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7 weight loss motivation tips to help you transform your health

Discover the power of psychology in achieving weight loss goals.

7 Psychology-Based Weight Loss Motivation Tips | Juniper

Weight loss is one of those things that seems straightforward in theory. Burn more calories than you consume, and you'll lose weight, right? Simple!

But, as anyone who has ever tried to shed a stone or 2 will attest... it's not always quite so easy. Losing weight is as much a mental game as it is physical — and because our brains are complex machines, sustaining the motivation to achieve our weight loss goals can be challenging.

The good news is, by leveraging psychology-based weight loss tips, you can stay on track for good. Read on for 7 weight loss motivation tips that will help you feel like the healthiest and happiest version of yourself.

Why is it so hard to stay motivated to lose weight?

So, why is it that even some of the world's most successful people struggle with the motivation to lose weight?

Maybe you've even accomplished some amazing things yourself — like building a career, gaining an education, starting a family, and saving money — but this is the one area of your life you just can't seem to get down pat.

You're not imagining it, and you're not alone. Research shows that a whopping 80% of diets fail [1].

There are a few different reasons that losing weight is such a tricky beast. Firstly, many people take an 'all or nothing' approach to losing weight. You've probably experienced this cycle yourself:

You get back from holiday, or have a weekend of overindulgence and are left feeling cruddy about your body. So, you tell yourself "Right, things are going to be different from here on out!" You jump onto the latest weight loss diet and toss out everything in your fridge and pantry that doesn't fit the requirements.

For the first few days, it goes well... until your friend offers you a tantalising, cheesy slice of pizza. You cave, and now because you're officially 'off the wagon', you figure the rest of the day is a write-off, so you may as well eat whatever you want, anyway.

While being restrictive with our eating might seem like the answer, it actually sets us up to fail. You know the classic "If someone tells you not to think about a pink elephant, the first thing you're going to think of is a pink elephant" trick? The same applies to your food. By swearing off certain food groups like carbs or sweets, you'll likely find that these 'out of bound' foods are all you can think about. We always want what we can't have.

Another common reason many weight loss diets fail? Because you're seeking motivation from the wrong places.

Extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation for weight loss

In order to understand why it's so hard to keep weight loss motivation high, it's important to distinguish between the 2 different types of motivation [2].

Extrinsic motivation is when you're motivated to perform a behaviour because you want to reap an external reward. Think, the idea of getting lots of likes on your Instagram photo when you've lost weight.

On the other hand, intrinsic motivation is when you do something because it is inherently satisfying and enjoyable. For example, going to a fun workout class with a friend.

Research has found that people with strong intrinsic motivation have better long-term weight loss outcomes [3]. That's largely because our brains are wired to prioritise immediate gratification over long-term rewards.

Sure, you might understand logically how amazing it will be to feel confident in your togs on your summer holiday. But, is that enough to motivate you to eat healthy or work out on those days when you're really tired and depleted? 9 times out of 10, you'll probably choose the quick dopamine (the reward chemical) fix of eating a chocolate bar over a weight loss goal that might take months to come to fruition.

That's why, for weight loss success, it's so important to find inherent enjoyment in what you're doing. That way, you won't have to push yourself to do it every day. You'll already be motivated because it's fun and rewarding, and your amazing 'before and after' transformation will just be a bonus.

7 weight loss motivation tips that make healthy habits easy

Ready to learn how to stay motivated to lose weight, no matter what life throws at you? These 7 practical tips will help make your weight loss efforts a success.

1. Find your 'why'

Often, people fall off track with their weight loss goals because they don't have a strong driving force. Sure, you might think it would be nice to look fabulous at your 10-year school reunion. But, does that goal have a strong enough emotional pull, to keep you going even when things feel challenging?

Dig deep to truly understand your motivation for losing weight. Perhaps it's because you want to be fit enough to play with your kids, or because you want to set a good example for them. Or, maybe your unique 'why' is so you can achieve your bucket list goal of swimming the English channel.

Usually, your true weight loss 'why' will align with your values, and the things in your life that matter most to you. Keep those front of mind, and staying motivated becomes a lot easier.

