When It Comes to Weight Loss, Staying Motivated Is Key
Losing weight is tough, but it’s well worth the effort. Here are seven tips on how to keep yourself motivated.
If you struggle with obesity and weight-related health complications, losing weight can be a difficult and time-consuming process. You’ll likely be unlearning years of unhealthy habits, pushing your body in new ways, and completely changing your lifestyle.
Fortunately, undergoing weight loss surgery can help you lose a significant amount of weight more quickly and safely than through diet and exercise alone. However, it’s still important to stay positive and keep motivated throughout your journey.
Here’s how to boost motivation after bariatric surgery in order to accelerate and maintain weight loss success.
1. Examine Your Motivations
Motivations can be divided into two broad categories, intrinsic and extrinsic. People who are intrinsically motivated draw motivation from within themselves and people who are extrinsically motivated draw motivation from outside sources.
Whatever your motivators are, articulate them. Try setting inspirational reminders on your phone to go off first thing in the morning or when you’re about to exercise. You’re less likely to stray if you’re constantly reminded why you’re working so hard to change your body and your life.
2. Set Realistic Expectations
Bariatric surgery is an effective weight loss strategy, but it’s not a quick fix. For example, people who have gastric bypass lose 60 percent of their excess weight on average over the course of 18 months. You’ll lose most of your weight during the first month, about four pounds a week, before slowing down and losing about a pound or two each week. If your expectations are too high, you might feel disappointed that you aren’t losing weight quickly enough and become unmotivated.
To combat these feelings, educate yourself and learn what to expect after weight loss surgery. Once you have a clear idea of what lies ahead of you, you can set realistic weight loss goals that will leave you feeling accomplished once you surpass them.
3. Focus on Small Achievements
Losing weight is an excellent goal, but it’s a big one. Many people feel overwhelmed when faced with big challenges like this one, or lose motivation because they suddenly feel like their goal is too far away and they’ll never reach it.
Instead, orient yourself around process goals, small actions or steps that will contribute to your overarching goal. Examples of process goals include exercising three days a week or only eating meat once a day. You can celebrate these smaller achievements throughout your weight loss journey — and before you know it, you’ll be well on your way!
4. Pick a Plan You Love
Remember that there’s no universal way to lose weight. If counting calories makes you feel like you’re depriving yourself of food, just focus on eating healthy meals instead. If running is too hard on your joints, try a more low-impact form of cardio like dancing or cycling. It will take some trial and error, but you’re more likely to stay motivated if you create a plan you love and want to stick to.
5. Plan for Setbacks
Though it may seem counterintuitive, another important way to stay motivated is to account for what you’ll do if you stray from your weight loss plan. You’re human — there’ll be days when you’re too tired to squeeze in that morning workout, and there’ll be days when you hit the drive-through after a stressful day. The key here is staying positive and remembering that any weight loss journey has ebbs and flows. Keep motivated by focusing on how excited you are to get back on track tomorrow.
6. Celebrate Your Successes
Weight loss is challenging, so it’s important to celebrate your progress in healthy and fulfilling ways. Some people gauge their progress by the numbers on the scale, while others prefer to measure success by how their overall health has improved. Find measures that make you feel happy and motivated to continue losing weight.
Avoid rewarding yourself with food, and try to reward yourself with experiences or things that keep your weight loss journey in mind. For instance, when you accomplish one of your process goals, treat yourself to a movie with friends or a new workout top.
7. Find a Support System
Everyone needs a little push from time to time to stay motivated. When you share your weight loss surgery decision with your friends and family, ask them to help you stay accountable to your goals. This could include everything from sending you an encouraging text to being your exercise buddy. You should also look into weight loss support programs to connect with more people who are also embarking on a weight loss journey — they’ll have unique insights and will understand what you’re going through.
For more information about weight loss and other expert tips, contact the bariatric surgery professionals at Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors. We’re happy to guide you through every step of your journey and motivate you with an encouraging word.