We all want to live our happiest, healthiest life. That’s a fact. But sometimes life seems to stand in our way and we just get stuck. You are smart. And capable. And you know what you want. But finding the motivation to lose weight and embrace the ultimate goal of living healthier and happier can sometimes feel impossible and that sense of defeat, and the very real procrastination that accompanies it, is exactly what holds us back.
I’m going to give you ten simple, direct ways you can motivate yourself to lose weight and live happier and healthier.
But first let’s talk about the basics. At First Capital Gym we strive to help folks lose weight in order to live their best lives. My philosophy stems from my belief that truly good health depends on the power of three: mind, body, and soul. It’s simple really. Living healthier and happier depends on what you consume, what you do, and what you think. It’s energy cubed.
And because I am all about keeping it simple, here are the three keys to motivating yourself: get positive, reward yourself, and find a friend.
Get Positive About Your Weight Loss Journey.
Many times people over the age of 40 have a hard time getting over feeling negative when we look at our overweight bodies. They question, is it even possible to lose weight once we reach 40-50 and beyond?
Start with getting positive about weight loss because attitude really is everything. Research shows that happiness increases productivity. Happy people are more successful. Do you know the first tool the military teaches to toughen up recruits? Combat skills? Nope. It’s optimism. Believing in your ability to succeed motivates winning.
Let go of negativity and stop being so hard on yourself. Celebrate your wins. Nothing is more motivating than progress. You’ve got to be your own best cheerleader when you’re on a weight loss journey.
Try thinking of losing weight as a game. Everyday you’re dealing with players and strategies for winning. Lighten up and enjoy the process. Games are fun and life should be too.
Positive energy makes you open to possibility. It allows you to embrace opportunity. Truthfully, failure is an inevitable part of living but having a positive outlook can help you turn negative experiences into learning opportunities. So often we miss a chance to succeed because the situation doesn’t look the way we expected it too. I once had a teacher that would always say, “Mistakes are just a new way to get there.”
Seeing the up side is key to motivating yourself to lose weight and to move one step closer to the happy, healthy life you deserve. So get started by getting positive! Remember 40 is the new 30 and 50 is the new 40!
Reward Yourself for Healthy Living
75% of what we do is motivated by the promise of rewards. Surprised? Research shows that three-quarters of why we do things is based on rewards because rewards feel good. Rewards account for 75% of personal motivation toward accomplishment. This is particularly important in weight loss and it’s important to find non-food rewards, so you don’t undo all your progress while celebrating.
I’m not talking about prizes here, though I happen to be a big believer in prizes. There is nothing wrong with promising yourself a trip to an exotic island, a new pair of shoes, or a fun night out with friends once you reach your goal. But rewards don’t need to be big or even special to motivate you. They only need to be enjoyable. If it makes you happy, guess what! It’s a reward.
Dinner with your partner, a walk with your dog, a relaxing bath, an hour with a good book, time to journal...all of these things are rewards. And they are already available to you.
I think that’s a real key. Recognize the little blessings in your life and use them to motivate yourself. Practicing gratitude will help you find the rewards in your life. Then you can use those rewards to win your happy, healthy life.
Find a Weight Loss Buddy.
Support is essential to motivation. We all want to be self-sufficient, but the truth is that nothing can replace the support, encouragement, and accountability we get from our friends. Support motivates. It’s as simple as that.
Surround yourself with people who are doing or trying to do what you are doing, and it gets a whole lot easier to stay on track. People join groups that are focused on change because being surrounded by people with a common goal makes attaining that goal seem a lot more possible.
Have you ever thought, “I should be able to lose weight on my own.” or “If I only had more willpower, I could reach my weight loss goal.”? It’s okay to realize you need help, an accountability partner. Recruiting a good friend along on your fitness journey is a great start.
Who you associate with helps determine who you want to become. If you’re looking to lose weight and live healthier, then choose friends who are trying to eat well, exercise, and take care of themselves too. Surrounding yourself with other healthy people is probably the strongest and most straightforward path to changing your own habits. This is called “the science of friendship.”
Research proves that over time you develop the eating, health, and work habits of the people around you. That means if you choose high energy, healthy, successful, happy friends, you’re more likely to lose weight and live healthier and happier too. So, get yourself some quality friends and start working toward your best self!
Now that you’ve gotten positive, inventoried your rewards, and found some awesome friends, here are those:
Ten Ways People Over 40 Get Motivated to Lose Weight.
1. Ditch Refined Sugar to Speed Up Weight Loss Once You Reach the Age of 50.
We all know that sugar is horrible for our waistlines, but studies show it’s even worse for our brains. The ugly truth is that refined sugar is a poison devoid of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that can literally kill you. That's why it's the number one tip I’m throwing out to you today.
