How to Motivate Yourself to Lose Weight

by Dr. Ahmed Zayed
Published on May 22, 2019
person wearing orange and gray Nike shoes walking on gray concrete stairs

For some people, losing weight is fun and a great way to keep themselves on track to a healthier life. For others, however, weight loss can be a tremendously difficult task. When losing weight becomes a difficult task that feels boring and makes a person feel like their life is miserable, it means they are unmotivated. A person without motivation to lose weight is much more likely to simply give up on their efforts and fall back to a life where they do not care about what they eat, the amount of exercise they get, or how much they weigh.

With obesity and overweight contributing to depression, sleep apnea, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer (1), it is important that you keep yourself motivated and on the road to success. There are many ways that you can keep your motivation high and steer clear of those depressive feelings that make you want to give up.

If you are planning to get on a weight loss program and reduce your body weight soon, but not sure how to keep yourself motivated, then read on. We will share some of the best tips that will keep you motivated throughout your entire journey and keep those thoughts of quitting at bay.

1. Start With A Plan

Planning truly is the key to success in life – setting out on a journey toward any goal without a plan can quickly make things spiral out of control, eventually making you feel like you are going nowhere. When you start your weight loss journey with a plan, you will know what you can eat, how much you can eat, when you can eat, and what foods to avoid. This way, you’ll be prepared for every situation – be it a snack that pops up on your table at work, or an outing with some friends to a restaurant. You will be in control since you have already planned for those scenarios.

2. Keep A Weight Loss Journal

Many people start their weight loss journey without any way of tracking their results. Sure, they would get on the scale at the beginning and then have a weigh-in session frequently to see how they are doing. This, however, does not provide them with proof of how they are doing on the road toward their goal. Keeping a weight loss journal with you can help you track down the progress you make – write down the good and the bad. Add your weight with every weigh-in session. When you feel unmotivated, look at your starting weight in the journal and then turn over a few pages to see how your weight has been reducing.

3. It’s Okay To Cheat Once In A While

Most people are extremely hard on themselves when they “cheat” while on a diet program to lose weight. Surely having a piece of cheesecake is not good for your weight loss plan, but when you only indulge in something like this once or twice a month, you could think of it as a reward instead of something that you have to punish yourself over. Allow yourself something sweet that you would not usually include in your diet meal plan – at the same time, be restrictive. Don’t overindulge and when you do allow yourself a treat, be considerate about what you will be having.

4. Write Down The Reasons For Wanting To Lose Weight

Many people start a weight loss journey and then reach a point where they are not entirely sure why they wanted to lose weight. They would then immediately reach for the fact that it would be good for them perhaps, but many people do have some kind of deeper reason for wanting to shed those extra pounds.

When you get started with your journey to a skinnier version of yourself, write down all the reasons why you want to lose weight on a small piece of paper. Stick that paper to the refrigerator or perhaps even your work computer. Every time you see it, you will be reminded why you are working so hard to lose weight.

5. Buy A Pair Of Jeans That Is One Size Too Small For You

This is actually one of the best ways to motivate yourself – by having something to remind you of your goal in front of you. Go out and buy a pair of jeans that is only a single size too small for you. Then, hang it next to your mirror or perhaps in front of your closet – somewhere you will constantly be reminded of that pair of jeans that is too small for you. As you continue your weight loss program, you will eventually fit into the pair – at this point, wear it and go buy a pair that is yet another size smaller.

6. Reward Yourself

Earlier, we talked about how you can reward yourself with something that is not usually part of your diet – such as a piece of cake. While food can certainly be a reward, you should not forget about the special things in life that you enjoy doing. Set up some goals for yourself – each time you reach one of these goals, perhaps every five or ten pounds you lose, be sure to reward yourself. Think of something you really like to do – perhaps book yourself a day at the spa or spend the day shopping.

7. Get Into That “Skinny You” Mood

Too many people delay things that they really want to do in life for the day that they would achieve their weight loss goal. Sure, setting a goal like you would buy yourself a dress that is only available in smaller sizes make sense. There are, however, many things that you can enjoy right now – without losing all that weight first – and doing these things can greatly help to keep you in gear and help you maintain your motivation. Visit an old friend that you have been dying to meet up with, or perhaps send in your resume’ to that job you promised yourself you would apply for once you get skinny. Do it now – act as you have already lost the weight.

8. Don’t Weigh Yourself Every Day

Another important mistake that many people make when they are dieting and trying to lose is to weigh themselves too much. In fact, some people would go as far as to weigh themselves every single day. Weight loss should not happen too fast – in fact, it is usually advised not to lose more than two pounds per week (2). For this reason, there will usually not be significant differences in your weight with a daily weigh-in session. Instead, try to weigh yourself once a week or perhaps every other week.

9. Share Your Progress

Don’t be afraid to brag about the progress that you are making on social media and to show off to your friends. This can all make you feel better about yourself and is definitely a worthy strategy for keeping yourself motivated. Start a weight loss journey on your Facebook profile, or perhaps even your Instagram account. When you start out, let people know that you are about to endeavor on this journey. Then, as you progress, share a new selfie of yourself every week or so. This will not only help you feel proud about yourself but will also show you just how many of your friends are there to support you during your journey.

10. Stop Criticizing Yourself

Too many people criticize themselves – often for all the wrong reasons. This can cause them to feel self-conscious, experience a low body image, and even drain all of their motivation. Stop standing in the mirror for hours and telling yourself how bad that cellulite looks on your tummy. Avoid criticizing yourself too much. Instead, focus on the good things. When you stand in front of the mirror, notice the areas where you have lost weight thus far. Notice how your hips are starting to shrink and how your arms aren’t as flabby anymore, for example. This will help to boost your motivation instead.

11. Accept And Learn From Failure

Failure is something that happens – you may need to accept the fact that you are only human and things will not always work out 100% the way you want them to. Perhaps you have set a goal to lose two pounds each week, but you get to a week where you only dropped a single pound. Sure, this may seem like a big problem in your journey to reaching your target body weight, but avoid beating yourself up over this. Look back on what you did during the week – maybe you had a bigger lunch than usual because you hanged out with some friends, or perhaps that treat you allowed yourself was too much. Consider your mistakes, learn from them, and then make it a point not to fall victim to the same problems that impacted your results.

12. Throw Out The Garbage

When you are surrounded by unhealthy foods that will cause weight gain, then you are more likely to indulge in them. On the other hand, when you surround yourself with healthy foods, you are more likely to have them – contributing to your weight loss goals. Thus, try to throw out the unhealthy foods that are lurking around at home. If your family is enjoying them, then ask them to please keep those unhealthy foods out of sight and away from you. Instead, pack your refrigerator with healthy snacks. Add some containers with nuts and seeds on the kitchen counter.

13. Buy A Fitness Tracker

Fitness trackers have become popular for a good reason – they allow people to see exactly how many steps they have taken, how many calories they have burnt, and other vital data. These are all important information that can be helpful if you are trying to lose weight, especially if you are on a diet where you are counting the number of calories you eat and comparing that to your daily number of burnt calories. These fitness trackers have become quite advanced recently, allowing you to easily integrate your data into your mobile device and even some cloud-based applications. This makes it easier than ever before to track your progress and to see how well you are doing in terms of burning calories.


A lack of motivation is often one of the primary reasons why a person would stop with a weight loss program. When you stop with your program, you can easily pack on those pounds again, becoming exposed to risks of heart disease and other conditions, and, of course, experiencing a lack of self-confidence. Claim back your motivation and keep your spirit high with the simple, yet effective tips that we shared in this post.



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