How to stay motivated and deal with setbacks when losing weight

Staying motivated when you’re trying to lose weight is easy when you’re losing weight. The real test, the really difficult one is staying motivated…

Staying motivated when you’re trying to lose weight is easy when you’re losing weight. The real test, the really difficult one. Is staying motivated when you have set backs.

Oh they’ll happen, it’s inevitable. And you know it. So it makes sense that preparing for them or avoiding the common ones is important. Most people don’t prepare for the predictable setbacks and are more likely to relapse into old habits and lose all the hard work they’ve been putting in as a result.

To help you prevent this predicament, I’m going to cover a couple of helpful strategies for dealing with setbacks and staying motivated in this post. Whilst you’re reading, if you think of a friend who would benefit from this information, please share it with them and give them the best possible chance of success too, unless they’re not really your friend :).

So let’s get started.

When you’re trying to lose weight it’s really easy to get too focused on just that, losing weight. The world is obsessed with weight.

Here’s the situation. So you’ve been trying really hard all week. You’ve stuck to your diet. You’ve exercised.

You step on the scales to see how you’ve done. You eagerly watch the dial as the number creeps up and then whack. It hits you like a freight train. You’ve put weight on.

You then immediately start to think things like ‘how’s that happened’ or ‘why do I bother’ and some people quit right there and then on the scales.

The truth is, there’s many reasons you may have put on weight. From water retention to building lean muscle mass. The old adage of ‘muscle weighs more than fat’ …its true!

So then, why are we so reliant on weight if it’s not really an accurate measure?

The reason is, it’s accurate enough to get an overview. It’s easy for people to step on the scales and see where they are in general in terms of health and risk of diseases like diabetes, cancer, coronary heart disease and so on.

But the truth about weight is that when you measure it too often it becomes a lot less reliable.

The thing about weight is, it really is just a number. It’ll fluctuate naturally throughout the day, for everyone. If you don’t believe me, try it. Measure in the morning, at lunch and in the evening. You’ll see a difference.

Now that we know weight isn’t constant. It makes sense that putting weight on doesn’t always mean putting body fat on.

So what can you do to prevent getting demotivated by the scales? Adding another method of progress measurement, could be the answer.

You see, something as simple as switching your focus from completely weight related goals to other measures of progress like waist circumference or skin fold measurements can really help you keep your motivation.

You may put weight on but weight doesn’t tell the whole story.

You may have heard that most rugby players’ Body Mass Index (BMI) shows that they’re obese or very obese when measured. This obviously couldn’t be further from the truth and it’s their muscle mass that causes this.

It’s because weight includes your whole body and doesn’t break down your body composition. Setting a waist circumference goal instead of just a weight can be a more reliable indicator of progress. It can also help you stay motivated because even if the scales show weight gain, you may have lost inches on your waist.

To guide you in interpreting your waist circumference and goal setting, I’ve included an indicator chart.

Note: The risk relates to heart disease and diabetes risk.

Waist Circumference Chart

Another way to keep you motivated when you have setbacks it to get some better perspective.

It helps if you view weight management as more of a way of life and not a destination.

Making healthy lifestyle changes permanently, not as a temporary fix. It all sounds a bit fluffy, I know, but it works.

Hear me out. How many people do you know who’ve initially lost weight and then put it back on? Probably a few.

It’s highly likely these people slipped back into old habits after attaining their goal weight (the destination). If you instead treat weight management and weight loss as a way of life or a journey you’ll be able to better appreciate that it’s full of ups and downs.

When you know you’ve slipped a bit, make sure it’s the exception and resolve to do better the next day. This way you allow yourself to still be human and also make progress towards your goals.

I really hope this post has helped you and again if you think of a friend who may benefit from this information please be a good friend and share it with them.

Don’t forget we’re also on Facebook and Twitter.