We may decide to lose weight for various reasons, for example to reduce the risk of diseases associated with obesity. Various methods can be used to find the motivation for weight loss.
Overweight and obesity are defined as a weight above what is healthy for a person’s height. The body mass index (BMI) is a tool that health professionals use to measure this weight. For adults, a BMI of 25 or more is overweight and a BMI of 30 or more is obese. Health professionals consider a BMI of 40 or more to be severe obesity. The goal is to maintain a moderate weight, as obesity is associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. However, people who want to lose weight sometimes find it difficult to find the necessary motivation.
This article offers tips to motivate yourself to lose weight. It also explains when to see a doctor.
Understanding the potential health consequences of obesity can help motivate a person to take steps to lose weight. According to experts, people who are overweight or obese are at increased risk for many serious diseases, including:
all causes of death (mortality)
heart disease and stroke
high blood pressure
type 2 diabetes
dyslipidemia, which is abnormal levels of fatty substances, such as cholesterol, in the blood
certain types of cancer
sleep apnea and breathing problems
mental disorders such as depression and anxiety
pain and mobility issues
However, committing to losing weight can help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.
The first step to losing weight is to commit to yourself. A person may have tried a weight loss program before and is hesitant to start the process over again, or a lack of time or resources may prevent them from trying to lose weight. At this point, a person can talk to a doctor about their weight to better understand their overall health, including any medical conditions they have. A healthcare professional can provide support and advice to people who want to lose weight. It is necessary to commit to losing weight to leave your current situation and start working. Thinking about their goals and listing them can help people plan for the future and motivate them to start the process.
Set 3 goals
A 2020 study indicates that setting goals can help people stick to a weight loss plan. Goal setting is essential to behavior change and can help people overcome setbacks and challenges they face on their weight loss journey. The study suggests that it can be beneficial to set three goals that you want to achieve rather than having to achieve them. Thus, a person can consider the positive aspects of losing weight and the benefits they can get from it, such as better overall health.
It is important to frame the goals positively rather than negatively. For example, “I want to lose weight so I can play more with my grandchildren” is better than “I want to lose weight so I don’t get tired playing with my grandchildren.”
In addition, experts advise to specify the objectives. For example, rather than saying “I want to lose weight”, a person may wish to set a specific goal, such as “I want to lose X kg by X date”. However, experts also advise setting realistic and lenient goals. We can therefore set ourselves more modest short-term objectives and more ambitious long-term objectives. A person can try writing down their top three goals and pinning them where they can see them.
The researchers suggest that supportive relationships, both professional and personal, are key to empowering people who want to lose weight and facilitating their ability to change their diet.
People can receive support:
online weight loss groups
in-person weight loss groups
Support can come in the form of advice, an obligation to achieve goals, or a common interest in weight loss. For example, a person who joins a workout or gym class with a friend may be more motivated to get going right away and keep doing it regularly.
Have realistic expectations
Even modest weight loss, in the range of 5-10% of total body weight, is likely to have beneficial health effects for people who are overweight or obese. However, individuals should ensure that they have realistic expectations for the speed of weight loss. Experts believe that a gradual weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week is ideal for effective weight loss. Following a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help a person lose weight gradually and maintain a moderate weight over the long term. It is advisable to consult a medical professional for more advice on how to lose weight safely.
When to contact a doctor
A doctor can give advice on how to lose weight effectively and safely for overweight or obese people. Extreme diets that can lead to eating disorders or nutrient deficiencies should be avoided. If a person is concerned about losing weight or restricting certain foods in their diet and they are not overweight, they may wish to seek the advice of a medical professional.
The motivation to lose weight can vary from person to person. A doctor’s advice to lose weight for health reasons may be the only motivation some people need to change their diet and lifestyle. For others, being more active with the family or having someone to support them in the weight loss process may be what encourages them. People who need advice and support to lose weight or who think they have disordered eating behaviors should consult their doctor.