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Were you one of the many people who made a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight? If so, now is a great time to check your progress. One of the most common problems people cite as a hindrance to their anticipated success is a lack of motivation.
Maybe you’re tired from working all day, or maybe the cold weather keeps you from venturing out into the wild, or driving to the gym. All of a sudden, you find yourself lacking the motivation that you felt just a few weeks ago. Fitness experts agree on the importance of staying motivated to lose weight, so here are some tips to keep you going when the going gets tough.
Work with a personal coach. Hiring someone might seem like an expensive option, but the investment is often worth it for the expert advice and personal attention. If you join a gym, you usually receive an orientation and at least one free session with a trainer, just to get you started. With professional assistance, creating a personalized workout can be enough to motivate you to exercise regularly.
Get a buddy to run with you. It’s much harder to break a date with a friend than it is to talk yourself out of working out alone. Accountability is key. You can keep each other in line while simultaneously acting as personal cheerleader to one another.
Friends can help push you but, at the end of the day, it’s all about your goals. Occasionally, you’ll want to check in with yourself.
Make sure you’re:
- Getting enough sleep. Studies show that people who get the minimum amount of recommended sleep or more are more successful at losing weight. They suggest that you burn calories more efficiently when you get enough sleep. Furthermore, insufficient sleep is associated with overeating and a lack of physical activity, both of which can lead to weight gain.
- Eating properly and staying hydrated. This should be self-explanatory, but you need nutritious foods and water, especially before and after a strenuous workout.
- Minimizing stress in your life. Stress is unhealthy for your mind and your body. It can lead to a multitude of problems, from overeating to physical fatigue to emotional apathy that makes you not want to exercise.
- Being realistic about your goals. “Slow and steady” is often the best approach when you want to see positive weight loss results. Otherwise, you’ll set yourself up to be disappointed and discouraged.
Additional tips from professionals for staying motivated:
1) Document your progress. Keep a journal and write everything down, from meals to runs, and even your moods. This will help you recognize patterns and make adjustments to your routine.
2) Use technology to your advantage. Try using a fun fitness app, for instance. Many of them are free to install on your smart phone and they include fun challenges and rewards.
3) Set small milestones and reward yourself for reaching them. Sipping on your favorite coffee drink or sporting a new pair of running shoes are a reminder of a job well done and can help you set even more goals, thereby taking your weight loss plan to the next level.
The key is to find your passion and to figure out what motivates you to keep going when you just don’t feel like working out anymore. Is it the possibility of fitting into a new bikini this summer? An overall feeling of better health? Often, the sense of pride that you made and stuck to a New Year’s Resolution is enough to keep you going.