What do you do, when you lose motivation? 10 Tips to Increase Motivation on your Weight Loss Journey.
It's something that happens to all of us at some point in our weight loss journey and it can happen for a number of reasons.
Some of the main reasons being:
- Weight not coming off as fast as you want
- Just come back from holiday and can't regain focus
- Stress in your life
- Busy Schedule
Whatever it is, if you are emotional eater, some of the smallest things can set you off track, losing alll that great motivation you had the week before.
It's happened to me. Not once but several times.
I've had a few stresses over the last year and for me comfort has always been food, hence why I got over weight in the first place.
When I am stressed, upset, or down I eat. Regardless of changing to a healthier eating lifestyle, if you are a comfort eater that isn't going to go away overnight. The hardest part of a weight loss journey is dealing with those times without reaching for food.
In the last few years, I've dealt with a family member with dementia, the loss of said parent, then the diagnosis of an Auto Immune Disease and just when I am coming to terms with all that, we get thrown in a pandemic which has been a toll on pretty much everyones mental health in some way or another.
I might be a food blogger, but I am also human, so just like you, family stresses and life can get in the way.
So there may be the occasion when a little weight creeps back on or you are struggling to get motivated, but don't be so hard on yourself, we are all human.
Generally, my meals are healthy and always on plan, it's the snacking part that can get out of control and it's a vicious cycle at times. You eat because you feel awful, and then you feel worse because you have eaten foods you shouldn't have. It's a lose lose situation.
Being a comfort eater, is hard to get under control and It's something I possibly never will, it's a challenge I am going to have to continue to face.
But there are things that can help.
So what things can you try, to increase motivation on your Weight Loss Journey?
1. Find a non-food hobby, that you can do to fill that need to comfort eat when you are stressed.
Genealogy, art, colouring, blogging, crafts, knitting, fitness etc are all great activities that you can busy yourself with when you feel stressed out. I don't recommend tv or films, because usually when in front of the tv you are more likely to want to snack and as you are trying to take you mind off that need for comfort food, it's never a good option.
2. Join an online support group
For those of you who are lucky enough to be able to go to a weekly face to face meeting, that is one of the best motivations you can get. Knowing you will be weighed each week, is proven to help keep most on track.
However, not everyone can make such meetings, and for those of you that can't, it is really important to have some kind of support, where you can chat with others who are are on the same journey as you.
One option is to join one of the many Facebook groups out there. I have my own little Support Facebook group, that you are welcome to come and join, it's a place for great support, encouragement, recipe and meal ideas.
Another option is to set up an Instagram account, it's really popular for logging your food diary and connecting with other slimmers.
The other option, of course, is to start a weight loss blog, where you can chat about your struggles and share you own tips/advice and recipes.
3. Keep a Food Diary
This is really very important and something I advise everyone to do. Don't get into a habit of not jotting down your foods for the day, as it's so easy to forget things you have eaten and then take you over your syns.
You can either use the online food journal on the Slimming World website (if you are following Slimming World) or buy one of the food journals available at class. Even just a pretty notebook will work too.
There are also various online apps you can use to keep track of your days, like My Fitness Pal if you are tracking calories. But I recommend using a TDEE calculator to get your daily calorie allowance, rather than the standard calories it gives through some apps.
There are also some really great customizable journals out there. I recently purchased a Happy Planner Journal, to help try to get my motivation back and encourage me to make sure I write my daily food diary down. There are other versions out there like the Erin Condren journals, and you can pretty them up with stickers and photos etc and it's a great way to keep yourself busy in your spare time. Kind of like scrapbooking.
Here is an example of a section from my Happy Planner Journal for this week:
There are lots of free printables for both the Happy Planner and Erin Condren journals to be found on Pinterest too.
The other option if you have an Instagram account or are on a facebook group, is to share your daily food diary there, but I still recommend writing everything down, as you can still easily lose track of what you have eaten if you don't.
4. Meal Prep
This is another reason for falling off track. If you are not prepared and hunger strikes, it can be really easy to grab something you shouldn't.
If you find you have some time spare, use that to cook up some meals that you can tub up and keep in the fridge or freezer, that way if hunger strikes, you can grab one to heat up.
Also if you are a person that does like to snack, make up some of these Snacks, so you have plenty of healthier snacks on hand.
Exercise is another great way to keep you on plan and motivated. It doesn't have to be a strenuous workout, it can be whatever feels comfortable for you. But exercise creates endorphins that make you feel good, so doing some exercise however small, is alway a good thing.
You could pair up with a friend and maybe try to go for a walk every other day to try and reach a 10k step daily goal.
