The weight loss struggle is real, and if you’re like most people, you’re not exactly looking forward to the “New Year, New You!” resolutions everyone will be pressuring you to make as we approach 2018. It’s not that you don’t want to lose some weight or even that you don’t know what changes need to happen for you to be able to start shedding some pounds; it’s just that it can be so hard to get—and stay—motivated to make those lifestyle changes everyone keeps talking about. So if you’re looking for something different to get you pumped up to pump iron (or at least going for a brisk walk), check out these tips for losing the weight once and for all this New Year.
- Find your “why.” Getting motivated to lose weight starts with getting personal and reflecting on the real reasons you want to take control of your health. Maybe you want to have more energy to keep up with your kids, want to better manage or reduce your risk for a chronic health condition like heart disease or diabetes, or are looking forward to feeling and looking your best for a special event (LoveProm is filled with tips for looking amazing at prom). Whatever your reason, have a clear understanding of how it will make your life better to get and stay healthy.
- Establish a positive daily affirmation. Losing weight is often more of a mental challenge than a physical one, so establish a positive headspace by reciting a daily affirmation. Affirmations are statements about a perceived truth said with confidence, and they have helped thousands of people stay motivated to make a significant change in their lives. You do have the ability to program and reprogram your mind, so find a mantra you feel connected to (even if it’s something as simple as “I will make healthy choices today) and then repeat it to yourself (out loud, in front of a mirror if possible) at least once a day.
- Set attainable goals. “Studies show that most dieters expect to lose as much as four times what they really can in a six-month period,” says Daniel Stettner, PhD at Northpointe Health Center. Not only should you set reasonable and achievable goals for moving the numbers on the scale, but you should also set attainable goals for the kinds of changes you are willing and able to make in your everyday life. Focus on implementing one change at a time and accept that slower, more consistent progress over a longer period of time is preferable.
- Steer clear of the supermodels. Pinning a bunch of photos of hockey skates doesn’t put you any closer to the NHL than posting pictures of super thin models and celebrities puts you to losing weight, but for some reason, people still think this system actually works. This includes all those “motivational” fitness model pins, too. Research indicates that exposure to images of models while trying to lose weight actually increases the chances you’ll gain weight, so stop torturing yourself with comparisons, already.
- Invent a rewards system. Positive reinforcement works, so don’t forget to celebrate your successes and reward yourself along the way for all your hard work. Note that this does not mean undoing everything you fought for with binging cheat days (although definitely indulge in treats because all things in moderation, right?). You could reward yourself with any number of healthy living product ideas, a manicure or massage, or a new outfit or makeup to leave you feeling even better about yourself.
- Plan for challenges and setbacks. You’re only human; not only will you slip up on occasion, but you’ll also experience plateaus and other challenges along the way. Part of staying motivated is preparing yourself for the hard parts of the journey and developing the right coping skills to manage difficulties. There will be everyday stressors. There will be birthday parties, holiday events, social hours, and comfort food. It’s important to have a strategy for approaching those kinds of challenges so you don’t get completely thrown off track and discouraged.
- Focus on self-love. Even if your primary motivation for trying to shed some excess weight is because you want to feel better about the way you look, withholding your own approval until you lose weight is not a recipe for motivation or success. Taking care of your physical health is an act of self-love and your journey to lose weight and get healthy is a reward and a gift. Once you begin to operate from a place of self-love, you will naturally feel inspired to treat yourself the way you deserve to be treated and you will start seeing greater results.
Getting and staying on track to a healthier lifestyle in 2018 doesn’t have to be an overwhelming, daunting task; with these strategies, you can start gaining momentum right now to take with you into the new year.
What weight loss strategies are you looking forward to trying in 2018? Tell us what’s motivating you!