Exercise and healthy eating motivation – where to find it?
How to stay motivated for exercise and a healthy diet? What’s important in the motivation process, and where to start when changing your lifestyle? Discover the role of goals, habits, rewards, and community in the motivation process.
Maintaining motivation in a healthy diet and exercise is a challenge for many. Changing your lifestyle isn’t easy, and sticking with it through the process can be incredibly tough. Where to begin the change and how to stay motivated? Discover our methods.
Set a goal
The first step in motivating yourself to improve your lifestyle should be to set a specific goal. Motivating yourself for regular activity or proper nutrition is easier if you know what you want to achieve. The goal should be specific and, most importantly, achievable. It’s not worth it to aim to lose 30 kg in a few months and target daily 2-hour workouts right away. Unrealistic goals can induce fear that the goal is unattainable or very difficult to achieve, resulting in lost motivation. Start with smaller goals, e.g., go to the pool once a week and eat two servings of fresh vegetables and a serving of fruit daily. The next step is to monitor the effects, do this once a week, and draw motivation from each week aligned with your goal. If you’ve achieved a small goal, set another, remembering the small steps method. Give yourself time to see the effects; it takes time for them to appear, and this is entirely normal. Motivate yourself with the good feeling after each activity and appreciate your body for coping! If you want to learn more about goal planning, be sure to read our earlier article.
Building habits and motivation are closely linked. Habits are extremely important when following the principles of a healthy lifestyle. They help you get through moments when motivation is lower, e.g., after a hard day at work. On the other hand, if you have managed to develop a habit and, for example, you take at least 6000 steps daily, motivation increases, and you want to achieve better results. You might do more steps or additionally introduce a new physical activity. According to recent studies, building a habit takes about 60 days, of course, for some, this time will be shorter, for others longer. In building habits and motivating yourself, habit trackers can be very helpful, available both in physical versions and as apps. In the Fitatu® app, you’ll also find motivation features, we encourage you to explore it and build habits with us.
The 80:20 rule
When making changes, there are worse days when you fail to achieve your goal. It’s a tough time, and motivation often drops, so the 80:20 rule is important. What is it? In terms of nutrition, 80% of the diet is based on healthy, unprocessed products, and 20% can be less recommended snacks, heavier restaurant meals, or other products deviating from set goals. Leaving a “loophole” for deviations from the goals reduces the risk of total abandonment after small setbacks. It’s very useful in motivating yourself and achieving your goals. It’s important not to overuse this rule and only allow small deviations from your goals. The 80:20 rule can be changed to the 90:10 rule. In both cases, it’s important to maintain common sense to not diminish the chances of achieving your goals.
Motivation and reward
In the process of change and motivation, one should not forget about the reward. There’s no denying that rewards motivate us to achieve goals. Of course, better fitness and health are rewards, but it’s important to appreciate yourself and your small achievements at every step. After a week of healthy eating, check your goal. If you’ve managed to achieve it, reward yourself, but not necessarily with unhealthy food!🙂 A good reward could be going to the cinema, buying a new book, or having a home spa. There are many ideas, and any reward valuable to you positively motivates further work.
Motivation is easier when you have others by your side. A way to increase the desire for change might be a workout partner or group classes. Some people find it easier to motivate themselves for activity or a healthier diet when they know they’re not entirely alone. It’s more pleasant to prepare a meal for several people or participate in group classes and collectively encourage each other in a healthy lifestyle.
You can also find motivation online in support groups. We highly recommend the Fitatu community on Facebook. Our users motivate and inspire each other towards physical activity and a healthy diet. Motivational too are apps where you can post your sports results and observe your friends’ achievements. Moreover, challenges organized by the community, in which you can participate, are motivating.
Motivation for exercise
To make your workout more enjoyable and easier to motivate yourself, create positive conditions around you. For exercises, prepare a personalized playlist that gives you a boost and releases endorphins. Wear comfortable clothes for training that won’t hinder your activity. Keep sports equipment, like a mat or weights, in a visible place, so you’ll remember about exercising, which will increase your motivation. When your environment is already motivating, the most important thing – choose a discipline you like! If you hate running, don’t force yourself. It will only decrease your desire for activity. Once you’ve chosen an activity, remember about regularity, maintaining it will increase the chance of achieving your goal, and thus motivation for further action. To motivate yourself for regular activity, start with short workouts of 10- or 15-minutes, then gradually extend the exercise time. This tactic will help you build a habit.
Motivation for diet
Motivation for dieting can be easier through calorie counting, this way you can easily control your goal and monitor the effects of your diet. Read here about how to motivate yourself to start the adventure with calorie counting. Diet is a lifestyle, not a torment 🙂 Healthy food can and should taste good to you. Discover new culinary recipes, and new flavours will motivate you for further experiments with healthy eating. Don’t go shopping while hungry, then it’s easier to choose products according to the shopping list and maintain motivation for healthier eating.
Looking for more ways on how not to waste food? Start planning your meals! Download the app for free from the Play Store or Apple Store now and find out that dieting has never been so easy! Want access to all additional recipes with step-by-step photos? Opt for the Fitatu® Premium plan.
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What else will you find in Fitatu® Premium?
- Over 2000 recipes plus dozens of new ones every month,
- Additional intermittent fasting plans,
- The ability to create shopping lists,
- 6 ready-made meal menus,
- Filtering products and recipes,
- More synchronization with fitness apps,
- Access to the web version of the app,
- No ads.