It might be there in the back of your mind: you want to lose weight. It might even be at the forefront of your attention – but that doesn’t mean you’ve found the motivation to actually do anything about it yet.
It’s easy enough to say the diet starts on Monday. It’s so simple to proclaim you’ll start going to the gym as of next week. But finding the motivation to go through with it, now that, that is the tough part.
If you need some motivation to start eating better or exercising more, we can help. You know, losing weight doesn’t have to be miserable. It doesn’t have to be a battle. It’s perfectly possible to eat well, to not be hungry – and to lose weight. Here are a few simple tricks to get yourself motivated.
Are you trying to lose weight? Read our comprehensive guide on weight loss to understand where to begin, what happens when you lose weight, and what doesn't work when it comes to dieting.
It's very difficult to stay motivated to lose weight if you don’t fully recognise the benefits of achieving that goal. So you want to lose weight. But why do you want to lose weight? Have a good, long think about the reasons why you want to shift those kilos – and write them down.
Perhaps your motivation to lose weight is to fit into last year’s summer clothes – or maybe you want to buy new summer clothes, but in a smaller size. Perhaps you want to be more comfortable on the beach in your bathers.
Maybe it’s less about your looks and more about your health. Losing weight could mean trying a new activity this summer – one that you feel you couldn’t do before you lose the weight. That could be playing sports with your kids in the park, or it could be training for that half marathon.
Writing down your motivation has two major benefits. Firstly, it helps you get a clear idea of why you want to lose weight. This can give you the inspiration to start your new healthy way of living. Secondly, it lets you revisit your motivation when times get tough, giving you the courage to stay on the right path.
When it comes to weight loss success stories, everyone loves the before and after shots. You can clearly see where that person started, and what they look like now they’ve reached their goal. But do you think it would be as satisfactory to see progress shots each and every day?
When you’re losing weight, it can be tempting to step on the scales every day. You want some validation that what you’re doing is indeed, working. This can be the worst thing you can do, though. Instead of measuring the ups and downs of daily weigh-ins, give yourself time to see some actual progress. Weigh in weekly and see how far you’ve come.
It's also really valuable to use your Food & Exercise Tracker to track and monitor your progress. Our research shows that members who use the tracker lose more weight than members who don't, which proves that tracking what you eat actually works.
This is because understanding what you’re eating every day makes you more aware of your food choices and helps you form lifelong healthy habits. If you're wondering about the nutritional value of something you're eating, simply look it up in the tracker.
Weight loss is a journey. Corny, but true. You can’t expect that journey to always be a smooth one. There will be bumps along the way, where sometimes you feel like you are going backwards instead of forwards.
When it comes time for your weekly weigh-in and you don’t lose as much as you’d hoped for, don’t beat yourself up about it. Think about what you can do differently next week. Take it on as a challenge instead of a failure. Similarly, if you lapse in your diet or exercise regime, that doesn’t mean the whole week is a write-off. Don’t use it as an excuse to chuck in the towel. Forgive yourself – and move on.
Often when people are feeling stressed or anxious they resort to habits that distract them from the feeling they're experiencing. For example, someone might look to food to give them comfort, or alcohol to relax. Thankfully it is possible to break the habit of using food to help manage these negative emotions that may be causing cravings.
When a craving strikes, take a moment to stop, breathe and ask yourself “why am I having this craving?” or “what has just happened that has triggered me to want to eat?”
When you slow down, you give yourself the opportunity to choose a different path. It allows you to start to identify which internal (such as emotions) and external cues (such as a food advert) may be triggering your cravings. Once you start to identify your triggers, you can start to control your cravings rather than letting them control you.
Other things you could try when you're feeling stressed include:
Just as you should forgive yourself for any failures, you should also reward yourself for your successes. When you reach your targets, give yourself a reward. This could include:
It’s easy to focus on all the things you will lose when you’re trying to lose weight. That could be doughnuts and burgers, or it could be lying on the couch watching TV all weekend. To spark that motivation, try instead to think about the things you will gain from losing weight.
That could be the freedom to shop for clothes you love, or it could be the confidence to wear more flattering clothing in summer. It could be the energy you will gain from eating well and exercising, or it could be the ability to play with your kids without losing your breath.
It could be even bigger than that. Perhaps you want to try something you’ve never done before. Losing weight could mean learning to surf, trying rock climbing and abseiling, or even, bucket list items, like diving the Great Barrier Reef. Imagine it, work for it, and those dreams are yours to gain.
Having support networks in place during your health journey is important for long-term weight-loss success. Whether this is a friend, family member, co-worker or even members of an online support group, these people can help motivate you and cheer you on.
The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet has an active, supportive Facebook group with a wonderful community vibe. Our most successful members connect with the community at least 3 times a month.
Not only is this group a great source of support as you can make new like-minded friends, it also gives you an opportunity to be an inspiration to others. Don’t underestimate how much your determination to get healthy can help someone else!
We also have online Health Coaches who are Accredited Practising Dietitians that provide specialised advice to help you overcome barriers to weight loss. These people will also be able to talk to you via a video call about coping mechanisms and provide you additional support.
If you're trying to lose weight, read our comprehensive guide on weight loss to understand where to begin, what happens when you lose weight, and what doesn't work when it comes to dieting.
Do you have the right mindset for weight loss? Take our 3-minute Start Strong Diet Quiz to discover how your mindset and motivation can boost your weight loss.
The scientifically formulated CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet is one of Australia’s most successful diets. The diet focuses on high protein, low Glycaemic Index (GI) food choices that have been associated with greater fat loss and sustained weight loss maintenance, and combines this with powerful online tools for maximum weight loss.
All our meal plans take advantage of the latest scientific evidence in weight loss and one of the world’s largest weight loss studies showed that users of our digital health platform lost 5.3% body weight on average - with the most committed members losing 21% of their body weight.