27 Ways To Keep Your Weight Loss Motivation High – No Scales Required

Take the effort out of losing weight with tips from the experts


Unless you’ve the self-control of the Dalai Lama, you’ll know the feeling: you’ve lasted a whole 24 hours without succumbing to the temptation of chocolate/alcohol/a boxset marathon and have actually hit your five-a-day and daily burpee target. And you’re feeling pretty smug. So, why then, when your BFF invites you out for an all-you-can-eat Pizza Hut does your weight loss motivation vanish as fast as you can shove your homemade soup back into the fridge?

‘Almost 40% of people who diet regularly give up within the first seven days,’ says Mark Bohannon, manager and head personal trainer of Ultimate Performance Manchester . ‘Then 20% give up before seeing the month out, and just 20% of people will make it through to the second month of dieting.’ Not inspiring stats when it comes to diet motivation loss.

What’s worse, according to Public Health England the UK population is steadily growing – outwards – and the list of health implications associated with obesity continues to grow.

Losing excess weight because you want to is one thing, but what about when you have to? How do you keep weight loss motivation high when it feels like your calories are low?

‘The most common reason for weight loss failure is setting unrealistic goals, and following unsustainable diets and exercise programs that you don’t see results from,’ says top fitness consultant and husband of actress Cath Tyldesley, Tom Pitfield . ‘Women can be very impatient and have high expectations. Wouldn’t life be great if there was a “quick fix”, right? But it’s making a lifestyle change that will really yield long-term results.’

But you already knew that. So, what’s the difference between ending up in that gold-standard 20% minority and finding yourself back on the sofa at square one? WH quizzed the experts for their insider weight loss motivation tricks of the trade to ensure, this time, you stay on track.

Your weight loss motivation crib sheet


‘Weight loss motivation and willpower decrease as the day goes on,’ says Lee Mullins, founder of Workshop Gymnasium. ‘Train first thing in the morning when both are at their peak.’ Indeed, researchers from the National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports agree, noted a significant improvement in athletic performance in those shifting their training regime to the AM. Struggle to get out of bed? Fitness blogger Susie Chan recommends prepping your kit the night before so there are no excuses when that alarm goes beep. We say go one step further – sleep in it.


According to Harvard University, altruism can increase willpower, and has been linked to improved mental health and mood, which, in turn, has been shown to improve physical performance. Ie when it comes to weight loss inspiration, training for charity is win-win. ‘There’s no bigger motivator than competing to raise money for a charity that’s important to you,’ Mullins says. Sign up to the 28 Days Better challenge and do just that. For £28, you’ll receive a programme of daily 15-20-minute home workouts plus a carefully structured nutrition plan – that costs just £4 per day to whip up. All profits go to supporting Action Against Hunger, a charity dedicated to ending starvation. See 28daysbetter.org to find out more.


‘Partner up with a pal and get some regular training sessions in the diary,’ says Chan. Sounds simple but it works. According to data from Strava, the social network for athletes (strava.com), people who exercise with friends are 22% more active than those who go it alone. Not sure who to pick? ‘Choose someone, who is aiming towards the same goal of losing weight to keep you accountable and provide a sense of competition,’ recommends Bohannon. You can then up your weight loss motivation by posting pictures of each workout to a blog or Instagram account – hey, who knows, you could be the next Alice Liveing.


Alex Lawler, a personal trainer at Pro Fit  puts it simply: ‘Have a why,’ he says. Which basically means, identify your weight loss inspiration. But avoid being led by external factors such as looking like Mollie King in a swimsuit. ‘Dig deeper for something that is intrinsically motivating like wanting to stay active as you get older or being able to play with your children. You “why” motivation is something that will stay with you throughout life,’ he says. For Bohannon, it’s about keeping your eyes on the prize. ‘Make sure you are aiming towards a pull goal of where you want to be; not reacting to the push of trying to get away from something,’ he says. ‘The thought of hitting your goal is much more exciting and motivating than trying to run away from something.’


You know the score – as with any major project, when it comes to weight loss help, it pays to break things down into baby steps. ‘Having one big goal that seems months away can be disheartening and demotivating,’ Bohannon says. ‘Instead, give yourself milestone targets along the way, and reward yourself when you hit them.’ And no that doesn’t mean lose a kg then celebrate with a takeaway curry and all the sides. ‘Buy a new dress or book tickets to see a show.’

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