2. Start small

It's easy to look at all the weight loss inspiration on social media and feel like you have to overhaul your entire life in one day. But, for every new healthy habit you create, you need a cue — a trigger in your daily routine, that you'll anchor your new, desired behaviour onto [4].

So, you can imagine how overwhelming it becomes when you're trying to implement multiple new healthy habits at once. Not realistic, nor sustainable.

What's far more effective is to focus on making small lifestyle changes, that add up over time. For example, one week you might set a goal of drinking an extra glass of water per day. The next week, you might focus on posting pictures of your progress to a community group.

These behavioural changes might seem tiny — but just like that high-interest savings account, you'd be surprised at the compounding impact over time.

3. Try using SMART goals

Not all goals are created equal. When we set vague, wishy-washy goals with no clear boundaries, we set ourselves up to fail. What's far more effective is to use a tried-and-tested goal-setting system — and the SMART goal method is a classic for a reason.

The acronym stands for:

  • Specific: How will I know when I have achieved my goal? Is there a clear outcome?
  • Measurable: What metrics will I use to measure my progress towards these goals?
  • Attainable: Can I reasonably achieve this goal, with the resources that I have right now?
  • Relevant: Does this goal align with my core values? (Remember your 'why')
  • Time-bound: Have I clearly defined the timeframe in which I will accomplish my goal?

Evaluating your goal against these criteria will help start your weight loss journey on the right note.

4. Find an exercise buddy

Let's be honest, everything is more fun with friends. But, not only can working out with a buddy make the process more enjoyable (intrinsic motivation, anyone?), it can help keep you accountable.

In a study from the US, people who had the support of a buddy were more likely to lose weight [5]. As a social species, humans hate letting other humans down. So, we're far less likely to cancel on that 8am workout class, if we know our friend is waiting on us.

So, schedule that walk with a friend, rope your partner in for a gym session, or gather the girls for a dance class. Don't have any like-minded friends to exercise with? No problem! Consider booking some sessions with a personal trainer or coach, or joining an online community of people working towards their weight loss goals. You'll be able to cheer each other on and share your challenges.

5. Find a plan that suits your lifestyle

The best weight loss program is always the one that effortlessly slips into your daily routine. For example, if you're a night owl, trying to bully yourself into doing 5 am workouts probably isn't the best idea. Or, if you're a big foodie who likes to eat out a lot, pre-packaged diet meals likely won't cut it.

Maybe you're not really even a fan of working out? No problem, you don't necessarily even need to exercise to lose weight (although there are other health benefits). Rather than trying to fit a square into a circle, think about how you can make your weight loss plan work with you. At Juniper, we combine lifestyle coaching with a completely personalised weight loss program, to make your success inevitable.

6. Celebrate your successes

Research suggests that those who celebrate their small wins are more likely to achieve their bigger goals in the long term [6]. That's why it's so important to break ambitious weight loss goals into smaller milestones — and, to stop and take a moment to high-five yourself.

Hit the gym 2 days in a row? Actually, remembered to fill out your food diary? Snuck some greens in for every meal? Give yourself an enthusiastic pat on the back, and maybe even reward yourself from time to time (with something healthy, of course). It might feel slightly cheesy, but by creating a positive feedback loop, you're setting yourself up for more success.

7. Plan for setbacks and plateaus

Your weight loss journey isn't always going to be linear. Ups, downs, and sideward steps are just a natural part of life. You might even have times when you're doing all the right things, and the weight on the scale has plateaued. Frustrating, right?

What's important to remember is, these setbacks don't detract from all the progress you've already made — it's just a bump in the road, not a stop sign. It's your ability to get back on track quickly that is really going to determine your success in the long run.

While not every aspect of your weight loss journey is in your control (for example, genetics play a big role), there is now a way you can shift all the odds in your favour.

Juniper's Weight Reset Programme combines medication, health coaching, and ongoing support to reset your metabolism, so you can safely reach and maintain your body's healthy set weight.

We prescribe a clinically proven medication that works to reduce your appetite and make you feel fuller for longer, while also reducing cravings by targeting the rewards centre in the brain.

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