Everyone can lose motivation to eat healthily and end up saying: “I simply can’t be bothered anymore.”
Has this ever happened to you?
If yes, it usually spells the end of healthy eating for quite a while.
Sadly this can backfire. We might gain weight and get cranky with ourselves for having given up yet again.
Therefore, wouldn’t you like to see what would happen if you don’t give up?
Admittedly, it’s easier said than done, because it will require some work.
Let’s see what tips I can offer so you can rekindle your desire to eat healthily and lose weight so you can be done and dusted with this chronic yo-yo dieting.
Here’s the one I wish to begin with: give yourself some time out from pushing too hard. Maybe a couple of days or so.
Relax the strings a bit.
Take a short holiday from tracking, counting, weighing and all that stuff.
Joshua C. Klapow, PhD, a clinical psychologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and author of Living SMART, suggests this: “The key to weight-loss motivation is similar to the [amount of] fuel in a car — you don’t need the motivation tank to be full to drive, you just need to prevent it from running on empty.”
Because the truth is, we can’t keep up being hyper-motivated at all times.
It can be awfully draining. 😫
Most of us regularly experience a slump in enthusiasm. It is natural! And it’s certainly not a reason to beat ourselves up over it or feel like a failure.
Allow your emotions and mindset on this subject to take a bit of a breather and let the passion for healthy eating bubble back up after taking a short sabbatical from it.
And during that break, how about doing a bit of analysis on your actual weight loss target and ambitions. Might they be slightly unrealistic?
It could be that you set the goalpost a bit too high. Because that’s a sure way to get disheartened when things start going wrong or not as expected. Therefore, instead of expecting a certain weight to come off, choose other targets for now.
Here are 5 ideas:
1) Eat healthy snacks. Don’t buy any unhelpful options.
2) Only buy takeaways once a week.
3) Omit sugar from your beverages.
4) Increase your exercise variety.
5) Do some batch cooking so you never run out of healthy meals, even when you get home late.
The next step is to look at your chosen diet (diet = way of eating).
Are you actually enjoying it? Or have you ended up eating only ‘macros’ …Simply protein, carbs and fats as some sort of medicinal food intake that you’re chewing on without any enjoyment?
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Check out new recipes, new flavours, experiment with new Ethnic food recipes and spices.
Instead of rolling your eyes and saying: ‘gawd, here we go with another boring plate of boiled vegetables and tofu’ …Come on! Wake up your interest in your meals.
OK. Not everything has to be a circus in your mouth. But on the other hand, it also doesn’t need to be bland and boring. That’s a surefire way of giving up.
Even if you were motivated, nobody wants to eat that way.
This next one can be a biggie.
Stop comparing your body with a supermodel or the skinny girl next door. Or your friend. Just don’t. It can make us miserable.
I read an interesting article about a bunch of scientists who decided to test a group of women. They dived the group into two. Everyone was handed food journals. One group had images of slim models on the cover and even on the interior pages and the others only had pretty patterns and logos.
The ones with the images of very slim models in their journals got very discouraged and so they stopped even trying. In the end, they gained weight. And the other group was successful in losing some weight.
Moral of the story: best don’t compare your body to another person’s body. Instead, work towards a healthy attainable weight and shape in a safe way.
Reward yourself when reaching milestones [but not with food]
Plan some wonderful rewards along the way to keep yourself motivated. What would make you happy? You choose the reward!
Don’t plan the benchmarks to be far apart from each other or else it might not work so well. My tip is to get a treat after a week’s worth of no unhelpful snacks….maybe a facial and manicure? How about after being able to run an extra kilometre, you get yourself new running shoes?
And after a week of no evening snacking you definitely deserve a new pair of fancy knickers.
Anything but food 😉
And in my mind, one of the best motivators is a favourite outfit on display.
One that you can’t quite fit into yet, but you’re determined to do so. Keep it next to a mirror and visualise yourself wearing it. It’s such an excellent tool for keeping the passion going.
Meanwhile, whilst all this work is going on, don’t aim for perfection because the day will come when things go a bit off the rails. If you slip up, forgive yourself. You’re only ever one meal away from being ‘back in The Zone’ as Dr. Barry Sears used to say.
When we aim for ongoing ‘perfection’ with our food, it is too easy to lose motivation. Be flexible and give yourself some leeway. Enjoy a relaxed boundary meal from time to time so you won’t feel you’re in diet prison. That just makes us feel frustrated and cranky.
Remember to enjoy life already NOW.
Don’t put happiness off after reaching your goal weight. Appreciate each day and enjoy the bumpy ride.