Motivation – Is It Necessary To Lose Weight?
One question I get asked a lot is, ‘how do I stay motivated to lose weight?’ The problem with this question is that they’re usually sharing something that motivated people to do positive self-talk for example. It is not a requirement it’s a result.
Sure, that’s great, but it’s not like you’ve never heard these before. A quick Google search, and you’ll find countless solutions on ‘increasing your motivation’ for losing weight, all of which seem so easy. But even then, why is it so difficult? That’s because following the tips you find on the internet needs more than motivation; it needs a change of mind and mindset. If you want to experience a mindset shift with an online weight loss coaching programme, please feel free to reach out.
The Types of Motivation – The ‘Why’ Behind Your Weight Loss
All of us have different reasons for losing weight, but these can influence the type of motivation you develop. Extrinsic motivation is powered by the desire for external rewards like praise and money.
The reward is usually physical and comes from someone besides yourself. So someone with a sense of extrinsic motivation to lose weight would use the ‘if/then’ model to phrase their efforts. For instance, they may say, ‘If I lose 20 pounds, I can buy a good wedding dress.’
The Problem with Extrinsic Motivation
It’s a double-edged sword because extrinsic motivation is only effective for losing weight in the short term. Initially, when you lose weight, you’re bound to get a lot of praise as people notice and compliment your weight loss.
While approval from others can be motivating, it can fade quickly. That’s why losing weight solely for aesthetic reasons never lasts in the long run. After all, what’s left to do when you’ve already reached your goal weight? In many cases, it triggers a weight relapse. Research indicates that more than half of the weight is gained back in two years. Such outcomes are bound to have detrimental psychological effects that manifest in the form of depression and anxiety. Stress devastates the stability of the person’s mind and acts as a barrier to weight loss.
Intrinsic Motivation – Do What You Love, Love What You Do
This refers to the enjoyment you feel when performing a task you genuinely enjoy. Compared to its extrinsic counterpart, intrinsic motivation stems from inside a person as opposed to someone else.
So instead of exercising to get a slimmer waist, someone exercises for the fun of it. Or perhaps, instead of sticking to a meal plan to reduce their calorie intake, they cook their own meals because they enjoy experimenting with different ingredients. Research indicates that intrinsic motivation is a powerful predictor of successful weight loss efforts when it comes to exercise.
Why Losing Weight Is Easier For Some People
Now, let’s talk about why some people aren’t motivated to lose weight and why some are. Granted, the former want to lose weight but lack the motivation to do so. On the other hand, exercise, portion control, and consistent dieting feel effortless to some. This doesn’t have anything to do with weight loss programmes. In fact, an analysis of various weight-loss programs in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that no one program is much better than others.
Rather, people who lose the most weight tend to be consistent in their weight loss efforts, and the biggest indicator of weight loss success is a person’s motivation. Based on research by the National Weight Control Registry in the US, their intrinsic motivation drives them to lose weight and keep it off for at least a year. Many people on the registry explained that their reasons for losing weight had much to do with their health concerns instead of looking attractive.
Changing Your Mindset – Why Do You Want to Lose Weight?
It’s no secret that losing weight can give your self-esteem a major boost. Not to mention, you experience a sense of self-satisfaction and increased energy that fuels you with motivation to do it again, which helps in keeping the weight off. But how do you build that mindset of intrinsic motivation?
Intrinsic motivation takes time to come into effect and effort to develop. If you expect it to help you lose ten pounds over the weekend, it won’t happen. You’ll have to reflect on your reasons for losing the excess weight. And remember, asking your body to shed a fifth of its weight isn’t easy when you’re doing it for someone else – it can only work when you want to feel healthier and more active.
Getting Help to Build Your Weight Loss Mindset
One of the most effective ways to build intrinsic motivation is with help from a weight loss coach. As a professional with years of experience in the field, I’ve come to understand that people’s bodies have different needs, and aligning their weight loss motivation with these needs can help them lose weight effectively. Using psychological understanding, I can help you reconfigure how you think about weight loss. Once the motivation comes from within, there’s nothing stopping you from reaching your weight loss goals.