Here are some of the reasons to ditch sugar: It lowers your immunity. It robs your bones of minerals. It provides empty calories that show up on the scale. It contributes to obesity. It rots your teeth. It promotes wrinkling. It steals your energy. It can cause cancer. It weakens eyesight. It contributes to diabetes. It contributes to heart disease. It’s almost as addictive as drugs are.
I love sugar! There’s no arguing that fact. The only thing sugar has going for it is that you like the taste but when you weigh that against your health, is it really worth it? Deciding daily consumption of sugar was no longer worth it is the first step to successful weight loss. Don’t give it up altogether because we all know perfection doesn’t work. I keep my sugar intake to a minimum and use it as a planned indulgence rather than a daily thing.
2. Eat Enough Fuel Weight Loss Protein.
Did you know that we need more protein as we age? It’s true. The recommended dietary allowance of protein is .8 grams of protein per kilogram of weight. But if you’re over 65, this goes up to 1.0 - 1.2 grams. You can calculate your protein needs and other information with this online calculator. (https://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/interactiveDRI/)
Many researchers encourage eating thirty grams of protein at breakfast to kickstart your day and give you the mental and physical motivation to tackle the tasks in front of you.
Shoot for at least 40% of your breakfast calories being made from protein. Foods high in protein fill you up longer than other foods because it takes the stomach longer to break them down. Protein also doesn’t mess with your blood-sugar levels, so you don’t get cravings and hunger spikes. Protein will keep you safe from the carbohydrate cravings that kill most healthy breakfasts. Eating eggs, or egg whites, and lean meats or drinking protein-filled smoothies for breakfast will help you avoid bagels, toast, and danish.
Protein fuels weight loss motivation especially for folks over 40.
3. Go Social Media Free For a Day.
Consumption isn’t only about what you put in your body. It’s also about what you put in your brain. Do you yearn for the days of quiet solitude without the noise of the internet? I know I do.
We receive a near constant onslaught of images and ideas from our phones and computers. They fill up our brain and crowd out other thoughts—important thoughts, like dreams, hopes, and aspirations. And those bits are really the core of who you are.
Don’t let news updates and scraps of unimportant information clutter your brain because this can negatively impact your weight loss goals.
At least once a week, ditch your social media and consume only things that are good for you. Read a book or an article on good health or making positive changes in your life. Fill your head with good stuff the same way you fill your body with good stuff. All of that real, encouraging, uplifting info will help motivate you to be the person you want to be.
What you put in determines what you get out. The saying “garbage in, garbage out” is horribly inaccurate. The truth is ... garbage in, garbage stays!
4. Increase Your Weight Loss by Tracking a Healthy Habit.
Performance improves when you measure it. Just by recording your effort you increase the likelihood that you will succeed at weight loss. Pretty cool, huh?
The problem is that as simple as it sounds, tracking is difficult. If you’ve ever tried to keep a food diary for more than two days, you know how easy it is to get sidetracked. But research has shown again and again that when you track a behavior it improves drastically.
We all know that tracking your food can help you lose weight. When you keep a detailed record of what you eat, you’ll find hidden calories, patterns of consumption, and be able to pat yourself on the back for a day well done.
Having an accurate record helps you avoid making over eating or snacking out of boredom. It’s just one more way to find real accountability. I encourage my clients to know exactly what and how much they’re eating, but tracking can be a pain in the butt. So, if you can’t imagine logging every bite, lick or sip into a tracker like MyFitnessPal, then pull out your camera instead.
Taking a picture of everything you eat is a fun alternative to writing it all down which can feel like a chore. In all likelihood you’ve already got your phone in your hand. Taking the time to snap a photo will give you a minute to think over your choice and an honest record of everything you ate.
Keeping track of how you’re doing, whether it’s a weekly weigh in or a daily food log, will motivate you to keep making the smart decisions that will help you win your happiest, healthiest life.
5. Sleep at Least Seven Hours Each Night for Consistent Weight Loss.
Four in 10 Americans get less than the recommended seven or more hours of sleep.
Sleep is the first thing most of us give up when life gets too hectic. Deadlines and family demands have us setting the alarm clock earlier and earlier or staying up all night trying to “get it done.”
But getting seven to eight hours of good sleep will give you the energy you need to perform more efficiently, make healthier choices and lose weight. You might just find that you actually get more done when you get more sleep.
Healthy sleep habits are linked to increased memory, longevity, better creativity, more focus, lower stress, decreased depression, less fat and increased muscle mass. That’s because sleep regulates hormones and hormones have EVERYTHING to do with health.
