How to Find Weight Loss Motivation
Finding motivation to lose weight is going to be the #1 factor in your success.
WHAT?! You mean it’s not about diet and exercise?!!?
Diet and exercise are important, of course, but they are meaningless without motivation.
Because what good are they if you don’t have the motivation to do follow the diet and do the workouts?
Willpower and motivation get talked about as if they are some mystical innate ability that you either have or you don’t.
Let me be very clear here: willpower and motivation can be learned.
Here are 30 tips for finding your weight loss motivation and building up your willpower.
1. Find your why.
Hear me out on this one.
If someone told me a few years ago that the way to stay motivated was to ‘find my why,’ I would have rolled my eyes and walked away – and maybe that’s what you’re thinking now.
Your why is your internal motivation though, even if you don’t know it.
We’ll get into external motivates in the rest of this list, but those are secondary.
Let me be very clear on this, if you do not have a WHY – You. Will. Quit.
External motivates will wear off. They are not powerful enough to get you through the hardest days.
They days when something else in your life completely unrelated goes wrong.
My personal “why” is below under #2 in this list.
The importance of understanding why I was doing what I was doing didn’t hit me until I heard this speech by Inky Johnson, a motivational speaker and former football player:
“The thing you need to understand is that there will come a point in time where you hit a piece of adversity that is a lot tougher than you.
Everyday you get up, you have to have a greater purpose for why you do what you do and to get up and keep going.
If every decision and choice you make is just about you, at a certain point you’re going to hit something a lot tougher than you that’s going to make you quit because you don’t have a driving force for why you do what you do.
It’s about learning to work from the inside out in life, and not from the outside in.
When you work from the inside out in life, you understand your how, you understand your why, and you understand your what.”
2. Ditch the scale.
The scale is a good tool to help track your weight loss progress.
But it’s just one of many tools, and it’s one of the most deceiving tools.
How much weight do you think I lost between the two pictures below?
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Just a reminder that the scale doesn't tell the whole story. Just barely over a pound difference between these pictures. So unless you have a specific reason you need to care about your weight, do not stress over the number on the scale. 🙅♀️ . I know there's a ton of pics like this on instagram, but honestly I didn't really fully believe them for a while 🤣🙈 Until I came across the picture on the left yesterday. 😳 I used to take pictures of the scale right after taking a progress pic so I would know what my weight was at that time, I guess for this reason lol 🤷♀️ . ⚠ ❗ PS I meant January for the pic on the right, it's from today and I'm not a time traveler.. 🤦♀️🤦♀️ it's been a day 🤣😂
…it’s less than a pound.
But I lost a bunch of fat and replaced it with lean muscle mass.
Your weight can change dramatically based on your body composition, how much water you’ve drunk, how much food you ate that day, what time you weighed yourself.
I know how unmotivating it can be to get on the scale and see your weight go up, or just not be what you expected it to be.
I’m guilty of using the word weight loss a lot, just because it is so common, but what I am actually talking about is fat loss.
If you’re interested in learning more about FAT loss, join my 3 Day Fat Loss Bootcamp (It’s FREE!).
3. Have a plan.
Without a plan, you have to make a choice about everything you do.
If you’re trying to stay motivated to get in shape or lose weight, thinking will be your downfall.
I mean that in the nicest way possible – and from experience.
Your brain is very persuasive and when given the chance, it will persuade you into choosing what it wants in the short term, and not what it needs that will help you to reach your long term goals.
“Should I workout today, self?” – “Nah, you had a long day at work, you deserve a day off, we’ll workout tomorrow.”
“That donut looks delicious, should I eat it?” – “Go for it, you ate healthy the rest of the day, and it’s just one little donut! We’ll workout extra hard tomorrow.”
But tomorrow never comes. The above just repeats day after day. I’ve been there.
Sometimes being motivated to lose weight, isn’t about being motivated it at all. It’s just about removing the option to not be motivated – to just follow the plan because that’s what you’re supposed to do.
Having a plan to follow is going to help you to feel more accountable.
Having a workout plan laid out for you day by day makes deciding to workout that day much easier to stick to.
It removes any thought of “should I workout today?” Your plan will tell you. Today I am going to do XYZ and tomorrow we get to rest.
It also removes any thought about whether or not you should be eating that donut. Is it part of the plan? No? No donut.
Following a specific plan will also help you to achieve results faster.
4. Have a plan that is sustainable.
It’s important that the plan you choose is sustainable.
This seems kind of “duh” but then again, I see thousands of people following Keto.
