Top tips for staying motivated
Starting a new diet?
The first few days or weeks can feel great, everything is going well, you’re following a plan and losing weight. Then it starts to tail off and you find yourself battling to make the right choices or keep up the exercise. Why does this happen?
We often hear the phrase ‘I just don’t have the willpower’ but really this has nothing to do with willpower. This is just our brain’s natural defences kicking in. If you are following a strict diet, the brain can start sending signals to encourage you to eat as it fears starvation. Food also has an important psychological role in providing security and comfort which cannot be denied. There is no shame in this!
Top 5 reasons why you are struggling with motivation:
- Your diet plan is too rigid. It does not reflect the day-by-day or week-by-week changes to your routine. Make sure you are nourishing your body adequately, some days you may need more and other days less. Make sure you are having adequate protein, vegetables and wholegrains. You should feel comfortably full after meals, and eat at reasonably regular intervals
- Pressure to be perfect. For example, trying to keep to an exact number of calories every day or eating the same meals. You may reach for a chocolate then feel you have ruined it. Allow yourself to make mindful choices, which may include a bit of chocolate some days, this does not mean failure! On the contrary, feelings of guilt have been shown to result in overeating
- Changing everything at once. As mentioned in a previous blog, we are creatures of habit. We form our routines and behaviours over a lifetime, and these become ingrained in us. We must gradually change 1 habit at a time and repeat it for around 2 months before it becomes our norm. Even with ingrained habits, we occasionally deviate from them and that is OK, but we keep ticking along, just don’t give up!
- Taking on things that just aren’t you. This is a particular issue since social media became so prominent. We compare ourselves to others. The internet is filled with videos on ‘what I eat in a day’ or ‘my fitness routine’. These influencers often post an idealised version of themselves, and we feel we should be ‘more like them’. Be true to yourself and your lifestyle. What food do you actually like? What exercise do you enjoy? What routine suits you and your family?
- Lack of pleasure or enjoyment. Whatever it is you choose to do, it must not be a chore. Make it fun and appealing. If you can find pleasure in cooking a healthy meal or going for a walk, it can really get the endorphins going. A meal that is tasty but also packed with goodness is the most satisfying of all. Get pleasure from taking care of yourself rather than punishing yourself into losing weight!
For references or more information, please get in touch!