It’s great to enjoy a treat at the weekend, but how often do you over indulge and then spend the next few days trying to ‘cancel out’ the weekend? A healthy lifestyle does not mean eating well between Monday and Friday then eating EVERYTHING in sight on the weekends.
So how can we stay on track at the weekend?
Have a treat! Whether it’s a meal such as a pizza or a burger or a sweet treat, pick something to enjoy over the weekend and then you can plan around your treat. For example, I’ve usually decided my treat of choice for Saturday night (often by Monday afternoon!) then I can plan my other meals and activities for the weekend.
Meal prep where possible
You’ve seen I love to meal prep – well I don’t just do this Monday to Friday, I still aim to have my weekend meals prepped too! This way my lunch is ready for to grab out the fridge when I’m hungry and it reduces the chances of having more than one ‘bad’ meal in a day. This is particularly useful for me as I used to use the weekend as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted all weekend.
If you’re out over the weekend try to take some healthy snacks with you rather than grabbing anything when you’re out and in a rush. Try taking some fruit, nuts, protein bars or chicken and veg etc.
Keep that water intake up! Take a bottle of water out with you and keep drinking throughout the day – this also helps to satisfy you as you may think you’re hungry but you could just be thirsty.
Rather than spending all weekend on the sofa eating doritos out the bag (as tempting as it is) – plan an activity! A morning dance class, a bike ride, a long walk, trampolining or get to the gym. Anything which gets you moving is burning those calories and it’s great for your health and fitness but is fun too!
These small things do add up. Remember that consistency is key! Don’t give up your goals because it’s the weekend.
It’s been 1000 days since I made the decision to put my health first – the BEST decision I made! Making the initial change and the first few months of the journey was possibly the hardest part, now that healthy eating and fitness has become part of my lifestyle, I find it easier to stay on track. But I do remember the early days of making my change and I know it was tough. So, how do you start?
Start small – Don’t get carried away too soon and scare yourself. There’s no rush so just relax and take your time. Start with small changes such as cutting down on sugar, drinking more water, eating more veg and increasing your daily steps.
Make simple swaps – this can really make a difference: Replace your afternoon chocolate bar for a banana or some unsalted almonds or try low sugar snack bars. Swap sugary drinks for low calorie zero sugar drinks (or even better a glass of water!), try zero calorie sweetener or flavour drops instead of sugar in your tea and coffee.
If you aim to do something healthy every day such as cutting out sugar, reaching your step goal or water intake goal, these small changes can eventually add up to big results.
Plan ahead – Most of us are very busy these days with little time in the evening to be cooking complicated meals. Planning ahead makes it easier to stay on track – write down your meals for the week so you know what you will be having in advance and where possible try to prepare or cook in advance to save time.
Be kind to yourself– so you’ve worked out you want to lose 30lb, great! The worst thing you can do now is criticise yourself by saying ‘I need to lose 30lb because I look horrible’ or being negative by saying ‘it’s going to take so long to lose this weight’. If you use negative words you won’t get very far with making self-improvements. Surround yourself with positivity, say to yourself ‘I’m going to do this for me’ and ‘I can do this’
A huge part of weight loss is staying motivated, you need to rely a lot on yourself to stay motivated throughout the journey. Being positive and encouraging yourself will significantly improve your motivation – read my other blog Motivation:Positivity is Key for more ideas around staying motivated!
It’s not a diet – Don’t label this as a diet. Diets make us think of a short term, low calorie plans that most of the time we give up after 2 weeks because our bodies are not getting the nutrients they need. Instead, think of this as a healthy lifestyle.
Don’t restrict yourself– following on from the point above, the reason most diets fail is because we have it in our head that we can’t eat certain things. I like to follow the 80/20 rule. I eat clean 80% of the week and 20% I will allow a treat of something I enjoy whether it’s chocolate, cookies, pizza, burger etc (you could apply this per day too, for example sometimes I will enjoy some protein chocolate after my workout but all of my meals that day are ‘clean’).
