If you’re reading this article, then you’re probably about to start (or are in the midst of) a weight loss journey. There is no denying that this will be hard work, but losing weight will be one of the most rewarding journeys that you will embark on. Although the working out and the healthy eating will be a challenge, staying motivated can also be a struggle, and lack of motivation is one of the biggest reasons that people never achieve their weight loss goals. Below are some simple tips that will help you to remain motivated along the way.

Have a Goal in Mind

The number one rule: Set. A. Goal. And a realistic one at that. As much as we would like to, no one is going to lose a stone overnight, it’s just not going to happen! Losing weight takes time, and setting smaller, more achievable goals will keep you on track. Try starting out by aiming to lose 1lb every week. This goal may change along the way. You may start by aiming for 1lb a week, and after a few weeks, aim for 2lb a week, or even 3lb. Remember, everybody is different, so each person will have different goals in mind. Some people may aim for more, and some less. This is okay, as achieving your goal is the most important thing.

Remember Why You Started

There are many reasons why someone may decide to lose weight. Perhaps for health purposes – being a healthy weight can reduce your likelihood of getting heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure) and even some obesity related cancers. For others, it may be that the weight has crept up over the past few years, and they want to be able to fit into their favorite pair of pants again. It may be that you’ve finally booked that summer holiday and you want to look your best in the Facebook pictures. Everyone will have a different reason, but whatever the reasons for your decision to lose weight, keep them in the back of your mind when the going gets tough, and remember why you started in the first place. The hard work will pay off in the end!

Do It with a Friend

Losing weight can be quite daunting when you tackle it alone. A good way to stay on track is to do it with a friend. You may have different end goals, but exercising or cooking a nutritious meal together can help you to keep each other motivated. You’re much more likely to go to the gym when you promised a mate you would go with them, and it’s easy to give up when you have nobody there to support you along the way, so having a friend to do this with can be really beneficial. Going to the gym with a partner will not only help to keep you motivated, but it is also much more fun and many gyms have discounts for joint memberships, so it’s a great way to save money. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these awesome workouts you can do with a partner or friend.

Have a Role Model

If you find yourself slipping off the fitness wagon, a good way to get your motivation back is by looking at ‘fitspiration’ pics, or having a role model in mind. This could be a celebrity or fitness model that you look up to, and checking out pics where they’re looking their best can help push you to stay on track with your goals. Some faves include these male underwear model pictures, or Tammy Hembrow’s Instagram page. You could try sticking your favorite on the fridge to remind you when you’re tempted to grab an unhealthy snack from inside. This could be you one day!

If You Fall off Track, Get Back On.

There will be times where you fall off track, whether it be a couple of days or even a full week. But don’t give up. It’s really easy for a bad week to turn into a bad month, and before you know it you’ve slipped back into old habits. Don’t let this happen! One bad day is not going to ruin all of your hard work, and you won’t put the weight back on overnight – just like you didn’t lose it overnight! If you find yourself having a weekend full of burgers and booze, don’t panic. Just get back on track with your meal plan and workouts. In fact, some studies suggest that having a cheat day once a week can actually help you achieve your goals in the long run, as you’re less likely to crave calorie packed food and end up giving in and binging. Just check out these benefits of cheat meals!

Share Your Success

There’s nothing better than looking in the mirror and actually being able to see your body changing before your eyes, and getting that ‘it’s paying off (!)’ feeling. Seeing the number on the scale get lower and lower, and clothes feeling a lot less snug than they did before… This alone is a great motivator as you know what you’re doing is working, and can push you to keep going. But another great way is by sharing your success, whether it’s with pals, at a weight loss group or on social media. Sharing weight loss pics or stories can really help, as encouragement from friends and family is one of the best motivators out there. You may even inspire others to start a journey of their own.

So now that you’re ready to start your journey, remember these top tips to stay on track.

Make sure you lose weight in a safe and healthy way, and speak to a clinician before starting on a strict diet or exercise plan to ensure it’s suitable for you. Sure, this will be demanding, and your weight will likely fluctuate along the way, but it will undoubtedly be worth all the hard work. Good luck!