My top three motivation tips for weight loss

Top Personal Trainer from the UK Gerald Smith asked me to share my top three motivation tips for weight loss, here's what I shared with him: 

Learn how to make your ‘failure points’ have as little damage as possible:
Whenever we try to create change in our lives it takes a lot of effort and focus. When it’s going well we feel great about ourselves, we start to see and believe that we will achieve our desired change. But, on the flip side when we aren’t being successful it can trigger an emotional response that can be very negative, often reinforcing a strong negative self perception.  When we are in this place it often leads to destructive behaviours. It’s when you think ‘I’ve failed with my diet so I may as well eat that whole block of chocolate’ but often it’s not just the chocolate, it’s everything you feel you have missed out on when you were being good.  

If you understand the amount of damage you are doing with the bad behaviours that come from your ‘failure points’ you can look to how to deal with this in a less destructive way. 

All of us have moments when we slip up or aren’t as sharp when we are trying to create change but your aim needs to be - becoming great at catching yourself when you do this, keep perspective on why it happened (so you can learn for next time), and then focus on what you need to do right now to limit the amount of damage you will do. The key is to get back to winning as quickly as possible, put your focus on easy successes at this moment and if you do this well your failure points won’t come at a massive cost and you’ll get back on track sooner. 

Learn how the game is working against you:
When it comes to weight loss many people think that it’s 100% about our character, your success depends on your ability to show amazing will power. While there will be moments where will power does come into play there are many moments where you don’t have to confront it at all.

Dr Brian Wansink, the author of Mindless Eating and Slim by Design, has spent his career looking at how our environments influence our eating and has discovered many factors that make people eat more food. An example of this is people who clear up after dinner, they tend to pick at the leftovers while the are packing the food away and cleaning up. This habit of eating while cleaning can add another third to the meal they had just eaten at the dinner table. A way to combat this is for the person cooking dinner to make sure they pack away all of the food when they are preparing the meal, this is an easy strategy which can remove that extra third of temptation for the person clearing up. 

When you start to look at your environments and explore how they are working against you, you can then implement strategies that remove the need for will power to be involved and make it easier for you to be successful which is an important part of your journey. 

Find healthier ways to deal with your emotional times:

Many people who struggle with weight often use food as a way to deal with difficult emotional times. If they have a fight with their partner, they turn to food, they have a hard day at work, they turn to food, they experience a disappointing result in an area that’s an important to them, they turn to food. The problem is that in life we are all going to experience emotional times, it’s a part of life but if the way you deal with it is to eat, often to extreme levels with very unhealthy food, weight will likely always be a struggle.

If you can relate to this, you may want to spend time developing healthier ways to deal with these emotional times. Going for a walk in beautiful nature, calling a good friend who you can be open and honest to, writing in a journal, doing a creative hobby, meditation, listening to the right type of music, these are much healthier ways to deal with these emotional times. Your aim is to become aware of when you are getting emotional and learning to inject one or more of these types of behaviours in at these times. If you become great at doing this you’ll have healthier ways to deal with your challenging moments and more importantly they won’t come with the damage that emotional eating creates (which often leads to more time in your emotionally bad place because you feel like a failure). 

Getting in the right frame of mind is so important to weight loss. If you can spend time looking at all the factors that create success, accept that you won’t be perfect along the way, learn from your mistakes and celebrate your successes, you will massively improve your chances of not only succeeding in your goal but maintaining it in the long term - which, is the real goal of any weight loss journey.

If you want to see how other fitness professionals responded to Gerald's question you can check out his great post here:


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Bevan Eyles