Experiment with exercise – If you’re worrying about exercise or you’re new to it, try a few different types of exercise until you find something you enjoy – looking forward to exercising will make it so much easier to stick to in the long run.
Consistency is Key– Be patient! You won’t see or feel changes over night because this is a process, it takes time. The first week can be tough and you’re likely to want to give up BUT DON’T! After the first week you will start to realise that you are in control, the week then becomes a month and eventually this will be a routine and part of your lifestyle day in day out.
At some point we have all wanted to lose a few pounds and sometimes we have taken drastic measures to lose these pounds without thinking about our health. From a personal perspective health is really important to me and is actually what prompted my decision to lose weight. 2.5 years ago my blood pressure was sky high, I was tired all the time, I easily got out of breath, I had little energy, prone to skin breakouts, etc. Now I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been and have a completely new outlook on life.
Below are my personal reasons why I believe health is more important than weight loss.
1. It breaks the ‘I’m on a diet’ mentality
I reallllyyy don’t like hearing people say they’re on a diet. A diet to me implies a short-term fix, restriction, negativity and something that won’t last. Focusing on health eliminates the diet mentality because improving health is a long-term commitment and something that will be ongoing forever, not just to look good for a holiday in 6 weeks time then go back to old habits. Health is permanent.
2. Health is Important
We are all guilty for neglecting our health at times, often without realising it, but better health can contribute to many life improvements. Of course the longevity of life, along with healthy organs, bones and joints being a key factor as well as lowering blood pressure, but additionally, improved health can aid a better night sleep, improve skin, provide more energy, increase fitness, improve relationships and just generally improve the quality of life.
3. Health is a good measurement
Scales are considered a primary method of weight measurement and I have used scales to weigh myself throughout my weight loss journey and I still do keep track now and again. I do think it can be useful to keep track and monitor your weight, however, I don’t believe the scales are completely accurate. In fact, I would argue that using a personal judgement of how you feel, how your clothes fit, how much energy you have, etc, is a much more effective way to monitor weight loss and health rather than using the scales alone as a measurement.
4. Improves your mood
When you look good, you feel good, you think good and you do good.
5. You’ll have a better outlook on life
This point links in nicely with the previous point; an improved mood will create positive thoughts which will help in day-to-day life. When you see things in a positive light, every challenge you are faced with becomes an opportunity. Every difficulty that may arise, you can create a solution. There comes a point where nothing can faze you and you know that you can combat anything.
6. You’re able to live a balanced lifestyle
When you don’t label your healthy eating as a diet, you are able to lead a more balanced lifestyle and enjoy yourself. For example if I fancy some ice cream, I will have it. I know that my main meals that day will have been healthy so it won’t hurt to enjoy some ice cream in the evening. If I were to restrict myself and ban all ‘naughty’ foods, I may get to the weekend and binge on everything that I had craved all week. Following an 80/20 lifestyle can be very useful – this would be 80% clean foods (lean meats & fish, vegetables, fruit, oats, etc) and 20% ‘treat foods’ (chocolate, icecream, biscuits, protein bars) without feeling guilty.
7. Boosts self-esteem
How you feel comes across in your behaviour. If you feel sluggish, uncomfortable or bloated you’re more likely to hide away, perhaps be a bit more reserved and possibly likely to avoid social situations and maybe even be unkind to yourself by using negative words. Once your health becomes an importance and you take care of yourself, people around you will notice a difference straight away.
Tips for boosting self-esteem
Avoid negative talk
Speak positively of yourself and those around you
Talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend
Surround yourself with those who think highly of you and who are supportive
Take more time to focus on yourself
Do more of what makes you happy
8. You will create good habits
When overall health becomes an important factor in your life, it begins to be a priority that you continue working on without thinking about, especially when you see the benefits it has on your life. The small steps that you have been taking to improve health will eventually become natural behaviour. You will want to eat healthy foods and know which foods to go to that suit your body, you’ll naturally think thoughts and begin to solve the problems you may encounter. Additionally, you’ll want to take more time out for yourself to unwind and relax. All of these things are long-term factors which will help to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
9. You become more productive
A healthy mind is a clear mind, a healthy lifestyle can have an impact on brain health and can boost performance. For example, food high in Omega-3 such as fish has been linked to brain health. Similarly, foods such as blueberries, nuts, avocado and dark chocolate are often referred to as ‘brain power foods’. Why not test it out – see if your productivity improves when your diet improves!
