As you work toward your weight loss goal, one of the things you may notice is a yo-yo effect. You lose a few pounds, then gain a pound or two, then lose a few more pounds, and so on. Usually this is not the result of an ineffective weight loss plan, but rather a fluctuation in how dedicated you are to your program. What you need is to maintain your motivation. Try these six tactics to keep you on track toward your weight loss goals:
Focus on your “why”. A number on the scale is only one sign of moving closer to your goal. If focusing on the number stresses you out (and that’s common), focus on your “why” instead. Why are you doing this? What are you hoping to create in your life? Keep a journal to remind yourself what it is that you want to change. Place pictures and quotes that represent your goals in prominent places where you will see them every day. When you feel discouraged or tempted to backslide, look back at your journal to remind yourself of your progress. Think of your goals to remind yourself what you want to create.
Trap yourself. If you paid your dentist ahead of time, would you skip the appointment just because you didn’t feel like going? Probably not. Do the same to force yourself to meet fitness goals. Pay for a bulk amount of Pilates classes or personal training sessions, and you’ll be more likely to attend them so that you won’t feel as if you’ve wasted money.
Get support. Make a pact with a friend to keep one another on track, or attend regular meetings with a supportive group.
Give yourself a visual reminder. Hang a photo of yourself from skinnier days on the front of your fridge. Or, get an outfit in the size you hope to be, and hang it prominently in your bedroom to remind yourself of your goals.
Make it fun. Your exercise routine needs to be … well, not so routine! Change it up on a regular basis so that you don’t get bored. Choose activities you enjoy, invite a friend to come along, or use an MP3 player so that you can enjoy your favorite music while you work out. Just remember to keep it fun!
Make use of your hormones. Certain activities release oxytocin, which acts on the brain to make you feel happy. Oxytocin is released when you indulge in your favorite snacks, which is one reason it can be so hard to give up junk food. Replace snacking with other activities that cause the same hormone release, such as sex (your partner won’t mind!), relaxing activities like bubble baths, or regular massage appointments.