How to Lose Weight When You Aren't Motivated

Motivation is one of the biggest issues I’ve seen when it comes to weight loss. