One of the key components of losing weight successfully and keeping it off is managing motivation. So perhaps it’s not surprising that the number one question CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet member Sarah Wolter – who lost 83kg in two years – gets asked is about her weight loss motivation.
“My mindset prior to losing weight was not good,” Sarah recalls. “I was pretty lazy and unmotivated, and really didn’t feel good about myself at all. Once I started the diet, what motivated me to keep going was the results I saw at the beginning, as they were really fast and good. That spurred me on to find the motivation to keep going.”
This is a common experience for CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet members.
“We know that motivation is critical for people when starting a diet and lifestyle program and maintaining that momentum throughout,” explains CSIRO research scientist Dr Gilly Hendrie.
“In fact, our CSIRO researchers found that members who are motivated and start strong and lose a kilo a week or more for the first three weeks, go on to lose three-and-a-half times more weight than those who start slower on the 12-week online weight loss program."
The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet is a program scientifically designed for weight loss. Extensive research has shown that meeting certain milestones in the first three week leads to greater weight loss – that’s why our 2021 motto is ‘start strong, stay strong’.
Weight loss mindset is a significant factor in weight loss success. An analysis of more than 11,000 CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet members found 93 per cent of people wanted to lose weight to feel good and improve their quality of life, while 89 per cent said ‘health’ was their diet motivation.
People who were classed as obese were twice as likely to start a diet program because of their family or a trigger event, such as a wedding or the death of someone close to them, and six times as likely to sign up because a doctor had advised them to.
CSIRO behavioural scientist Dr Emily Brindal says coming back to those intentions can help with diet motivation over the long term.
“Something to consider along the way is to remind yourself of your bigger goals and why you started the program,” Dr Brindal advises. “Going back and reviewing why you started is really motivating.”
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Here are some other great ways to help stay on track.
“A really good tip to help you stay motivated is to tie your motivation to things you are passionate about or things that define you, for example, your family,” advises Dr Brindal.
To support a weight loss mindset, Dr Brindal recommends creating an inspiration board that includes uplifting quotes and photos of your goals.
Joining the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Facebook community will help you stay on track.
“We have a supportive and motivating community,” says Dr Hendrie. “This group of people really help each other through the ups and downs of weight loss.”
Think about why you want to lose weight and set goals that match that motivation. For example, if you want to be more active, perhaps your goal could be to play sport with your kids in the park. Make sure you write down your goals, which gives you clarity on what you’re aiming for and allows you to revisit it for motivation down the track, particularly when times get tough.
And, if you haven’t done so already, it’s a great idea to take our five-minute science-based Start Strong Diet Quiz which will help you assess your weight loss mindset.