10. Improved health can lead to weight loss
Health is important and when you begin to put health first by ensuring you are feeding your body, staying active, getting plenty of sleep and being kind to yourself, you will naturally begin to notice an impact on your weight and the pounds are likely to come off without even trying – bonus!
January is here and you’ve made your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight this year. It’s a great start if you’ve made a decision to lose weight or improve your health, BUT, according to Forbes, only 8% of people who make a New Year’s Resolution actually achieve it. 8%!!!
Why is this?
When a New Year Resolution is created, it’s usually with the intension of it lasting the whole year, for example ‘in 2018 I want to lose 30lbs’,’I want to slim down for a summer wedding in 7 months time’ or ‘I want to get healthier’ – none of these are achieved overnight or even in a month or 2 so they would be classed as long term objectives.
For the first two or three weeks in January we are focused, we are determined, we failed with last year’s resolution so this year we must stick to it! Towards the end of the month the focus and determination tends to wear off, perhaps boredom of doing the same gym routine 3 days a week, or eating the same boring food everyday.
Setting a resolution
A resolution (or just a goal as I refer to it) can be a really good way of making a change or improvement to your life. Goals are a great way of staying on track and helping to get to where you want to be.
I have set goals since the beginning of my weight loss journey and it has helped me to lose and maintain almost 7 and a half stone (46kg/103lb) and find a passion for leading a healthy lifestyle. Personally, I like to have 3 or 4 bigger goals for the year but I also set 3 to 5 smaller goals each month – this helps me to stay focused and make progress while working to achieve my overall goal.
I recommend using SMART objectives to set your goals. These objectives are frequently used by managers to achieve their business goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time.
Applying SMART to weight loss
Specific – ‘I want to lose 2 stone” or “I want to run a half marathon”
Measurable – ‘I’ll weigh myself weekly’ or ‘I’ll measure my fitness levels’
Achievable – “I will eat healthy food and go to the gym 3 times a week’
Realistic – “am I willing to work towards this goal?” “is it worthwhile?”
Time – “Is there a time limit for me to achieve this goal?” or “When do I want to have achieved this goal by?”
Write down your goals – seeing your goals written down in your own handwriting can dramatically increase the likelihood of achieving your goals
Set smaller goals too – monthly or quarterly goals will help to keep you on track while you work towards your overall goal
Mix things up – change your workout routine and your diet plan regularly to keep it interesting, this will help to create a healthy lifestyle long term
Remind yourself of your progress – working towards a big goal means that it could be a while before you start to see results, remind yourself of how well you have done and stay motivated (read my motivation blog for ideas on staying motivated)
Stay focused – remind yourself why you set the goal and why you want to achieve it
Enjoy working towards your goal – enjoying your journey and seeing/feeling progress and will make it so much easier to achieve long term!
The biggest reason for people giving up on their goal is because they don’t see results quick enough. I’ve said before that change doesn’t happen overnight – results take time and patience. I know it may get annoying to hear this repeatedly BUT, it’s so true!
Let’s put it into context
The Paper Towel Analogy: Day 1 you start with a full roll of paper towel, each day you tear off a few sheets of paper but you don’t notice a difference to the roll straight away. You keep tearing off the sheets each day until eventually, after a week, a month etc, you notice the roll is decreasing in size. Fat loss works in the same way, you won’t see physical results after one day of healthy eating or going to the gym, but when you continue to put in the work day by day by eating healthy majority of the time and getting regular exercise (and basically just looking after your body) your results add up over time.
Don’t give up because you haven’t seen results yet. Continue with what you’re doing and trust the process. If you put in the work, you will achieve the results!
“You should do one thing a day that scares you” – I have this quote in the back of my mind every day and I actually find it really motivating.
