Developing the Motivation to Diet

Dieting can be hard enough under normal conditions, but it’s even harder when you feel unmotivated and discouraged. Most people, when they feel this way, try to force themselves to diet anyway. Unfortunately, it usually backfires and they give up after a few weeks.

If you’re struggling to get into the diet mind-set, here are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success:

- Get excited about the end result.

Okay, maybe you’re not thrilled about having to change your eating habits and exercise each day, but how happy will you be when you see that magical number on the scale, or when you slide into those skinny jeans that have been hiding in your closet for the past few years? Decide that you’re going to see your diet as a worthwhile endeavor that will lead to something great.

- Find ways to make it fun.

Dieting doesn’t have to be unpleasant; it can actually be fun and rewarding if you approach it in the right way. Rather than groaning about the changes you have to make, find ways to make them fun and you’ll actually come to enjoy them. Search out delicious healthy recipes to try. Cut your fruit into fun shapes before eating it. Try new combinations of food that wake up your taste buds. Anything you can do to make the process of eating healthy and working out fun will pay off in the long run.

- Reward yourself often.

Instead of gritting your teeth for the next few months while you drop the extra weight, be sure to reward yourself as often as possible. And don’t make the rewards strictly based on the results you see on the scale – reward yourself for good behavior too! If you did really great on your eating plan today, go out tomorrow and buy yourself something nice. It can be something small like a tube of lip gloss or a pocketknife, or something a bit bigger like a new book or video game. Also be sure to verbally praise yourself often. Look in the mirror and say, “I’m so proud of you for making these changes! You’re looking more attractive by the day!” It may sound silly, but it really gives you an emotional boost – everyone likes to be praised, right? It’s no different when the praise comes from yourself.

These three little things can make all the difference in making you feel motivated and excited about your diet, and when you feel motivated and excited, you are much more likely to stick with it and reach your goal easily.