by step.

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Vera Schwaiger Vera studied dietetics & psychotherapy and lives her life according to what Einstein once said: "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." View all posts by Vera Schwaiger »