Why Motivation (Alone) Doesn’t Work For Weight Loss

Weight loss is a process that requires many obstacles and a lot of dedication. Unfortunately, many people rely solely on motivation as the cornerstone of their weight loss journey, only to find that it is not enough. As such, in this article, you will learn why motivation alone doesn’t work for weight loss and how to create sustainable and healthy habits that will give you the best possible chance of success.



Motivation is a complex emotion, and it can be difficult to sustain over a long period of time.

We’ve all been there, vowing this will be the time you finally lose the weight. You’re on day 1, your motivation is at it’s peak and you’re feeling great. Day 2 comes along and you’re still feeling great. Days 3-4 you can feel your resolve dropping a bit but you have enough motivation to keep going. Days 5-7 you begin to struggle but the scales have shown great results which gives you the boost you need. But weeks 2-3 pass by and you’re not losing as much weight as you did in week 1, and you are starting to lose your motivation. The goal seems too far off, and you don’t think you can do many more weeks of this. Eventually you get completely fed-up, and quit – Until the next time motivation strikes, where the cycle gets repeated.

If this sounds familiar, you’re definitely not alone! But why does this happen? Why is weight loss motivation so fleeting?

Many factors can influence our motivation, such as personal goals, expectations, environment, and our mood and outlook. It’s also important to note that motivation is often linked to our levels of energy, which can be affected by things like fatigue, stress, and diet. All of these factors can contribute to why motivation can be so fleeting. That said, it is possible to cultivate long-term habits that help you motivate yourself, with the right strategies and mindset to help you reach your weight loss goals.

Think of Motivation as A Battery

Motivation is like a battery that needs to be recharged every now and then.

The bigger and more difficult the task ahead, the more energy is going to be drained from the battery. If you keep using this energy over and over again without recharging, you’re going to run out. And there goes your motivation.

To keep your motivation battery topped up, it’s important to break down large, energy-draining tasks into smaller, more achievable goals. That way, you can feel a greater sense of accomplishment as you reach each milestone. And by rewarding yourself for completing these smaller tasks is a great way to recharge the battery. Celebrate the successes, no matter how small, and recognize the hard work that you put in.

For example, if you’re aiming to lose 20 lbs, break that down into smaller goals like losing 5 lbs per month or 1-2 lbs per week. And reward yourself for each milestone you reach to make the process more fun. You’ll keep your battery topped up, have a sense of accomplishment at each small success and stay motivated to keep going.

Consistency Is Key

Consistency and discipline are essential to achieving success in any endeavour. They help to keep us focused on our goals, and keep us from falling off track. Motivation may come and go, but having a consistent and disciplined approach can help you stay focused and achieve what you set out to do.

Consistency is key to successful weight loss. Making small changes to your lifestyle and practicing them consistently is always better than making huge changes that you can only sustain over a small amount of time before losing motivation.

Your body isn’t going to change drastically in a matter of days or weeks, no matter what you do. And it can be easy to lose motivation when you can’t see the changes being made. But during those times, it’s important to keep going and keep trying, even if the changes aren’t drastic in the short-term, they will add up over time. Remember the motivation battery!

Focus On Habits

Long-term behaviour change is essential for breaking unhealthy habits and forming healthy ones. It takes time and dedication to create long-term changes in our behaviour and habits, but it is well worth the effort in the long run.

Practicing atomic habits is a great way to create lasting, positive change in your life. It involves breaking down your goals into small, achievable steps, and taking consistent action on them over time. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Identify your current habits: Take some time to think about the habits you currently have and how they could be contributing to your success or holding you back.
  2. Set specific goals: Decide what areas of your life you want to improve, and set specific goals to achieve them.
  3. Break down your goals: Break down your goals into smaller, achievable steps and create a plan to reach them.
  4. Take action: Make a commitment to take action on your goals every day, no matter how small.
  5. Track your progress: Use a habit tracking app or journal to hold yourself accountable and track your progress.
  6. Celebrate progress: Celebrate your wins and progress, no matter how small, as they will help to motivate you to keep going.

I like to think of habit changes as trying to improve my life 1% at a time. Instead of trying to do 1 hour of strenuous exercise everyday, tell yourself you will try to get in at least 10 minutes of movement a day. 10 minutes of stretching is better than nothing

You Shouldn’t Be Miserable!

This one sounds pretty obvious, of course you don’t want to be miserable, but we often hear sayings like ‘no pain, no gain’. believing that we just need to suffer for a few months until we reach the goal and then we’ll be happy.

It is true that sometimes we have to work hard and put in effort to achieve our goals, but that doesn’t mean that we have to be miserable while we are doing it! It is possible to find joy and fulfilment in the journey and create a positive experience that sets us up for success.

Whatever your reasons are to lose weight. Good nutrition and exercise should add to your life. Nothing is going to drain you motivation battery faster than doing something you absolutely hate!

Don’t trade in exercise that you love for something that promises better results but you dread doing. Don’t eat meals you hate because they’re “healthier” or lower in calories. You will only be sabotaging yourself!


  • Motivation is a battery – Things that you hate, take too long or are too strict with are high energy tasks that will drain the battery quickly. Small changes and rewarding milestones allows you to recharge.
  • Consistency beats motivation – Motivation is fleeting, but consistency will keep you going.
  • Habits are key to consistency – Staying consistent is easier when you practice small daily habit changes.
  • Enjoy the journey – If you like what you are doing, you will keep doing it!

In conclusion

It can be really hard to keep up motivation when you’re trying to lose weight, but don’t give up! Consistency is key! Try setting smaller goals for yourself, rewarding milestones and doing things you enjoy to help you practice this. Look into “lifestyle changes” rather than “dieting”. Adopting a healthier lifestyle is more sustainable than following a strict diet and it can help you stay motivated for the long term. Good luck and keep at it!

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