People generally do not have a problem starting a regimen and initially see results too. They eventually stop and the results fade away. The ones who lose weight over the long run are the ones who have understood and adopted the right regimen. We need to understand that maintaining motivation has two parts; a reason to keep going and a reason to stop. When you start something but stop after a while, probably the reason to stop has outweighed the reason to start. Thus there is a requirement for introspection before you decide to start again.
There are various ways that one can adopt to weaken the reason to quit. One of the best ways is to make a schedule that suits you most, mentally. Some people like to work in the morning and some in the evening. Do what you like and do not force something on yourself. Hence the importance of scheduling and persistence. Soon it will become a habit.
The most important factor is not to end the desire to improve your health and fitness. Even if you do not see results initially, make sure that you remain motivated for at least five weeks.
There are times when you will plateau and your motivation starts to erode away. Make sure that you believe in the plan. Then recheck the plan. The plateau could be because of illness, injury, wrong calorie calculations, the body adopting a particular exercise routine, or anything which is bringing you back from a negative energy balance to a neutral or positive balance. Also, one must make realistic goals and break those into smaller steps and achievements. Also, it is important to reward yourself every time you hit a target.
There are some basic steps that one can follow to stay motivated. Note them down somewhere and apply. It is not possible that you will fail both in the short and long term.
Step 1 : Take some photographs of yourself from different angles, if possible in a bathing suit. Keep it somewhere on your mobile or laptop where you can see it easily. Take at least five measurements of your body at places that matter and are your target areas.
Step 2 : Try and find a companion who can join this friendly competition with you in losing weight, losing inches, or reducing the percentage of body fat.
Step 3 : Most abundant is people’s advice. People have advice on almost everything. Make sure that you ignore them all.
Step 4 : Do not put yourself under undue pressure. Do not start a before/ after comparison till at least 10 days. Start every exercise by doing it slow and small. Stay committed and be regular.
Step 5 : Focus on each day as an important step. Keep a record of what you are doing. This will help you analyze the progress. Remember that losing weight is not a sprint but a slow long journey. Be patient!
Step 6 : Make your attempt failure-proof by following it for at least five weeks. Make it a game, record, and track measurements. Compete with yourself and remember to make small progress.
Step 7 : Initially you may not lose weight or sometimes even gain it. This is because of an increase in muscle mass. Check your measurements as they will be encouraging.
Step 8 : Be specific to your plan of diet and exercise. Do not fall into the trap of words like ‘balance’, ‘toning’, ‘cellulite’ etc. What you have planned needs to be focused on negative energy balance and a mixture of cardio and strength exercises.