If you’re faced with a decision and you have several choices, you should go with the one that scares you the most as this is the one which will likely help you grow the most. If you’re scared of trying something, that usually means it’s going to be challenging, but when you face a challenge and step out of your comfort zone, you allow yourself to grow which will increase your confidence and your self-belief.
Sometimes you may not be successful when you take on a challenge, for example if you try to run at a higher speed than normal on the treadmill but it’s too fast for you, or you try to hit a PB on a deadlift but it’s too heavy for you to lift. This is OK and it’s all part of growing and improving as it shows you what does and doesn’t work for you and opens up new methods to try next time – so don’t give up after a small set back, use it to push yourself again next time.
So where do you start?
Grab a pen and makes some notes:
Decide what it is that scares you
Why does it scare you?
Write down how you think you’d feel if you achieved it
What can you do to make it easier for yourself
Consider next steps and planning
Let’s apply to it to an example of someone who wants to join the gym but is scared.
Decide what it is that scares you Going to the gym
Why does it scare you? Fear of going alone, fear of what others may think, not sure what to do there, etc
Write down how you think you’d feel if you achieved it Proud, happy, confident
What can you do to make it easier for yourself? Write down a workout before you go, take earphones and get yourself in your own zone, go with a friend, etc
Consider next steps and planning make a plan of how often you will go to the gym and what you will do there. Maybe think long term, set a goal of what you would like to have achieved in 6 months time (this can be anything relevant to you) and that will give you something to work towards.
Seeing it written down may actually help you in getting over your fear. Most fears we have are made worse by over thinking and often creating unrealistic scenarios that will likely never happen but too late – you’ve scared yourself and your confidences decreases! By seeing this challenge written down, you may realise how achievable it actually is and believe in yourself that you will achieve it. Also by allowing yourself to face a challenge and overcome a fear, you’re developing your strengths both physically and mentally.
So maybe you made it to the gym after many times of talking yourself out of it, maybe you did a 30 minute workout then left because you felt anxious – it’s a great start so be proud of the improvement you have already made! Next time think about something different to try, whether it be a different routine. new equipment or a longer workout but something that will support your growth.
Take each day at a time, make a note of your progress your feelings and in 6 months time you will look back and realised how much you have grown!
For more weight loss inspiration & tips take a look at my Instagram page by clicking here
From time to time we all need a treat and I am a big believer in treating myself – which you have probably seen in Instagram posts and previous blogs. Most of the time, I do follow a healthy diet BUT I’ve never restricted myself and I have frequently treated myself to my favourite foods, particularly on the weekend. BUT, how do I do it without ruining my progress?
CONSISTENCY is how!!!
One bad meal doesn’t ruin progress, the same as one good meal doesn’t make you lose weight. It doesn’t matter about the one bad meal you have in a week, it’s about what you do for the rest of the week that counts.
I’m not sure if I actually like the phrase cheat meal because I don’t like to think I’m ‘cheating’ on my diet for having something which I enjoy, so whether you call it a cheat meal, treat meal, re-feed, maintainance day, etc, I think it’s important to have one for our own sanity!
Why I like cheat meals
It’s something to look forward to during the week – thinking about pizza or burgers is enough to bring anyone’s mood up!
I love food
It’s good for your mind to have a break from ‘clean eating’
Can increase motivation afterwards – I’m usually buzzing for a good workout after a cheat meal
I enjoy it so I wouldn’t want to cut it out of my life
There is nothing wrong with treating yourself, but it is important to monitor how you have your cheat meal as this could be what is holding you back if you’re not seeing progress. Cheat meals can fit into your plan with ease however if you turn your meal into a cheat weekend – this is where you’ll struggle to see progress as you may end up
How I used to have a cheat meal
Use it as a reward for weight loss
Turn it into a cheat day
Binge on waaay too much food
Likely to turn into a cheat weekend
Spend all week trying to ‘cancel out’ the bad food from the weekend
How I have a cheat meal now
Use it as motivation during the week
Plan ahead so my other meals that day are healthy
No guilty feelings
Get straight back in the gym and eat healthy the next day
If you want a treat, then fine, have it and enjoy it. Try not to let it ruin your whole weekend or the following week – learn to be disciplined by having your treat of choice then moving on by getting straight back on plan.
