Staying on track with a weight-loss goal can be a bit of a mental game at times, especially because weight doesn’t simply come off overnight. Healthy and sustainable weight loss requires time and patience and a few tactics for reframing your mindset when you’re feeling discouraged or experience setbacks, big or small.
Even if things are going well on your journey to slim down, a few small tweaks may help you reach your goal a little faster—and with more peace of mind. Here are five tools for your weight-loss toolbox to help you stay motivated and on track.
1. Get enough sleep
You’ve likely heard before that lack of sleep will lead to overeating and eating the wrong things. The reason for this is because the two neurotransmitters that control appetite—ghrelin and leptin—get thrown out of whack when we don’t get enough zzzs.
Ghrelin, also called “the hunger hormone” is responsible for those pesky hunger pangs and telling your brain when it’s time to eat, while leptin sends the signal to say you’re full. According to the National Sleep Foundation, both ghrelin and leptin get disrupted when the body doesn’t get enough sleep. Research has shown that ghrelin spikes among participants who got four hours of sleep compared to those that got 10, which means constantly feeling hungry and a failure to feel sufficiently full.
In addition, it’s been shown that sleep deficiency also leads to choosing the wrong kinds of foods. Study participants that didn’t get the recommended seven to 9 hours gravitated towards carb-rich and high-calorie foods after getting insufficient sleep.
2. Try a meal delivery service
Figuring out exactly what to eat and how much is totally doable but requires time and careful monitoring. If you know you are entering a particularly busy or turbulent time ahead—perhaps you’re planning a wedding, moving or undergoing a renovation—making the time for proper meal planning will likely be the first thing to slip—along with your weight-loss progress.
Get ahead of it and know when to switch gears and utilize a meal service that will work within your dietary preferences and macronutrients so that you get perfectly portioned pre-cooked meals delivered to your doorstep every week to keep you safely on track.
3. Make your goal—and time frame—realistic
Making sure that your weight-loss goal is realistic is extremely important for keeping you motivated and encouraged. As you reach milestones along the way to your big goal, taking time out to celebrate the small wins will further fuel your drive to keep going.
But if your goals are too aggressive, you may not get the chance to celebrate the small or big wins and will be much less likely to succeed. Take the time to sit down and formulate a plan using SMART goals which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-limited. Here are some examples of health goals using the SMART system.
As for realistic weight-loss targets, the Mayo Clinic recommends a one- to two-pound weight loss per week as a safe weight-loss goal. So if you’re 170 pounds and want to lose 15 pounds, for example, allow yourself at least eight weeks (and up to 15) to lose the weight steadily while keeping motivation high.
4. Forget perfection
The days of aiming for unrealistic perfection are—thankfully—behind us. The body positivity movement, which is defined by the Cleveland Clinic as “Loving your body regardless of shape, size, color, gender or ability” is a far cry from the one-size-fits-all societal standard of yesteryear.
The key when embracing body positivity is to let go of the dangerously limiting picture of what you—or anyone else—thinks you should look like and instead aim to get healthier for the sheer love of your body and wanting to care for it in the best way you can for longevity and happiness.
Weight loss is still important despite adopting a body positivity mentality. Instead of focusing on losing weight to look a certain way, make someone else happy or fit into an impossibly small size, do it to be healthier and happier for you—whatever that looks like at your healthiest weight in your unique body. Perfection is a thing of the past.
5. Reward yourself—but not with food
Small rewards are a powerful motivator but falling into a food reward trap is a dangerous and slippery road that works against your best efforts to attain a healthier weight.
When you hit a weight-loss milestone, why not treat yourself to a new workout outfit since you’ll be feeling so good? Or book a massage or a spa treatment and show up early to bask in the amenities of the steam room, sauna and hot tub with a good book. Splurge on that fitness gadget you’ve been thinking about, get a pedicure or treat yourself to a skincare product you’ve been eyeing. Anything that enrichens your self-improvement journey instead of undermining it is a great choice!
By: Adele Kiriakou
Transformation Trainer & Lifestyle Coach
Blogs You'll Love:
Our Most Read Content:
Shop America's Best Selling Weight Loss Supplements
*The links used in this article are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Iovate Health Sciences International Inc. or any of its affiliates (“Iovate”) of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. Iovate bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.