Another great option is a fitness band and there are many out there to choose from - cheaper versions to more expensive versions like a Fitbit depending on what features you want. They are great because they set you daily step goals and seeing those little goals, can encourage you to get moving to reach them, especially if you have the option to add friends and you can see what their goal reach is each day. I've been known to walk laps of the house at the end of the day to reach my step goals.
Then if you feel like running is something you might enjoy, try an app like couch to 5k. It starts you off at a slow pace and you can work up to your comfort zone.
Fitness/exercise videos are another great option, as it means you can work out at home in your own time. There are many out there to purchase as well as lots of mini work outs to be found on youtube and similar video websites.
If you find yourself hating working out at home, a good alternative is to find a fitness class you enjoy. For some that group environment is much more appealing. Zumba is a fun and enjoyable workout, and the 40mins - 1 hour workout flies by. There are many other similar classes too.
Lastly, there is also the option to join a gym or even going swimming. What works for one won't work for another. When it comes to fitness it really has to be something you can maintain and enjoy, as otherwise, you won't keep it up.
6. Meal Planning
If you have lost your motivation because of illness or just coming back from holiday, meal planning can be a great way to get back into it.
The trouble when we are on holiday is that we are often not cooking, so we get used to the meals just being there for us, then when we get home and reality hits, it can take a while to get back into that momentum or preparing your meals each day.
I have various delicious Meal Plans on here for you to choose from and they cater for most. Whether you want to just do a regular Extra Easy week, or are vegetarian or maybe you want to try and boost your weight loss this week by following an SP meal plan. I have all of those covered.
7. Avoid having unhealthy snacks in the house
This one is a biggy, try not to have too much unhealthy convenience foods in the house, because if they are not there, you can't grab them at moments of weakness.
It's okay to have the odd treat you don't need to deprive yourself completely, and if you do buy snack/treat foods, I recommend buying items that are individually wrapped, as you are less likely to open up another one. Whereas if there is an opened bag of crisps, biscuits or sweets, they are easy to grab when you shouldn't.
Instead, fill your fruit bowl with plenty of fresh fruit. To grab when hunger strikes or you need a snack.
If you do bake any sweet goods, freeze some, so that once you have had a serving, you won't be tempted tograb another and another.
Having too many unhealthy snacks in that house that are your weakness can cause you to binge in a moment of stress so they are not a great idea to have too much of.
8. Do not be over restrictive with foods.
This might seem like a contradiction on the above, but it actually isnt. While you don't want to have too many unhealthy snacks in the house, you also don't want to be too restrictive either.
When we try to lose weight, all too often we think we have to go extreme and focus on low fat/diet foods when actually these are probably the worst option to choose.
There is not reason why you need to cut out good fats or natural sugars like maple syrup or honey when you want a healthy treat etc - limit them yes to reduce calories, but don't cut them out completely. One tablespoon of oil in a recipe that serves 4 people is hardly anything and if a little drizzle of real maple syrup over some healthy pancakes is much more satisfying to you than a no sugar artificial syrup then have the maple syrup. If you don't enjoy your food you will not be able to maintain it.
9. Increase fruit and vegetables on your plate.
The benefit of speed foods are one of the most important components of Slimming World, it is what allows us to eat from that free food list unlimited and naturally controls our portions without the need for weighing food or counting calories. So if you have become a bit slack with the speed foods, try getting into a habit of making sure at least a ⅓ of your plate contains speed foods.
Speed foods are high satiety, nutrient dense and generally lower in calories, they are going to bulk us up and keep us from feeling hungry.
It is far better to have a filling meal at each meal time, that have a teeny serving of something thinking small portions is what results in weight loss, while that is generally true, if you don't eat enough, chances are you will be hungry in between meals and again grab for something you shouldn't.
Read my full post on The Benefit of Speed Foods which it explains it in more detail and even if you are not following Slimming World but are calorie counting instead, this is still a good template to follow, as it means that small portion of a food you love won't seem so small when it is bulked out with some healthy vegetables. There are heaps of ways to make vegetable interesting too with the style of how you cook them. They don't all need to be boiled or steamed. Try roasting, sautéing or stir fries.
10. A Life Long Journey
Lastly, remember this is a life long journey, you can't get to a weight you are happy with and then return to the way you ate before. If you have that mindset, it is guaranteed you are going to put back on all that weight you have lost and maybe even more.
Instead, embrace all the healthy foods you can have and use those to create versions of the foods you love. Hey, I even have this amazing Fakeaway section, so you can recreate some of your favourite take away meals at home. Much healthier too.
Here is a handy little graphic you can pin to your Pinterest board.
Don't forget come and check out my Facebook group - lets support each other together.
Remember: Don't Let One Bad Day Affect Tomorrow!!!