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Have you ever heard anyone say that all they have to do is look at a cheeseburger or a piece of cheesecake, and they’ll gain weight?

Why is it that this feels so darn true, and yet losing even a pound or two is such a slog?

If you’re wondering how to stay motivated to lose weight, don’t despair! We have some real-life tips and tricks to help keep your motivation levels up, and your cheesecake intake down.

Set Realistic Goals

Of course, you’d like to lose 40 pounds in time for your niece’s wedding…next month. If you were being totally honest, you’d probably like to have lost that 40 pounds by last Christmas. 

Unfortunately, that kind of rapid weight loss isn’t realistic or healthy. You might be able to drop a lot of weight in a short period, but it wouldn’t feel good while you were doing it. Nor would it be sustainable. 

A more realistic expectation is that you will lose one to two pounds per week, or four to eight pounds in a month. If you go into your weight loss journey with a reasonable idea of what you can actually accomplish, you won’t be disappointed when the scale hasn’t budged after a week — and you won’t lose your motivation to keep going.

Remember that this is a journey. Despite what it feels like, you did not gain the weight overnight, and you won’t lose it overnight. 

Stop Beating Yourself Up

When you look at weight loss or working out as a punishment, you simply make it harder to do either of them. 

Having gained weight does not make you a bad person, and you are not required to suffer because the scale shows you a higher number today than it did six months ago.

Trying flipping the script; see the choices you are making now as good ones that will help you feel better not only in the future, but also for the present. 

Work Out for the Workout’s Sake

If you are hitting the treadmill day in and day out because it’s the only way you know how to stay motivated to lose weight, you sure do need to lose.

Lose your attitude, that is.

Workouts can be fun, believe it or not. The key is to find a workout that you love. Running on a treadmill or spending 30 minutes on an elliptical are not the only healthy ways to move your body.

Remember roller skating? It’s back, and better than ever, with comfortable skates that let you recapture that Saturday-night feeling. Dancing is a great workout, so check out a Zumba or hip-hop class. 

A bike ride or hike in a beautiful setting won’t feel grueling, but will get your heart rate up. Aqua aerobics are also a fantastic way to work hard without feeling like you’re breaking a sweat — and working out in the pool is easy on the joints, too.

Lose Weight With a Little Help from Your Friends

Wondering how to stay motivated to lose weight? Ask your friends. 

Unless your besties are all size-zero supermodels, it’s more than likely that they’ll respond by saying, “I need help staying motivated too!”

Workout or weight-loss buddies can be a tremendous source of support. You can motivate each other to get to the gym; you can cheer each other on when eating light seems like an insurmountable challenge. 

Don’t discount the power of bragging on your own self, either. When you have someone who’s in your court — whether they’re actively trying to lose weight themselves, or they are simply supporting you in your efforts — reporting that you ate a salad when you really wanted a plate of pasta carbonara can have a motivating effect. 

So the next time you are craving a slice of chocolate cake, imagine how good it will feel to report back to your BFF that you chose a small square of dark chocolate and a big fruit salad instead.

Love Yourself Now

Chances are that if you are trying to lose weight, you’re thinking about the future. 

The future when you can fit back into your favorite skinny jeans, wear shorts without worrying, or feel better in a bathing suit.

Or maybe your idyllic future includes being able to eat chicken wings or drink a milkshake without fretting over the calorie count.

Guess what? The future is now. 

The more self-esteem you can muster up — without worrying about how to motivate yourself to lose weight — the easier it will be to lose that weight. It sounds improbable, but it’s true. 

Love yourself just the way you are. You’ll soon find that you’re making choices that support that self-love.

Set Yourself Up for Success

When you know how to stay motivated to lose weight, you know that keeping a pantry stocked full of potato chips, cookies, candy, and other processed, high-calorie snacks is a bad idea.

The same goes for a fridge full of cheese, salami, pudding cups, French onion dip, and leftover pizza.

Prep healthful vegetables and fruit, portion them into individual containers, and stash in the fridge for quick snacks. Whole-grain crackers and 100-calorie packs of heart-healthy nuts are great pantry staples. 

The easier it is to eat well, the more likely you’ll stay motivated.

Know How to Stay Motivated to Lose Weight 

No matter what is motivating you now — that post-workout euphoria, your upcoming high school reunion, a gorgeous cocktail dress that’s just a size too small — keeping that incentive to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight can be difficult.

Once you’ve dropped a few pounds, increased your stamina, and started to enjoy healthful eating, it’s likely that you’ll want to keep going on your journey. After just a few weeks, if not days, you will probably have seen results.

Those results might not be pounds lost, but the pride you feel at making better choices or the fact that you have more energy. Even just a slightly looser waistband gives you exactly what you need when you’re trying to figure out how to stay motivated to lose weight.

What keeps you motivated in your bid to shed some pounds? Join the conversation in the comments section below!

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