Eating healthily is easy. Keeping fit is easy. Finding the motivation to do both is an absolute nightmare. You have to force yourself to get up and workout no matter how bad you’re feeling or how cold it is outside. You have to stop yourself from eating that extra cookie that the kids left earlier. You need to be strong enough to walk past the sweets on that plate in the office. It’s extremely tough, and failure is just not an option. Here are my tips for finding and keeping the motivation.
Why do you want to lose weight?
The first thing to do is think about why you want to lose weight in the first place. Why are you doing it? To be healthier or lose weight for example.
It’s too vague saying “I want to lose weight”. You need to be clearer. How much weight do you want to lose exactly? I knew from day one that I wanted and needed to lose a total of 61 lbs to get to where I want to be weight-wise. State how much weight you want to lose, by when and how you plan on achieving it. For example, “I want to lose 61 lbs by next summer by doing high-intensity interval training”.
Keep a diary
Yes, it’s a pain in the backside monitoring everything you eat and watching the calories, but in the early stages of your fitness journey at least, you should be logging everything you do; the food you’ve eaten and the calories you’ve burned. I used the MyFitnessPal app on iPhone to scan the barcodes of all food I ate, and when I ran I made a note of the calories burnt on my watch. This inputted it all nicely into the app and displayed on a graph to show how well I was doing.
You can achieve pretty much anything if you put your mind to it, think positive and stay focused. A simple one, that! Keep telling yourself that you can do this and you will, I promise you. It worked for me.
Don’t crash diet…ever!
It doesn’t work. Make small and gradual changes to what you eat, otherwise, you won’t achieve the expected results and this will make you lose all motivation. I have lost considerable weight through making gradual changes; eating cereal for the first time at the age of 42 (and salads too!) Not every meal, just a few times a week.
Don’t rely on the scales
The scales are only going to tell you your overall body weight. Most household bathroom scales don’t breakdown that weight into “body fat”, “muscle mass”, “body water” and “bone mass” etc. If you do like watching the scales, then grab ones that do provide information on your body weight composition. See my article on How Often Should You Weigh Yourself for more information. There have been weeks where I didn’t lose “weight” according to the scales, but I knew that I’d lost weight in fat, but gained it back in muscle through the use of dumbells. Don’t let the scales fool you.
Find a training buddy!
It makes it much more fun (and harder to quit) when you have somebody you can run with, lose weight with and stay focused with. My friend Chris Bedwell lives 200 miles away in London, yet we started the same workout (Focus T25 by Shaun T) on the same day. We’ve been chatting every other day about our progress so far, and motivating each other along the way. It makes a huge difference.
Post a selfie
Seriously, take a photo of you when you’re at your worst, take another the next week and the week after that. Keep doing it and comparing the images as you go along. This will enable you to see the changes to your body and you’ll be so amazed by the transformation so much that you’ll find it hard NOT staying motivated.
There is nothing wrong with an occasional treat. If you go from being a fast junk junkie to salad scoffing fitness freak overnight, then it won’t be long before you get fed up and put an end to your fitness journey. Again, make gradual changes to your diet and exercise regime and make it a FUN experience.
Talk about it publicly
I decided to set up The Brophy Blog for a number of reasons, but one of them is because I felt that if I started talking about my fitness journey publicly then I’d find it impossible (if not embarrassing) to quit. I’ve spent too much time and money on this site to quit now.
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