I’m not here to bash Keto, because my philosophy is 100% about if it works for you (and it’s not hurting you) then do that!
If you don’t know what Keto is, Keto is a diet plan where you eat very high amounts of fat and very low amounts of carbs.
I don’t know about you, but when you tell me I can’t eat any carbs, I’m running for the door.
How is not eating carbs sustainable?
Let’s say you’re on Keto and you lose weight. Ok, you’ve lost the weight, now what?
Are you never going to eat carbs again so that you can maintain your results?
That’s what I mean by sustainability.
If you choose a diet from the beginning that is flexible and easily incorporates into your life, you won’t run into this problem.
It’s going to be much easier to stay motivated and follow your diet plan when it’s not miserable.
That’s why my Fit for Life program comes with TWO diet plans.
That seems crazy, right? Why wouldn’t I just include the one that works?
Because THEY BOTH WORK! Too many people in the fitness industry subscribe to a “One size fits all approach.”
They believe that the one program they promote is the only one that works.
I’ve personally tried and had success with both diet plans. One might be great for one person while the other is easier for someone else to follow. It depends on your lifestyle.
So instead, I include both, the plan, and the pros and cons and let you decide what is better for your lifestyle.
5. Do something you enjoy.
Along the same lines, there is not a one size fits all workout solution.
Some people might prefer running on a treadmill, while others (likely most) hate it.
How are you supposed to be motivated to do something you hate?
Here’s a secret: Running on a treadmill is not the only way to lose weight.
As long as you are active, moving, and pushing yourself, that counts as exercise.
Do you love to dance? Dance as your workout!
If you enjoy nature, take a hike!
Go swimming, try a boxing class, play tag with your kids!
Being motivated is nothing more than being excited to do something. Are you not excited to do the things you enjoy?
Maybe you don’t know what you enjoy yet, so try them all until you find something you love!
6. Get a buddy.
Having a workout buddy can be a great motivator.
Maybe one day you’re not really feeling motivated to go workout, but your buddy is and they drag you along even though you don’t feel like it.
Having someone to lean on during your weight loss or fitness journey is a great asset.
7. Tell your friends.
Sometimes just saying it out loud and letting others know you are starting a weight loss or fitness journey can be motivating!
You’ll feel a sense of accountability to work towards your goals because you know they will watching your journey and asking how it is going.
8. Post on social media.
This one is very similar to telling your friends, just on a larger audience.
To some, it may sound silly or superficial, but posting your journey and progress on social media can be very motivating and add to your feeling of needing to hold yourself accountable.
9. Find a speech.
This is one of the more obvious forms of find motivation, but it’s one of my personal favorites.
They seem kind of cheesy, but when I’m running low on motivation and I just don’t feel like getting up to get my workout in, when I know I should, I’ll listen to one of my favorite motivational speeches.
Here’s a few of my favorites:
10. Have an awesome playlist.
Okay, so you listen to the motivational speech, you gave yourself a pep talk, and now you’ve made it.
You’re at the gym.
But all that motivation you had to get up is gone now.
Remember in #1 when I said this would happen?! This is a great time to dig out your WHY, but also a great time for an awesome playlist!
Music can be so motivational during your workout.
I can be dead tired, and then my song will change and it ends up being one of my favorites and I’ll get this crazy burst of energy to do so much more than I thought I had left in the tank!
11. Build your mental toughness.
I mentioned earlier that sometimes finding the motivation to lose weight isn’t about motivation at all. It’s just about removing the thought and possibility to not do what you’re supposed to be doing.
I talk a lot in my programs about my 3 step approach.
We’re going to use your motivation to create habits, and your habits to create discipline.
When you first start out on your weight loss or fitness journey, you’ll be full of excitement of starting something new and you’ll feel really motivated.
Take advantage of this initial motivation and go hard, follow your program to a T.
After a while, you’ll notice you’re not just following your plan because you’re motivated, but because they’ve become habit now. This is just your routine.
Your habits will keep you on track on the days you would eventually stray off your plan.
“You can’t just not go the gym now, this is your gym day, this is what you do. You’ll feel guilty if you don’t.”
Before you know it, people will start asking you, “How did you get so disciplined? How do you have so much willpower?!”
Your habit will turn into what people see as willpower.
You’ve come so far on your weight loss journey now that you feel accountability to yourself to stay on track.
You don’t even want to eat that donut, because you don’t want to negate all of the hard work you’ve put in!
12. Eliminate excuses.
Excuses are the enemy of motivation.
