How to Stay Motivated When Losing Weight

Working out, eating healthily, and shedding some weight doesn't always have to feel like an ordeal – here's how to turn your weight loss journey into a cake walk.

On the face of it, losing weight is not hard. It's basic thermodynamics: move more, eat less. Easy, right?

As anyone who's tried will know, that simple equation in no way captures how difficult it is to actually stick to a weight loss plan. Which is why motivation is the real secret to changing your body composition. You can know everything about nutrition and have a bulletproof workout regimen, but if you can't actually muster the impetus to eat well and exercise, then the results won't come.

We sympathise. The human body is remarkably stubborn and making changes to your body composition can be really tough. That's where these tips and tricks to help you stay motivated come in. Whether you're just starting or looking to power through a plateau, we've got your back. Let's do it.

Guide to fat loss

The psychology of weight loss and motivation

Before we get to the 'what', it's helpful to start with the 'why'. When you can recognise demotivation and understand why it's happening, you're less likely to sabotage your goals.

That old 'move more, eat less' mantra ignores the inner monologue telling you do the exact opposite. It is, after all, much easier to eat more and move less. Motivation comes from the mind and this can get overlooked in the weight loss conversation.

Behavioural change research into motivation shows a correlation between mentality and goal failure[1]. The research explains that we often believe we have more control over our behaviour than we actually do[2], meaning that when it comes to achieving weight loss goals, factors such as stress, anxiety and our environment all play a part[3]. This can limit the conscious control we have over the choices we make.

That being said, even if we remove those factors, behaviour change is still difficult to achieve, especially when trying to keep up a routine that goes against what we might want to do. Sustaining a weight loss routine isn’t easy, but you can make it less arduous with these mindful tips.

1. Set realistic goals

Success is the best motivator. If you set yourself goals that are totally unrealistic, you’ll find motivation deflates like a balloon when you don’t see the results you want. Instead of setting vague and overly ambitious goals – 'lose a load of weight in six weeks' – be specific and start small. For example, if you’re a big fan of fizzy drinks, you could say “I’m only allowed one can of soda a day” which can lead on to “switch to diet sodas” and eventually to “have a glass of fruit juice or water every other day instead”. Actions lead to results, which is why it's better to focus on the steps you'll take rather than the number you want to see on the scales.

For more on goal setting, check out our article: Hit your goals with Huel.

Top tip! What's a realistic goal for one person might not be for another. Try to avoid comparing yourself to others as this can be a catalyst for feeling demotivated. Try to focus on you and your progress.

2. Track your progress

There are many different ways you can track your progress. The most common is to use a set of scales. This can seem quite daunting at first, so to start with track your progress with simple goals. Writing down the progress you’ve made with achievable weekly/monthly milestones will remind you of how far you’ve come, even if it’s just baby steps. Your mind can play tricks on you, especially if you’re only using the mirror as a sign of progress.

Top tip! Avoid weighing yourself daily. Visible progress usually takes longer to see in the early stages of losing weight. Your weight also fluctuates daily for various reasons such as bloating, menstruation or water mass. Don’t demotivate yourself by checking the scales constantly.

3. Use others for motivation

You don’t have to go through the weight loss journey on your own. You could do it with friends or family, sign up to a gym or yoga class or join an online group. Studies have shown that people are more likely to follow a weight loss plan if they have social support[4].

You could also give a copy of your goals to someone you trust which could help you stick to your plan because you don’t want to let them down. This helps to provide an external motivator, rather than just relying on your internal motivation.

Top Tip! Humans are social creatures. Friends and family can provide emotional support and a reason to keep going, both of which are key to long-term weight loss.

4. Change your environment

Similar to tip three, depending on willpower alone can add unnecessary pressure to reaching your goals. At home you could decide to have no unhealthy snacks in the house or switch share bags to individually portioned bags. This will make your eating habits more conscious. Additionally, when eating a meal, turn off the TV and put your phone to one side, as eating without distractions has been shown to reduce how much you eat[5,6].