Have you ever noticed that some of your worst eating choices happen in the wee hours? Why? Your body is trying to substitute sugar and caffeine for rest. And how much easier is it to cook a healthy meal and go to the gym when you feel well rested?
Restore your body and your mind with good sleep and you’ll be so much more motivated to lose weight and live well.
6. Unclutter Your Life.
Getting rid of the junk that you don’t want or need is incredibly motivating and satisfying. It’s easy to feel smothered by all of the underused resources in our lives. When you let go of the clutter, you make room for more energy and you can use that energy to change your life.
Studies show that people are more productive when they keep a clean desk. People are also more motivated to cook healthy meals in a clean kitchen. Clutter doesn’t just affect our environment, it affects our motivation and our mental state. The weight of all that “stuff” prevents us from performing optimally.
When I sit down to write or work, I need a clean workspace. Otherwise the clutter gives me an excuse (hello procrastination) to do anything but write.
So clear out your closets, clear out your mind, and pave the way for permanent weight loss.
7. Do Something Kind for Someone Else Every Day.
Helping others is one of the great joys in life. And the fact is, if we’re too busy to lend a hand, chances are that we aren’t living up to our potential.
Helping others allows us to connect with the people around us and shows us different sides of ourselves. It reminds us of what really matters and refocuses our energy on the greater good. It almost always changes our opinion of ourselves for the better.
That’s because, when we use our talents and resources for the benefit of others, we are able to see ourselves in a different light. It lets us appreciate both what we have and what we are capable of doing, both of which are powerful motivators.
8. Make Friends with Five People Who Inspire You to Lose Weight.
The people you surround yourself with define you. My Dad told me many times growing up, “You are who you hang with.” And even as an adult that rings true.
If you choose hardworking, motivated friends who are trying to better themselves and their lives, chances are that’s where you will put your energy too. I think we have some pretty awesome members here at FCG. Might be a great place to start. Wink, wink…
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” —Jim Rohn
Look at the company you keep. Do your friends build you up? Do they motivate you to be your best self? Do they bring out the best in you? Do they encourage you to make healthier choices? Do they support your weight loss journey?
If you find yourself surrounded by people who are lazy and drain your energy or who gossip, compete, and criticize, perhaps it’s time to move on. It’s ok to love those people but take the opportunity to look around and choose five people you admire to add to your social circle. What about them inspires you? Ask them questions and learn from them.
9. Do Something That Terrifies You Every Day.
It has been said that twenty seconds of fear is all you need. If you are willing to confront fear for twenty seconds every day, you can change your life. So how does fear stop you?
If you take twenty seconds to make that phone call, ask that question, walk into that exercise class, post that picture, or share that dream, you’ll find that the anticipation was a lot more painful than the act itself.
Nike’s slogan is “Just do it.” for a reason. Just letting go of the fear that’s stopping you is half the battle. Most of the time, when you step out of your comfort zone you aren’t actually entering a dangerous situation. You’re stretching yourself. You’re growing. And that’s how you win health and happiness.
Fear can motivate you. I challenge you to post your weight loss goals on Facebook or other social media. As scary as this may be, you’ll be surprised with all the support you receive in return.
10. Reflect on Your Blessings Every Day.
Gratitude changes everything. It is the root of the abundant mindset. When you adopt a grateful attitude, you open yourself up to unlimited opportunity.
While defeat limits growth, gratitude uncorks it. Every time we reflect on our blessings, we create a more fertile environment for a healthier, happier life. Positive things happen for positive people.
Rather than view your weight loss goal as a path paved with deprivation, be grateful for all the healthy foods you have available. Reflect on the incredible gift of health you are bestowing upon yourself with every healthy bite you take. This simple mindset shift will dramatically improve your outlook and improve your chances of success.
Let your gratitude for the blessings in your life motivate you to lose weight and be your best self.
You deserve to lose weight and live your happiest, healthiest life. You deserve a life that is abundant and joyful.
You deserve to love yourself.
There are hundreds of ways to find your motivation. Write a “To do list.” Change your posture. Pursue your passion. Take responsibility for your choices. Break big goals into baby steps. Be truthful with yourself. Plan indulgences. Raise your standards. Take a break.
Don’t be afraid to find what works for you. It could be as simple as creating a vision board to keep all your weight loss and other goals at the front of your mind. Every time you walk into your office, you’ll be reminded of what you want, and it will motivate you to keep moving forward.
Use these ten suggestions to start optimizing your potential. Life is a brief, beautiful journey. If you fill your days with what you love and use your energy, all of it, mental, physical and spiritual, to motivate your success, you can lose weight and will win the happy, healthy life you deserve.
Are you looking to establish better habits?
Let me help!
Email me today for more info! Amber@firstcapitalgym.com
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