10 Ways to Stay Motivated About Your Diet

by Ali


It’s easy to feel motivated at the start of your diet: you’re taking steps towards better health, you’re enthusiastic about a new goal, maybe other people in the office are joining in … and the first few weeks go brilliantly.

But then, your weight loss slows down, life gets busier, and your diet and exercise routine become monotonous. Your motivation is disappearing almost as fast as the chocolate hobnobs in your desk drawer…

Here’s ten ways to keep up your motivation for your diet:

1. Give yourself a break

If you’re tempted to give up altogether, try taking a weekend off your diet instead. Don’t go completely mad, but eat whatever you fancy, and stop once you’re full. A couple of days of not dieting won’t make much difference to your long-term weight loss … but it could well save your diet.

2. Look at how far you’ve come

Do you have a photo from “before” you started dieting? Dig one out, and remind yourself how well you’ve done so far – whether you’ve lost three pounds or three stone. If you recorded your starting weight, then think how much you’ve lost. Or look at your diet diary and see how much healthier your choices are today compared with a few months ago.

3. Pick a challenge, target or deadline

Some people (myself included!) find it hard to get motivated without some sort of challenge, deadline or competition. How about challenging yourself to give up alcohol for a fortnight, or chocolate for a month? Why not look for a sporting event to enter – perhaps a sponsored walk or a fun run? Or, pick a date on the calendar (your birthday, Christmas, a family get-together) and set a target weight to achieve by then.

4. Hire a coach or personal trainer

Many personal trainers or coaches will offer a free “taster” session so you can see if you get on well with their style. A good trainer or coach is expensive, but the occasional session (maybe once a month) can be a great boost to your motivation. Don’t just think sports – there are coaches for all sorts of areas, and you might find that tackling a problem such as time management, stress or your life goals also helps get your diet back on track.

(I highly recommend my friend Tim Brownson: a very engaging and inspiring life coach, and author of two excellent books. He also has a great blog.)

5. Read some great quotes

Some writers and speakers have the knack of giving pithy, uplifting, or funny quotes which can distract us from thinking about what’s in the fridge. I’ve listed some motivational quotes before, and they’re worth pinning to your noticeboard or using as your screensaver.

6. Talk or write about your feelings

Bottling up your thoughts, worries and frustrations about your diet and exercise won’t help you to stay motivated. Talk things through with a trusted friend or relative – or, if you don’t have anyone you can chat to, try writing in a journal about how you feel.

7. Treat yourself to something nice

When you’ve worked hard, it’s good to reward yourself. Give yourself a little present for how well you’ve done with your healthy living plans so far – it doesn’t matter if you’ve not even lost a pound, so long as you’ve made changes to your lifestyle. How about buying a novel by one of your favourite authors, enjoying a long soak in the bath, going to the cinema, or buying some new clothes to show off your improved figure?

8. Try a couple of naturally low-fat foods you don’t usually eat

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with your diet, but it’s not a good idea to survive on the same breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. If you’ve reduced the range of different meals you eat to cut out high-fat options, start looking for some new low-fat foods. Some of my favourites that I only “discovered” after starting to diet (I used to be a very picky eater) include mushrooms, cottage cheese, and prawns.

9. Have a go at a new exercise or sport

Many of us are even more prone to stagnating in our exercise routine than with our diet. Trying out a couple of difference machines in the gym (get one of the staff to demonstrate first), or having a go at a new class, can be all you need to get enthused about exercise again.

10. Subscribe to blogs which you enjoy, so you get frequent updates

This is one of my favourite ways to keep my motivation up, to stay focused on healthy living and to keep learning more about good nutrition and exercise practices: read blogs. If you use an feed (RSS) reader such as Google Reader, you can subscribe to your favourite blogs – meaning you’ll get updates from each straight into your feed reader’s inbox, as soon as they’re published.

Google Reader is pretty good at finding the feed if you just type in the address of the blog, but in case you’re struggling, here’s some I’m subscribed to:





Author: Allick Delancy

WE ALL HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO DO GREAT THINGS IN LIFE! The areas of education, psychology, motivation, behavioural coaching, management of stress, anger and conflict, has always interested Allick Delancy. For this reason, over the years he has conducted research in these fields and has experienced great success in writing, lecturing and assisting other persons to develop their fullest potentials. He has obtained a Bachelors of Science in Behavioural Sciences with an emphasis in Psychology and Sociology. Allick Delancy also earned a Masters of Arts degree in Educational Psychology, with general emphasis in Learning, Development, Testing and Research from Andrews University. He has worked in the field of community mediation, education--conducting life skills training (for students, teachers and parents), as well as conducting Functional Behavioural Assessments and developing Functional Behavioural Plans. He also lectures at the Bachelors degree level in Early Childhood and Family Studies, Leadership and Management and co-wrote an undergraduate course in social work.

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