I touched on it earlier – when given the chance, your brain will find an excuse to not do the things that are hard.
Losing weight is hard work. Your brain doesn’t want to do do that, it wants to sit on the couch and eat chips and watch TV.
One of the best defenses against excuses is just being aware that you’re doing it.
Creating excuses to get out of hard work is second nature, you probably don’t even realize that you’re doing it.
Once you become aware of when you are simply creating an excuse to not do the things you should be doing, you can nip it in the bud.
13. How bad do you want it?
“If you only kind of want it, you’ll only kind of get results.”
We just talked about eliminating excuses.
The next step after recognizing that you are creating excuses that are killing your motivation and hindering your weight loss success is coming up with a rebuttal.
Rebuttals will only work if you want it bad enough.
If you want to lose weight bad enough, nothing is going to stop you.
“I don’t have time.” – Make time. Wake up earlier. If you’re not willing to do that, then you must not want it bad enough.
“I had a long day, I deserve to rest.” – Is today your “rest” day on your plan? No? Then get to work. Results do not care how long your day was.
“It’s just one little cookie, it won’t hurt.” – It’s not about the one cookie, it’s about keeping a promise to yourself and holding yourself accountable. You will feel better for flexing your willpower than you will for having eaten that cookie.
14. Set intermediate goals.
Big goals are scary. Good, but scary.
They can make us feel overwhelmed.
It’s hard to find the motivation to lose weight when the end goal seems so far away that it feels unattainable.
Never lose that big goal, but don’t focus on it too much. Instead focus on smaller, more attainable goals.
Want to lose 200lbs total?
Don’t focus on the 200lbs. Set a goal to lose 10lbs by the end of the month.
Once you reach that 10lbs, set another intermediate goal.
15. Reward yourself.
Each time you reach an intermediate goal, reward yourself!
Consider them little bursts of motivation, something to look forward to.
Try not to make your reward food related, though.
Instead, maybe you’ve been wanting a new pair of slightly expensive workout leggings or a massage, whatever will get you excited!
16. Be realistic.
Nothing kills motivation like disappointment.
Make sure that the goals you set for yourself are realistic, otherwise, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment.
What’s realistic depends completely on you.
If you have 200+ lbs you want to lose, 5lbs in your first week is completely attainable., but it won’t always be.
If you only have 15lbs total that you want to lose, weight does not come off as quickly, so losing 5lbs in a week is going to be much more difficult.
17. You’re working towards the best version of you.
I hear a lot from people with kids or that have to spend a lot of their time caring for someone else, or just work long hours.
They say they don’t have time to workout or plan healthy meals, because they are too busy.
You children, do they no deserve the best version of you?
Does your spouse or loved ones not deserve the best version of you?
YOU deserve the best version of you.
Taking the time to workout and eat right is NOT selfish. It is anything but selfish.
Here’s why working on your health and fitness is not just good for you, but also your loved ones:
Exercising releases endorphins. Endorphins are a hormone that gives you a very positive, happy feeling.
Exercise has been proven to relieve stress.
You will be amazed at how much more energized you feel when you fix your diet.
Working out for an hour a day is just 4% of your day. The at-home version of the 8 Week Total Body Transformation Program has a workout time that averages just 30 minutes, that’s 2% of your day.
A healthier you means you’ll be around as long as possible for your loved ones.
Find your motivation to lose weight in being the absolute best version of you, for yourself and your loved ones.
18. Only weigh yourself first thing in the morning.
If you still want to weigh yourself, only do it first thing in the morning.
This is your truest weight.
You do not eat and drink the exact same thing every single day, and so if you were to weight yourself later in the day, it would fluctuate based on this.
Weighing yourself in the morning is not perfect and will still depend in part on what you ate the day before, but it will be the most accurate representation that you can get.
19. Take progress pictures.
Taking progress pictures is one of the best motivators if you’ve been putting in the work.
Sometimes during a weight loss journey, when you’re looking in the mirror every single day, your eye becomes blind to the small day by day changes it’s making.
I highly recommend taking a picture before you begin your weight loss or any fitness journey. Take another picture at the end of each week in relatively the same clothes, in the same spot, and the same lighting.
Put the pictures side by side so you can really see your progress and the changes your body is making.
Seeing these changes in your body when you didn’t even realize how far you had come can be so motivating!
20. Pay attention to the other positive changes.
Seeing your weight loss progress in pictures can be extremely motivating, but so can noticing your progress in other ways.
When you start making improvements to your health and diet, you’ll likely start to feel more energized, confident, and overall better.