Top Tip! A good environment encourages good habits and reduces the amount of willpower needed to stay on track. You can make the uphill battle a little flatter by tweaking what you’re surrounded by.

5. Stay on track with Huel

When it comes to losing weight, Huel can be a great tool in helping you achieve your goals. Still don’t believe us? We’ve compiled a list of reasons why you can lose weight with Huel:

How Huel can support your weight loss journey

  • Huel is convenient - We understand that sometimes eating healthier means sacrificing more of your free time. This makes the thought of reaching for a convenient but less healthy ‘on-the-go’ meal deal tempting. For those days when you’re low on energy you can reach for Huel instead of high calorie, processed foods. Luckily Huel is a nutritionally complete meal (whether it be in Bar form, Powder, Ready-to-drink or Hot & Savoury). Every product is nutritionally complete so we’ve got you covered
  • Huel is nutritionally complete - The title says it all, not only is Huel convenient but it also provides all the vitamins and minerals you need, including vitamin B12 to support your metabolism and iron to reduce tiredness and fatigue. How many meals can you say that about?
  • Huel facilitates healthy snacking - It’s okay to feel peckish and crave a snack to tide you over until dinner. But weight loss is all about the type of snack you decide to reach for and how many times you’re reaching for that snack. Huel Bars are the perfect snack to combat those cravings and to keep you feeling satisfied until dinner.
  • Huel makes tracking calories easy - Calorie counting is simple with Huel. As Huel is one nutritionally complete food, you don’t need to faff around with counting up individual ingredients or scanning barcodes into fitness apps. For Huel Powder and Huel Hot & Savoury, our scoops help you take even more control over your calorie count. Two scoops equate to a 400kcal meal - but this can be tailored to your individual requirements.
  • Huel helps with portion control - Huel acts as an amazing guide to portioning meals properly, helping you achieve a calorie deficit. It’s easier to fall down that slippery slope of overeating when your portions are too big or you can go back for seconds or even thirds!
  • Huel is easy to make - Healthy eating is often associated with longer meal prep times. This can be very demotivating as the upkeep and organisation required in preparing nutritionally balanced meals can be a lot. With Huel, all you need to do is add water, shake/stir and you’re ready to go! By your 5th Huel Shake, you’ll probably be able to make it blindfolded - however we wouldn’t recommend this! See for yourself how easy it is to make a Huel shake here.
  • Huel is affordable - Losing weight shouldn’t be expensive. Everyone should have the opportunity to hit their goals without finances proving a problem. A bag of Huel Powder works out at just £1.32 per meal. That’s half the price of a supermarket meal deal with double the nutritional value.
  • Huel and exercise go hand-in-hand - Huel is the perfect tool to use in combination with your exercise regime, as it contains slow release carbs and is high in protein. So whether you prefer running, lifting weights or taking a dip in the pool, Huel can work for you.
  • Huel is flexible - Huel is flexible and aligns with whatever lifestyle you may have. Huel fits in with your lifestyle, and not the other way around.
  • Huel cuts the crap - There are no empty promises or magical claims. Huel is nutrition first, we’re not here to oversell Huel. We’d rather you have Huel 1-2 times a day, than all day every day and falling off the wagon a few weeks later.

Shop Huel

References

  1. Berkman ET. The Neuroscience of Goals and Behavior Change. Consult Psychol J. 2018; 70(1):28-44.
  2. Langer EJ. The illusion of control. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1975; 32(2):311-28.
  3. Gupta H. Barriers to and Facilitators of Long Term Weight Loss Maintenance in Adult UK People: A Thematic Analysis. Int J Prev Med. 2014; 5(12):1512-20.
  4. Lemstra M, et al. Weight loss intervention adherence and factors promoting adherence: a meta-analysis. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2016; 10:1547-59.
  5. Robinson E, et al. Eating attentively: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of food intake memory and awareness on eating. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2013; 97(4):728-42.
  6. Gonçalves R, et al. Smartphone use while eating increases caloric ingestion. Physiol Behav. 2019; 204:93-9.

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