It's a familiar story for many of us. The fast weight loss which can follow the beginning of a determined effort to shed excess weight has to taper off at some stage. And when it does, motivation can often suffer. Staying motivated in your quest to attain your ideal weight is absolutely key to achieving your targets. So just how can you avoid slipping into your old lifestyle when your new regime hits a little blip?
To help keep you on the right track, we've collated our top 10 tips for staying motivated. Just remember - don't lose your cool when you should be losing KGs.
Take a moment to realise just how far you've come. Before and after weight loss photos are among the most powerful motivators. So now's the time to dig out those 'before' photos and ask yourself "Do I really want to look like that again?"
Start again. You're lighter than when you first started, but try imagining that this is the weight you've always been and that you've only just decided to lose weight. If you can capture that sense of determination again, you're well on your way regaining your lost motivation.
Don't use setbacks as an excuse to give up. This is probably the most common reason for regressing into an unhealthy lifestyle. One slip-up is not the end of the world. Even a few slip-ups are expected on your way to achieving your perfect weight. You'll get through it as long as you realise you should make up for these moments of weakness by spending some extra time in the gym, rather than using them as an excuse to fail.
Tell someone you're feeling de-motivated. Pep-talks from friends and family can be unbelievably helpful when you feel your motivation slipping. Don't be embarrassed to admit you're struggling, no-one expects weight loss to be easy. They won't be any less proud of you and they'll be delighted to help.
Set new goals. It's likely you've already achieved some of the goals you set yourself when you started your healthy regime - what a great feeling! So it's important to remember to set new, realistic short-term goals which you can work towards and give yourself a pat on the back when you achieve them.
Write down what could happen if you don't achieve your goal. Really sit down and think of everything from 'going back to being fat' to 'poor health and medical problems'. This is a short, sharp shock technique which will quickly clear your head of doubts and remind you of why you're losing weight.
Go shopping. Buy some new clothes - whether you've gone down a size or not it will make you feel great. While you're in the store, look at some clothes in the next size down and make a deal with yourself to come back in 2 months to buy them.
Get rid of the baggy clothes. They don't fit you anymore and you only wore them to disguise your weight. You don't need them now and you never will again. Throwing them away makes going back to your old lifestyle much less of an easy option.
Plan a controlled cheat. Saying 'I'll never eat a bag of chips again' is not the answer. It'll end up driving you mad. By planning a favourite meal or snack which is no longer part of your diet every once in a while, you'll reward yourself, keep your motivation up and it won't affect your healthy regime. Skinny people eat chips once in a while too you know!
Keep your final goal in mind. You've done well so far but you're not there yet. Whether you picture real people of your ideal weight or you imagine yourself that size, it's a great way to remember you can't rest on your laurels just yet and you still need to work hard to get there.
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I'll be back in touch soon with additional Lean-Body Secrets. I also have a couple fabulous lean-body recipes coming up over the next few weeks that I think you'll enjoy, so hang on