Plan for Challenges and Setbacks

Plan for Challenges and Setbacks

Find Social Support
People need regular support and positive feedback to stay motivated (1Trusted Source).

Tell your close family and friends about your weight loss goals so they can help support you on your journey.

Many people also find it helpful to find a weight loss buddy. You can work out together, hold each other accountable and encourage each other throughout the process.

Additionally, it can be helpful to involve your partner, but make sure to get support from other people too, such as your friends (11Trusted Source).

Furthermore, consider joining a support group. Both in-person and online support groups have been proven to be beneficial (1Trusted Source).

SUMMARY:
Having strong social support will help hold you accountable and keep you motivated to lose weight. Consider joining a support group to help boost your motivation along the way.
8. Make a Commitment
Research shows that those who make a public commitment are more likely to follow through with their goals (14Trusted Source).

Telling others about your weight loss goals will help you stay accountable. Tell your close family and friends, and even consider sharing them on social media. The more people you share your goals with, the greater the accountability.

Moreover, consider investing in a gym membership, package of exercise classes or paying for a 5K in advance. You are more likely to follow through if you have already made an investment.

SUMMARY:
Making a public commitment to lose weight will help you stay motivated and hold you accountable.
9. Think and Talk Positively
People who have positive expectations and feel confident in their ability to achieve their goals tend to lose more weight (15).

Also, people who use “change talk” are more likely to follow through with plans.

Change talk is making statements about commitment to behavioral changes, the reasons behind them and the steps you will take or are taking to reach your goals (16Trusted Source).

Therefore, start talking positively about your weight loss. Also, talk about the steps you are going to take and commit your thoughts out loud.

On the other hand, research shows that people who spend a lot of time only fantasizing about their dream weight are less likely to reach their goal. This is called mentally indulging.

Instead, you should mentally contrast. To mentally contrast, spend a few minutes imagining reaching your goal weight and then spend another few minutes imagining any possible obstacles that may get in the way.

A study in 134 students had them mentally indulge or mentally contrast their dieting goals. Those who mentally contrasted were more likely to take action. They ate fewer calories, exercised more and ate fewer high-calorie foods (15).

As seen in this study, mentally contrasting is more motivating and leads to more action than mentally indulging, which can trick your brain into thinking you have already succeeded and cause you to never take any action to reach your goals.

SUMMARY:
Think and talk positively about your weight loss goals, but make sure you are realistic and focus on the steps you must take to reach them.
10. Plan for Challenges and Setbacks
Everyday stressors will always pop up. Finding ways to plan for them and developing proper coping skills will help you stay motivated no matter what life throws your way.

There will always be holidays, birthdays or parties to attend. And there will always be stressors at work or with family.

It’s important to start problem solving and brainstorming about these possible weight loss challenges and setbacks. This will keep you from getting off track and losing motivation (2Trusted Source).

Many people turn to food for comfort. This can quickly lead to them abandoning their weight loss goals. Creating appropriate coping skills will prevent this from happening to you.

In fact, studies have shown that people who are better at handling stress and have better coping strategies will lose more weight and keep it off longer (11Trusted Source).

Consider using some of these methods to cope with stress:

Exercise
Practice square breathing
Take a bath
Go outside and get some fresh air
Call a friend
Ask for help
Remember to also plan for holidays, social events and eating out. You can research restaurant menus in advance and find a healthy option. At parties, you can bring a healthy dish or eat smaller portions.

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