Snacks are a huuuge part of my day, I love snacks and I always look forward to snack time (and I don’t mean carrot or celery sticks – I mean tasty snacks!) BUT snacks are sneaky and snacking is often how your daily calories are built up without you even realising. I’ve mentioned before that I weigh out/measure and record everything I eat, well it’s particularly important with snacks! However, even with snacking frequently you can still lose fat – you just need to snack smartly and watch those extra calories.
MY TOP 3 SNACKS
These babies are my go to snacks, I always have a pack in my desk drawer at work, my snack box at home and if I’m heading out somewhere I put some in my handbag!
The Nutri-Bombz Light range contains 39 cals in each of the bombz (amazing right?!) and the standard Nutri-Bombz range contains between 67 and 77 cals per bombz while also giving these benefits:
No added sugars or preservatives
1 of your 5 a day
Packed full of vitamins & minerals
Made from only natural ingredients
High in fibre
A Source of protein
Healthy, omega 3 fats
THEY TASTE GREAT
Good for a morning snack to keep you going until lunch time/an afternoon snack/topped on your morning oats/with a coffee – who am I kidding, they’re just good all the time! Use code LIGHT2CHLOE at the checkout to get 15% off the Light Options single boxes https://www.nutri-bombz.com/one-off-box/ AND use code NUTRICHLOE75 to get 75% off your first box if you subscribe to reoccurring deliveries. Check out the Nutri-Bombz range by clicking here.
Grenade Carb Killa bars – 215 cals per bar
If you haven’t tried a Grenade bar, you need to right now! They’re amazing. They taste just like a ‘naughty’ treat and they come in a range of delicious flavours so you’re guaranteed to love at least one (but probably all of them!) They provide the following benefits:
Low in impact carbs
High in protein (20g+ per bar)
High fibre (8g per bar)
Good for anytime of the day but I particular enjoy pre or post workout (I always look forward to my Grenade bars)
Unsalted Cashews or Almonds – 30g serving – 140 – 175 cals (calories differ depending on type of nuts and serving size)
Nuts are very calorie dense so you don’t need many to rack up the calories (I would suggest weighing them and separating into daily portions) but they are packed full of goodness:
A good source of protein
A good source of fibre
Healthy omega 3 fat
A filling snack
Good for a handy snack anytime throughout the day but also good as pre workout to give a burst of healthy fat and protein before exercising.
My other go-to snacks to reduce hunger
Arla protein yoghurt – 140 cals and 20g protein, it keeps me going until my next meal as they’re very filling.
Fruit – such as raspberries or apples – great volume foods so you can eat more for low calories, also high in fibre so helps with digestion and to stay full for longer. 100g raspberries is around 50 cals and provides up to 8g of fibre and an average apple is around 70 cals and provides around 3g of fibre!
Hartley’s 10 cal jelly pots – most of these pots have around 7 cals and is perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth without adding calories, I often have one after dinner to feel like I’m having pudding OR throughout the afternoon if I’m feeling hungrier than usual!
Nakd or Trek bars – all made with healthy, natural ingredients and really tasty
Other fave protein bars – FitJoy, Fulfil, phd and Barebells – on average most bars are around 200-230 cals.
Veg – if you’re after a really low calorie ‘clean’ snack then there’s nothing wrong with a portion of veggies to snack on
A big tip would be to log your meals either in a health app such as My Fitness Pal or even write it down on a piece of paper – but make a note of your daily calories. If your goal is weight loss, you need to be burning more than you consume so you need to be in a calorie deficit – making a note of your daily calories from your meals will show how many calories you can use for snacks and still be within your target calorie range.
Planning is key!
How to choose a healthy snack
To choose a healthy snack I would suggest you check the total calories before eating to ensure you know how much you are going to eat instead of eating something then finding out it has 200 more calories than you thought! Also, try to avoid snacks which are high in salt such as salted nuts and crisps and aim for a fresh options such as fruit or veg which are low in calories and fat, high in fibre and packed with vitamins and nutrients.
