How to not lose motivation in diet?

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  1. The decision has been made – you are going on a diet! You want to change your eating habits in order to feel better, be healthier or look better. The first step is behind you-you have a ready food plan, a lot of enthusiasm and the prospect of success. And motivation? As studies (and experience) show, the right attitude is the key to success. Although at the beginning of the diet the motivation is strong, it gradually begins to weaken, until the moment when we feel discouraged and impatient. How to deal with it? Here is a handful of information about motivation that will help you achieve your goal!

(Un) equal motivation

Motivation is the energy that drives us to action, encourages us to take the effort and protects us from resignation. It is like fuel in a car – it drives but also burns and needs to be refilled. There are two types of motivation – internal and external. The first one appears in situations where the mere performance of activities is pleasant, for example when we are involved in our hobby. The second type – external motivation – concerns situations in which the later consequences of our actions lead to a specific behavior. An example of this is going to the dentist or learning to take the exam from a disliked item. At the beginning of the diet, we are usually motivated externally, because we want to look better, to please our partner more. On the other hand, the food gives pleasure, its basis is internal motivation, which often wins (with the choice of who chooses unpopular duties instead of hobbies?). Fortunately, there is also regularity, which says that with a strong commitment even to the disliked occupation, the motivation changes from external to internal. In the diet, instead of focusing on the weight and size of clothes, the well-being and value resulting from a healthy lifestyle become more important.

Action plan

Regardless of what changes we make, they always occur in a strictly defined way. The first step is to accept the situation in which we are. We stand in front of the mirror, collect all the information, analyze our eating habits and start to understand that in total during the day we eat as much as the elephant. Now we have to accept the facts, otherwise, our mind will constantly defend against them and rationalize them (“I do not eat so much, others eat more”, “I eat so much food that I need!”). Acceptance means that the situation in which we find ourselves does not arouse strong emotions in us. Ok, but accept your overweight ?! – say. This is the most difficult and the most important stage. Emotions associated with experiencing dissatisfaction and non-acceptance of their appearance take away a large part of our cognitive resources, and therefore the energy that our motivation needs!

The second step is the diagnosis, and thus the analysis of eating habits and the causes of overweight. Only now it is possible to set a plan of action and goals. How to determine a good goal? Try to “demoralize” it, so define it according to the SMART methodology. A good goal should be: be simple (I want to look better – lose weight), have as determinants of success (I will lose 7 kg), be available (it is impossible to lose 7 kg in 2 weeks), significant (goal should be an important step forward), determined in time (I will lose 7 kg in 4 months). After setting up the action plan, it’s time to try, so check that the plan is practical and works. The last step is a possible correction of the plan and continuous exercises.

Divide into parts and search for inspiration

If you are scared by the fact that you need to change your habits dramatically, change them gradually. Instead of setting a goal: 20 kg less, divide it into parts. Think you’ll lose 2 kg in a month. Reaching the goal will give you satisfaction and energy for further action! It’s like a flywheel that must first be moved so that it can drive itself later. You will see that you are closer to the goal, which suddenly becomes … not so far away.

Where to find inspiration? Studies of psychologists prove that the most effective inspiration are the loved ones. When someone in our environment does something that we always wanted to do often, it is a better inspiration than the example of cinema stars. If someone close to us could change their lives, why would not you? Contrary to appearances, it does not help to imagine the ideal state, ie, for example, imagining yourself with a perfect, slim body. Research shows that imagining an ideal state gives so much satisfaction that it really replaces reality and, in effect, demotivates. The most effective strategy is to imagine the pursuit of the goal and all the difficulties that can happen to us. This means that we solve problems in advance and know how to react when they really are. And every success enjoys more and more.

Change, but in moderation!

Posted on: August 27, 2018

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