How To Stay Motivated To Lose Weight
Here’s How I Stay Motivated And Keep The Fire Alive
I Train And Diet For A Pre-Determined Event
I choose or schedule an event in the near future, generally 30 – 60 days away.
A holiday, an obstacle course race, a photoshoot or video series– an event I want to look or perform my best at.
The trick here is to lock yourself in – want to do a photoshoot? I suggest paying in full beforehand. If you’re skipping the gym day after day the photoshoot will approach quicker than you know… you don’t want to be out of shape and look unprepared, put in the hard work and save yourself the embarrassment.
If your event is 30 days away and you skip the gym today then you’ve just lost 1/30th of your opportunity to improve yourself.
There’s always times I feel as if I’m too busy to make it to the gym that day, that whether I do cardio today or tomorrow won’t matter… but I always follow through with it because I know I’ve made a commitment to do everything I can to optimize my aesthetics and athletic performance beforehand.
If there was no event there would be no reason to follow through today, this is why I find time sensitive commitments like this to be so effective.
I Plan Refeed Days
The cheat day serves a purpose.
Besides keeping you sane and mentally healthy the 5th day on which you can consume whatever you please (which, without a doubt will be high in carbohydrates) acts as what we call a ‘refeed’ day. After an extended period of time without carbohydrates your muscles will begin to look flat, this is due to the depletion of glycogen within your muscles.
In order to refill your glycogen stores you have to eat carbohydrates!
After your re-feed day your muscles will look full and round and your performance in the gym will increase. I state day 5 as your re-feed day just to keep things simple, but you may wish to alter this slightly depending on how you look and feel… anywhere between 4 and 7 days is sufficient for a re-feed. The leaner you are the more often you should re-feed. If you’re extremely overweight or not lifting weights regularly then I wouldn’t re-feed any more than once per week (every 7 days).
Buy New Apparel
Sometimes little things like these are enough to get the fire burning inside you again.
Struggling to do cardio? Buy yourself a new pair of gym shoes – you’ll be itching to get yourself in the gym to try them out (and chances are you’ll be able to perform better too!).
I’m not a materialistic person but when you’re dedicated and committed to the gym spending a bit of money on new clothing or even a decent pair of headphones can be the little boost you need to get yourself to the gym.
I Have An Image Of How I want To Look
Print out a small colour photo of your dream physique, this photo should envision exactly how you want to look (some people even photoshop their own head onto their dream body – I have not done this before).
Whenever you’re lacking motivation or plan to stop your workout early be sure to pull out that photo and ask yourself if what you’re about to do or not do is getting you one step closer or one step further away from achieving that body you’ve dreamed of.
I Check My Progress Regularly
“Appearance is a consequence of fitness”
As you continue to apply progressive overload and remain consistent with your workouts your body will begin to forge itself out of steel.
Your log book can also be used for the purpose of recording your meals, I recommend calculating your calories as per my guide here and then ticking off in your journal as you hit your calorie and macronutrient goals for the day – if you fall short or overeat you’re accountable to your log so it must be recorded.
Disregard The Scales & BMI
Before I delve into the methods I use and recommend to track fat loss and muscle gain I find it imperative to discuss the use of the traditional scale.
DO NOT RELY OR BASE YOUR PROGRESS ON WHAT THE SCALES SAY
You see yourself on a daily basis so progress may seem slow or non-existent, this is where taking regular photos comes into play – the mirror doesn’t lie.
Choose a location, time of day and pose and snap the same photo(s) on a weekly or fortnightly basis. When I’m following my cutting diet I record a video and take several still shots each week which I find is the most accurate way to gauge progress and see how I’m progressing, if I’m holding additional fat on any body parts, if I’m losing much muscle mass during my cutting phase (in which case I am able to identify that my calorie deficit might be slightly too large).
Store these photos in a ‘Progress’ folder on your computer and update them weekly, as you begin to look through and compare your previous weeks’ progress to current you’ll more often than not be surprised at just how much your body is changing (without you realizing it).
Grab a tape measure and take note of your body measurements weekly, I recommend performing these upon waking as measuring your arms etc. post workout can be inaccurate (as you’ll have a ‘pump’ meaning they’ll appear larger and fuller than usual due to blood flow.
The key to taking successful measurements is to ensure you are measuring in the exact same position every time, using freckles or placing a mark on your skin is the easiest way to maintain a consistent reference point for measuring.
When measuring record the following measurements in your training log or in an excel spreadsheet in centimetres:
Shoulder to shoulder (with your arms down by your side)
Chest (around nipple level, raise your arms to place the tape measure around your chest and then lower arms before reading measurement)
Biceps (measure from the peak of the bicep to the thickest portion of the triceps).
Waist (around your belly button).
Hips (widest part).
Quads (Choose one spot on your quads and measure this each time).
I’m constantly striving to attain the golden ratio, and the only way to know where I’m progressing and where I’m lacking is by taking my measurements!