It’s also fun to experiment in the kitchen! Grab some natural ingredients and have a go at making something such as some home made protein bites – that way you know all the ingredients and know there’s no harmful additives!
For more weight loss inspiration and tips, take a look at my Instagram page by clicking here
Many people think losing weight is all about eating salads and being hungry most of the time or that they’ll have to cut out their favourite foods forever. BUT, I have lost 100lb while still enjoying my favourite foods and treats because I am clever with my food choices.
I don’t believe in banning favourite foods because there is no way I could last without pizza, chocolate or biscuits. For the whole way through my weight loss journey from May 2015 to today, I have tracked my calories to ensure I am in a calorie deficit (apart from cheat days) so if I eat a donut (around 200 cals), I would look to see what I can adjust for the rest of the day, for example I wouldn’t eat the snack I had planned for later on or I’d have a smaller dinner etc. This can be done by using apps such as Samsung S Health, My Fitness Pal or even by reading food labels and using a pen and paper!
The best way to do this is by calculating your daily allowance in terms of your macronutrients (macros)*. Macros are the breakdown of the food we eat and includes carbohydrates, fat and protein – in order to follow a macro tracking approached diet you need to be eating a combination of each of these but once you have worked out your own macros, you can eat what you like if it fits into your daily allocation.
Let’s break it down. A typical 170lb 5ft 4″ female looking to lose body fat and is moderately active can have 1767 calories per day with a split of 177g carbs, 177g protein and 39g fat. For this approach to work effectively, you need to hit these macros every day consistently, but as this method is flexible it’s not that difficult AND you can still enjoy your favourite foods.
So how do I still eat my favourite food?
Let’s talk chocolate! Your body doesn’t eat a chocolate bar and think ‘oh I’m eating something naughty I will gain weight’ it recognises the macro breakdown of the food. For example, let’s compare a handful of cashews vs a small bag of malteasers:
30g serving of cashews: 174 cals, 14.3 fat, 9 carbs, 5g protein
37g bag of malteasers: 187 cals, 9.2 fat, 22g carbs 3g protein
The results here from both snack options show that they have very similar macros, so while you may be inclined to go for the nuts because they are the ‘healthy’ option, once you take a closer look into the nutrient breakdown you can see you can actually eat the chocolate instead. Of course nuts are still a good choice and they do contain a higher amount of protein and fibre which help to keep full for longer but don’t feel like you have to go for the nuts because they considered healthy. Which would you rather eat? I know I’d go for the chocolate.
With a macro tracking approach (or even just if you’re calorie counting) it’s important to measure and monitor everything you eat. I bought a cheap electronic scale from Amazon and I weigh EVERYTHING! It’s so easy to eat too many calories if you don’t realise what you’re eating. For example, while nuts are considered a healthy option, the recommended serving size is 20-30g which is a small handful. If you grab a big bag and snack your way through it, you could end up eating 500+ calories of nuts in one sitting.
A typical day of food for me:
Breakfast – overnight oats made with 100ml almond milk, 10g chia seeds, 1 scoop of protein powder and 40g oats, topped with 75g raspberries – 350 cals
Snack 1 – arla protein yoghurt 140 cals
Lunch – 150g chicken breast with seasoning of choice, roasted veg, spinach 335 cals
snack 2 – apple or blueberries and Hartley’s 10 cal jelly 70 cals
Dinner – lean chilli made with 5% fat mince beef, kidney beans and black beans for extra protein and fibre, served with 125g long grain rice – 500 cals
Snack 3/pudding/post work out treat – Grenade bar or other protein bar/cookie, piece of chocolate of choice, biscuits/ice cream – up to 300 cals
Ok, so I don’t eat chocolate or cake every day, but if I fancy something I can make it fit into my daily macros and not feel guilty. My go to treat is a Grenade protein bar melted in the microwave for 15 seconds.
What do I do if I go over my macros?
