The number one way to get your weight loss motivation back? Ditch the word “diet” from your vocabulary: Last year, Dr. Brian Wansink conducted research that confirmed consistent changes in our daily eating behaviors over time (as opposed to hit-and-miss diets) result in gradual weight loss and the development of healthier eating habits. While the results take longer, once your new habits are automatic they'll become a permanent way of life – no more struggling, and no need for weight loss motivation.
Below are 10 teeny-tiny, itty-bitty changes you can make to your daily routine that will boost your weight loss motivation – big time:
1. Shop with a list
According to a recent study out of Australia, people who shop with a grocery list are more likely to lose weight over those who don’t. Doing so keeps your weight loss motivation level in check by keeping you focused and encouraging you to stick to healthier food choices.
2. Reframe your outlook
Don’t look at your diet with a sense of deprivation: You’ll lose your weight loss motivation faster than you can say Häagen-Dazs. In fact, remember your last ice cream binge and how it caused you to spend the next few hours in the fetal position? The next time you’re about to despair binge, remind yourself of how great the healthy food makes you feel... and how the former turns you into a walking Pepto-Bismol ad.
3. Surround yourself with positive influences
I’m not saying ditch everybody who’s ever eaten a chip in front of you (I’d have to disown my entire family), but in times of stress when you’re most likely to fall back into bad habits, spend time with people who have healthy eating in the bag. Especially use this technique when dining out: A recent study found those who eat together and have to state their food choice out loud tend to choose items from the same menu categories.
4. Utilize the rule of one
When you do decide to indulge, use the rule of one: One piece of chocolate. One piece of pie. One scoop of ice cream. Just after Halloween’s the perfect time to stock up on fun-size everything: It’s an easy way to keep your portions in check and stick to protocol.
5. Pretend the snack aisle doesn’t exist
If you cut buying junky foods of any kind out of your routine, over time your cravings will fade. Back in the day when I started my healthy eating adventure, if I was having a wicked craving for something sugary, I'd have to walk to the store to buy something – luckily, my disdain for exercise overpowered my cravings and the process worked like a charm.
6. Put down your utensils between bites
I used to struggle with the whole chewing thing – I was always trying to finish eating as quickly as possible so I could get back to what I was doing (womp, womp). One of the ways I finally learned to enjoy eating was by putting down my utensils between bites. The process was so annoying I took longer and longer breaks between bites and finally tasted the food I was eating.
7. Only eat in the kitchen
If you want your weight loss motivation to go south, don’t just eat in the kitchen: Eat in every part of your house so no matter what activity you’re doing, you’re triggered to start eating. Confine eating to your kitchen to help nix chronic cravings.
8. Make cleaning take longer
One of the primary ways I’d trick myself into exercising more was through inefficient cleaning practices: Instead of hauling every bag of garbage to the dumpster, I’d take one at a time. If it was time to declutter the coffee table (again), I’d put away one item at a time. It’s a simple way to get your heart rate up and technically, you’re multitasking (cha-ching!).
9. Exercise during commercials
I’ve always sucked at exercise – it gives me PTSD flashbacks of elementary school gym class. To get over it, I started small by exercising during the commercial breaks of my favorite shows, which indirectly helped me eat healthier too – by not watching the commercials, I stopped wanting to lick the screen every time a fast food commercial came on.
10. Get a fruit bowl
Give prep-free, healthy snacks a front row seat in your kitchen. When you’re feeling famished and the first thing you see is a bowl of fruit, for example, you’ll be more likely to grab an apple and mosey on with your day.
Which weight loss motivation tips do you swear by?
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Image: Charlotte Astrid