Pay attention to how your clothes fit and how you feel in them.
Let these small changes motivate you more to keep going and to feel even better.
21. Expect a roller coaster.
We talked about having realistic expectations.
One of your expectations should also be that weight loss and progress is not always a straight line.
You have to expect that it is going to be a rollercoaster.
Some days your weight will go up, and that’s OKAY.
I get that this can really be demotivating.
Expecting and knowing that it’s part of the journey can help.
Remind yourself that this is part of the process. This was not our best day (or week), but it is not the only and far from the last day.
We will trust the process and results will come!
22. Think positively.
It can be easy to get down on yourself on the days that you don’t do well or that you don’t see the results you were expecting.
I can’t stress how important it is to not get down on yourself.
We are all human. We’re not perfect.
This is a marathon, not a sprint.
Remember your WHY and give yourself a motivational pep talk when you need it. Remind yourself of how much work you have put in so far and that tomorrow will be better.
23. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others.
Everyone is different. Everyone’s body is different.
We have different goals, progress at different rates, and have different circumstances.
The only person you should compare yourself to is who you were yesterday.
If you are working towards bettering yourself in some way every day, that is all that matters.
Stay away from social media accounts that make you feel like you’re not good enough. Find the ones that motivate and inspire you.
24. Set reminders.
Give yourself motivational or workout reminders.
Put a reminder in your phone for the days and times you are supposed to be working out.
Include some motivational words or quotes (examples below) to help get you going when you get the reminder.
25. Change your perspective.
Sticking to your diet is typically much harder than sticking to your workout plan.
One thing that can help you stay motivated to stick to your diet is changing your perspective on food.
During your weight loss journey, try thinking of food differently.
It’s not just about eating something delicious, you’re fueling your body.
Would you pour sugar into your gas tank? No, because sugar is terrible for your car and you’d ruin it.
You only put gas into your car because that’s what it needs to run efficiently.
Think of your body this way. Food is your body’s gas.
People shovel donuts and pizza in their mouths, knowing they have no nutritional value, and then wonder why they don’t feel very good or have much energy.
Unlike a car, which you can replace, you only get one body. Take care of it, feed it right.
Choose foods that will give you the most nutritional value. That will help your body run at is the most optimal level.
A full list of foods to eat and foods to avoid are included in the Fit for Life program, along with tons of other nutritional information and 2 diet plans.
26. Get enough sleep.
You will feel so much more motivated to get up and kick the day’s butt after a good, full nights sleep.
Of course, you are not going to feel like working out when you’ve only slept a few hours the night before, all you want to do is nap!
27. Experiment with workout times.
A common issue people tell me is that they just don’t have the motivation to workout after work.
Well, maybe after work is not a good time for you then. Maybe you’ll have more success working out in the morning, or after you’ve been home from work for an hour or so and had a chance to relax.
I never thought I’d be a morning workout person until I tried it, and it’s still only half true.
I still hate waking up early, but I was pleasantly surprised how good I felt when I got up and got my workout in before work.
You just don’t know until you try.
28. Try Preworkout/Cofee.
Okay, so realistically, I get it.
I’m tired after work too, and I don’t always feel like going in the morning.
I workout after work about 95% of the time, and after a 9 hour day and an hour commute each way, my motivation is low.
How do I still get up an go? Pre-workout.
Pre-workout is a supplement that gives you extra energy. Like a lot of energy. Like coffee on steroids.
I usually have so much energy and motivation after that I have to go workout or I’ll just start running in circles to burn the energy off!
It’s not for everyone, and maybe just coffee will work for you. Always talk to your doctor first.
29. Don’t be afraid to try a doctor.
Speaking of doctors, if your motivation is low or you’re struggling to lose weight, talking to your doctor is always a good idea.
There might be a real medical issue that you simply would not be able to get over on your own.
30. Set the background on your phone to a picture or quote
The background on my phone is often a motivational quote or a picture that inspires me.
It’s just a small reminder throughout the day to keep me motivated and my eyes focused on my goals.
Here are a few of my personal favorite motivational quotes:
Weight Loss Motivational Quotes
- “Success is not for the weak and uncommitted… Sometimes it’s gonna hurt!” -Eric Thomas
- “You can’t cheat the grind, it knows hows much you’ve invested, it won’t give you nothing you haven’t worked for.” – Eric Thomas
- “Don’t cry to quit! You already in pain, you already hurt! Get a reward from it!”- Eric Thomas
- “Everybody wants to be a beast, until it’s time to do what real beasts do.” – Eric Thomas