So how are those New Year’s Resolutions coming on? We are 9 weeks into the New Year and many of those resolutions may be starting to feel like a drag. The full feeling of over indulgence has long gone, only to be replaced by healthy eating and early morning gym sessions, while it’s dark outside. The motivation may be starting to wane and you may be beginning to wonder why you started in the first place.
Although quitting may seem like the easy way out, it often comes back to haunt you later. The pain of one hour at the gym or saying no to your favourite treat doesn’t take long and you’ll feel good for the rest of the day. But the alternative is quitting the diet or exercise regime, only to beat yourself up about it and regret it until your next attempt. If you don’t do it now, then when will you?
How to maintain motivation
Motivation is a bit like taking a shower – You have to keep doing it! You need to regularly refresh your motivation to remind yourself why you’re doing it and to stay firmly focused on where you are going. Motivation can come in many forms, so find out what works for you. For some it may be fitting into an old pair of jeans or a shopping trip to refresh your wardrobe. For others it may be the desire to improve your half marathon PB or play football with your children without tiring. Whatever it is, regularly remind yourself why you started and why it’s important to you.
Weight and body changes can seem to take forever, leaving you wondering if you’ll ever get there and if it’s worth the effort. Try to find positive things to focus on such as an old photo of yourself at your dream weight or an magazine image of the body you want to achieve. Keep your focus on where you’re going, not on where you are. Maintain a strong vision of what you want to achieve and keep taking one step at a time. You WILL get there!
Stay the course
It is common to have quick weight loss results at the beginning of a new diet while the body is using up it glucose stores and getting rid of the excess water. But the weight loss often slows down, which can leave you feeling defeated. Don’t be! Now the carbohydrate stores have now been depleted, the body needs to work harder to metabolise the fat stores for energy. Although it may seem frustrating that the weight loss has slowed down, this is the time to be patient and you will start to see real long term results.
Slow and steady
If you’re finding the weight loss too quick and you’re lacking in energy or your exercise regime is suffering, slow it down a bit. In a two year weight loss study carried out in Pennsylvania, those that were most successful at the end were the ones who lost weight slowly, and made long term lifestyle changes. The ones with the worst results were the ones that lost weight too quickly at the beginning and tended to rebound. So, ease up a bit if you think you are going too quickly, too soon. Just increase the calories a little bit to allow the weight loss to continue at a slower rate. You will still get there and you will be more likely to keep it off for good!
The importance of consistency
If you continue to fall on and off a diet every few weeks, creating a yoyo effect, you will be unlikely to see any real difference in the overall weight loss at the end. Don’t let all your hard work be in vain, by making a half hearted attempt. Say no to that extra treat, turn down the extra glass of wine, go to the gym even though you’re tired. Consistency is the difference between achieving your dream body or not. Stay strong and there can be only one outcome……SUCCESS!