This does happen occasionally, particularly if I’m enjoying a bigger treat than usual on the weekend, but it’s OK, it’s not a big drama and it doesn’t ruin progress as long as a bad day doesn’t turn into a bad week…
Let’s say I have around 100 calories left for the day after I’ve eaten and logged all my meals so I plan to eat 2 Fox’s crunch cream biscuits with a cup of tea after dinner and end up eating 7 (easily done they’re the best biscuits ever invented!), that means my inital plan of eating 120 calories worth of biscuits actually means I’ve eaten 420 calories instead.
This means I will have gone over my daily allowance. In many instances when people overeat they tend to feel guilty and do excessive amounts of cardio to burn off calories. For me, I will adjust and monitor my macros for the following day (or few days if I go over by a lot), so if I’ve eaten 300 calories too many today, I will eat 150 less tomorrow and the next day to balance it out throughout the week.
This approach does work well for most people however it does mean you need to be consistent with measuring your food portions, logging what the food and drink that you have consumed and it means you need to be wary of serving sizes on packages. Like I always say, weight loss is a personal journey and there is not a right or wrong way to do it, it’s about finding what works for you and what will last long term – the most important thing to remember is that results don’t happen over night, it takes days/weeks/months of consistency so if you’re trying out a new method, give it time and keep going!
Staying motivated can be tough! Here are my top tips to increase motivation:
Surround yourself with positivity
It’s easy to get disheartened if you don’t see results as quickly as you’d hoped, or if you think about how long it could take you to reach your end goal. What is important is to try and always remain positive and see the good in every situation.
Get rid of the word ‘can’t’ from your vocabulary – if you’re telling yourself you can’t do it, you will most likely give up because you believe that ‘you can’t do it’. Tell yourself you can and you will do it!
Rather than thinking how far you have to go, think about how far you’ve already come. Whether you’ve made the decision to lose weight/get healthy and you are just starting your journey or you’ve already lost X amount of pounds – be proud of where you are and how much you have already achieved.
Set goals and write them down
Recent studies* show that those who write down their goals are more likely to accomplish their goals than those who do not write them down. I have written down my goals for a couple of years now because to me, if it’s in your head, it’s just an idea, if you write it down, it has become an action, something you’ve committed to and therefore you are more likely to achieve it.
Additionally, having a goal to work towards is important (even really small ones that may seem insignificant but you’ll feel amazing when you reach them). I usually set 3 big goals at the start of the year – often a mix of fitness/health goals but also career goals – and I also set monthly/weekly health goals which are smaller and somewhat easier to reach, e.g. be able run an extra km on the treadmill, drink more water, reach my daily steps, reflect on the week etc. I find goals really useful for self development and providing an extra push. For tips on goal setting read my blog Setting Achievable Goals.
Think about why you want it
Why did you start losing weight? Was it to feel good for a holiday or other occasion? To be able to wear whatever you want? To run in the park with your kids? Or just to improve your overall health? Whatever it was that got you motivated to lose weight in the first instance, think about that and don’t lose sight of what you really want.
I have a whiteboard in my bedroom where I write down my goals, stick a couple of motivational quotes on there that I like and also a transformation picture of where I started vs where I am now. I see this every single day and it gives me such a buzz knowing how much I have achieved since the very first day!
Enjoy the process
Part of the reason I have remained motivated for so long now is because I enjoy what I do. I look forward to planning my meals, doing my food shopping and cooking, I look forward to experimenting with exercise and trying new workouts and getting stronger and of course I enjoy all the results from the process!
If you are looking at weight loss as a chore you will find it difficult to stay motivated for long. The best thing to do is experiment and find what you like, if you get bored eating salad for lunch then try something tasty that you’ll enjoy like a chicken wrap with seasoning and low fat/calorie sauce or tuna pasta salad, or salmon and cous cous – you don’t have to always eat salad to lose weight! Similarly with exercise, find something you enjoy and you’ll be more likely to stick to it long term and look forward to it.
Use the journey to learn about yourself to continually improve and develop.
Remember that you won’t see results over night, keep going! Stay consistent, trust the process and believe in yourself! For more tips on motivation and reaching your goals, follow me on Instagram @healthyfit_chloe