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“I don’t feel like starting a diet, I’m just not motivated.”
Do you feel like a lack of motivation is holding you back? Like you could turn things around if you just had that spark?
As impossible as things seem, we’re going to reignite that fire and give you a shot of motivation.
Before we dive in, have you signed up for our FREE 7-day course? This is where I’ll teach you the psychology of weight loss and why getting fit isn’t just about eating less and moving more.
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Get to the root of WHY you want to lose weight. Then, clearly and vividly describe why getting healthy is important to you.
Why? Because your reason is the fuel that keeps your fire burning.
(Now, let’s hit the brakes for a second! It’s so easy to dismiss and skip this step.)
Right now, you might be saying, “Really? The reason is obvious. I want to start a diet because I want to get fit.”
But, just saying you want to get fit isn’t that inspiring. It’s not enough to drag you out of bed at 6 am or to make those tough, late-night decisions.
We need to dig deeper. We want to get to the root. That’s where your real inspiration is hiding.
And to get there, you'll use the phrase “SO THAT.”
You said, “I have to start a diet because you want to get fit.”
Just add the words SO THAT to the end of the sentence and fill in the blank.
I want to start a diet SO THAT... I can look and feel healthier.
Great! Let’s do that again.
I want to look and feel healthier SO THAT... I can stop feeling guilty about where I am.
I want to stop feeling guilty about where I am SO THAT... I can set a better example for my family.
I want to set a better example SO THAT... my children don’t spend years worrying about their weight and how it makes them feel.
Now that's inspiring, isn’t it?!
Your task: Use the "SO THAT" approach to uncover your real motivation.
Now write it down, read it every day. And when you feel like your motivation is waning, this is what will help get you back on track.
Another one of my favorite tactics is called “The Five Whys.” It’s a ridiculously simple way to uncover your motivation.
What's wrong with magazine headlines? They set completely unrealistic expectations. And when you hold yourself to a standard but don't measure up - you are absolutely destroying your motivation.
What happens when you don't lose 16 lbs in 5 days?
You guessed it. Your motivation sinks faster than a brick in water. For real weight loss motivation, set realistic goals.
What’s realistic you ask?
Here are three goals you can hit today:
Log your food. Either write it down or take a picture. Keeping a food diary is key to pinpointing eating triggers and stopping mindless eating.
Put on your shoes, open the door, and step outside. Now, you don’t have to go on a three-mile run. Just walk outside, take a deep breath of air, and if you’re feeling it, take a walk around the block.
Ask yourself one simple question before you take the next bite of food. What’s the question? “Am I hungry enough for broccoli?” (At MyBodyTutor, this is what we call “The Broccoli Test”.)
When someone asks, “What’s the best diet?” My response is always, “The one you can stick to!”
Fad or crash diets just aren’t sustainable. There are only so many times you can eat:
Eggs and grapefruit,
Protein shakes and raisins,
Cabbage and soup, or
As a weight loss coach, these are all real diets clients have tried…and quit, once they realized they are entirely unsustainable.
Because if the diet plan you’re trying to follow isn’t something you can stick to long-term, then you’re doomed before you get out of the gate.
How do you know a diet is right for you? Before you start, answer this one simple question, “Can you see yourself eating like this five years from now?”
If your answer is, "No", I guarantee the diet you’re considering will fail.
If you’re looking for weight loss motivation, find a diet that’s built for you and your lifestyle.
If you’re not ready to start eating vegetables at every meal, what will work for you?
If you don’t have time to cook every meal of the day (like 99% of the people I’ve met), find a plan that works with your schedule.
At MyBodyTutor, our coaches are real people, with real challenges, just like you. We will help you build a plan that will make this diet the last diet you ever start.
Do you know why you feel like no diet is going to work? It’s because you’ve started 30 diets and quit 30 diets. And what happens when you start and fail over and over again is you lose confidence in yourself.
What you need are wins.
Boost your weight loss motivation with repeated success. When each success, you’re putting a “W” in the Win column. And with enough wins you build lasting confidence.
Confidence in yourself to lose weight.
Confidence that you CAN make this happen.
That’s why it’s so critical to set goals you can achieve.
Instead of a punishing 1,000 calories a day goal (which isn’t sustainable, by the way), set yourself up for success.
Get quick wins today with these goals:
Time yourself at dinner. Open your phone and start a stopwatch and just see how long it takes you to finish your meal. You might be surprised how this simple step will help you slow down.
Before you open the kitchen cabinet, ask yourself, “Do I want to eat because I am hungry or because I’m trying to avoid something?” Far too often we eat mindlessly without knowing why we even started.
Turn off your phone for one meal. Instead of overeating because you’re distracted, we’re going to enjoy this moment. And why not? You should absolutely enjoy what you’re eating.
With quick, easy wins you add to your stack of successes. More success = greater confidence.
And confidence translates to life-long, non-stop weight loss motivation.
“We are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” —Jim Rohn
Are your friends and family sabotaging your weight loss? If so, it’s time to surround yourself with people that have the same goals you do and want the same things you want.
We tend to think and do what those closest to us think and do. In the world of social psychology, it’s what they call social norms. When we’re talking about weight loss, those around you have a more significant impact on your motivation than what you may think.
Imagine your closest friends have no desire to be healthier. So when you want to eat a light lunch or go for a run, it is going to be an uphill battle.
But now, imagine your friends are walking for lunch and always talking about ways they can improve, it’s an entirely different situation, right?
“I understand what you’re saying, but I can’t change my friends and family.”
Well, that’s half right.
You can’t change your family, but you can surround yourself with people who want the same goal as you. Now, I’m not suggesting you rip and replace all your friends. I’m recommending you add to your group.
