This is one of the biggest things that I see my clients struggle with . . . Motivation.
Generally for the first few weeks they are so motivated and when they see results they get spurred on to keep going. Fast forward a few months down the track and if their weight loss isn't as consistent each week, this is when the motivation wanes as they aren't seeing as drastic results anymore. Seeing physical results and weight loss should not be your only form of motivation. How you feel mentally (reduction in stress levels), emotionally (reduced depression as a result of the exercise endorphins) and physically (clothes fitting better and your fitness increasing) should all be equal determinants of your progress.
Here are my 5 tips on how to stay motivated
1. Don't give up
This is always my number one thing. Don't give up!!! Just because something is hard or is not coming as easy as you think it should this is not a sign to just give up. Giving up and going back to your previous ways is going to do exactly that - send you back to where you came from. Then in a few months time when you decide you want to lose weight again will send you back on this repeat yo-yo dieting cycle which is what you want to avoid.
2. Actually set a goal
If you don't have a goal to work towards then staying motivated is going to be very hard. It is going to make getting up on those winter mornings to exercise even harder. You're more likely to work harder at the gym and push yourself if you have something in mind to work towards. When many clients first come to see me and I ask what their goals are they say blanket statements like "I want to get fitter" or " I want to lose weight" - OK that's great, but what do you mean fitter, how much weight do you want to lose? Actually have specific numbers and goals in place that you can measure and have a time frame.
3. Don't just have a physical goal - have an exercise or fitness goal instead
In the beginning you may have had a weight loss goal to get down to a certain number. But when the scales aren't going down as quickly as you like the motivation to hit that goal diminishes rapidly. This is why having a goal associated with fitness or fitting in to a piece of clothing is going to be much more motivating. When I get my clients to goal set I always say to them to think of a piece of clothing that they want to fit back in to, an event that they want to compete in (e.g. a 5 or 10km fun run) or just a personal fitness goal such as being able to do push ups on your toes or to be able to lift a certain number of weights. This way you can easily and clearly see your progress and it is something you are working towards every time that you exercise.
4. Change up your exercise regime
If what you are doing at the gym is feeling like it's not a challenge anymore and you feel like you're not getting any stronger or fitter - this is not always a bad thing! This could mean that you've outgrown that program and need to increase the intensity at the gym or change up the type of training that you are doing. It could also mean that you aren't pushing yourself with the program because you are getting bored with it. I advise that every few months to change the program or the type of training that you do so you aren't getting bored with it and to also give your body a bit of a shock so as it's not just getting used to doing the same type of exercise over and over again.
5. Give your body a rest
Instead of giving up, give yourself a planned rest. Say I am going to have the next 2 days off training to really give my body a rest and recover and then get back into it. If you're like me and love training, after having a few days off I get my renewed love for it and can't wait to get back into the gym again.