Start with one person, find the one that wants to eat healthier to feel better and wants someone on their side as much as you do. Even if there is no one like that around, we live in the age of the Internet, where you can and will find a group of like-minded individuals.
Here are five ways to get social support and motivation:
Join an online weight loss community.
Sign up for group exercise classes.
Look for events where you live, like a running group.
Find coworkers that go for lunchtime walks.
Get an online weight loss coach. (At MyBodyTutor, this is precisely what we do!)
Earl Nightingale said, “We become what we think about most of the time.”
And one of the easiest ways to daily motivation is immersing yourself in your goal. Fill every spare moment books, videos, podcasts, emails…literally, anything at all that will get you thinking about what you want.
Need a podcast to start with? Listen to MyBodyTutor founder Adam Gilbert talk about “The Magic of Starting Small.”
Have you ever said, “If I can’t be perfect, why bother?”
If not, how about…
“Well, I just ate a bag of chips, I guess this diet is done for the day.”
Sound familiar now?
Well, I’m here to say perfection is not the goal. If it were, none of us would be able to measure up. Lasting weight loss motivation comes from focusing on progress, not perfection.
Here are examples on how to ditch the perfectionist approach:
Perfection: “If I can’t go to the gym for an hour today, so what’s the point of going?”
Progress: “I don’t have time to make it to the gym, but I have time for a quick walk.”
Perfection: “I’m going to dinner with friends, so I know I’m going to blow it.”
Progress: “I’ll go light on the chips and salsa tonight.”
Something is ALWAYS better than nothing. Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, zero in on the change you can make.
That’s how to jump-start your motivation!
Do I go to the gym today, or not?
Should I eat a healthy breakfast or hit the drive-thru?
Do I put ice cream or yogurt in the shopping cart?
We’re faced with a thousand decisions every day. Should I do X or Y?
But what if we erase those tough decisions from our day?
What if we made healthy choices the default option?
If we did, we wouldn’t have to rely on willpower or motivation much at all. How great would that be?
Here’s the thing: we can!
We can use a technique behavioral economists call a “precommitment device.” What is that? That means we make a decision NOW that locks us into a choice later.
Here is how that works.
Say you stay up too late watching Netflix. Well, tonight at 10 pm you could have this internal debate on whether you should watch the next episode.
Insert Precommitment: We could decide right now to set a timer that turns our Internet router off a 10.
Now, we avoid the internal debate altogether. The decision is made, and Netflix will turn off.
Now, let’s take that concept and apply it to weight loss motivation.
1. You could decide what to eat for lunch while you’re hungry and browsing the menu.
Precommitment: You could pre-order lunch immediately after breakfast—when we’re in the right mindset to make a healthy choice.
2. You could make a game-time decision on whether you’re going to the gym tonight…
Precommitment: You could text a friend right now to meet you there at 7.
3. You could hope you have enough willpower to pass up the drive-thru on the way home for work.
Precommitment: You could lock your credit cards in the trunk of the car before you drive out of the parking lot.
See how you can remove temptation by locking yourself into a decision now?
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
“Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
“You didn’t gain this weight overnight. You’re not going to lose it overnight.”
While all three of these are true, how demotivating are those statements?! I cringed just writing them.
When someone says the reward is coming, but you have a loooong way to go? My motivation meter drops to zero. Does yours?
The same is true for weight loss.
For many, many people, the sheer amount of time between starting a diet and reaching their goal weight is a motivation killer.
And it’s easy to understand why.
We are wired to seek immediate reward. We want to start a diet today, and we want to see results tomorrow.
And when that doesn’t happen, we get discouraged.
I couldn’t tell you how many people want to quit a diet because they ate great yesterday, but the scale didn’t budge this morning.
The war we’re in is “Immediate satisfaction vs. Long-term reward.” Do we give in to temptation now and have that cookie, or do we hold off for a reward three months from now?
But, this is where reward substitution is a game-changer.
Who says you can’t have a reward now?
To use reward substitution, it’s as simple as tying a necessary, but uncomfortable action to something you enjoy (the reward).
Here is an example:
Necessary, but uncomfortable action: Going to the gym tonight.
Something you enjoy: Watching a movie.
Just tie those two actions together.
I couldn’t tell you how many complete Netflix series I have watched while working out. And you can too!
Listen to Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, explain how he used reward substitution to prevent liver cirrhosis.
What is accountability? The easiest way to explain accountability is to describe what life is like without it.
If you say you’re going to eat a healthy dinner, but don’t, who is there to ask you about it?
You said you were going to walk after work, but if you skip, does anyone care?
You gave yourself 30 days to lose weight. Does anyone know, and if they do, will they ask you about it?
This is what it’s like living with zero accountability.
No one asks.
No one knows.
No one holds you to what you said you were going to do.
Now, here is the power behind accountability: we behave differently when someone is counting on us.
We don’t drag ourselves out of bed for a 6 am run because we don’t want to let ourselves down. We do it because we don’t want to let someone else down.
We don’t pay bills, race home to cook dinner and start on homework because that’s something WE want to do? We do it because our family depends on us.
When you try to lose weight without accountability, it’s far too easy to quit.
But with accountability, someone IS watching. Someone that wants you to hit your goal, and someone that’s going to ask…
“You said we were going to the gym, how did that go?”
“What did you have for lunch yesterday?”
“How are we going to make this week better than last week?”
Do you see the difference?
If you want to turbo-charge your weight loss motivation, there is no better solution than adding accountability into your life.
Here are nine ways to boost your motivation today. But knowing and acting are two completely different games.
My question to you is, “Which of these will you use today?”
Let me know, I read and respond to every email. If you’re serious about getting motivated and losing weight, take that first step. And if you need help, that’s what we have built our lives around.
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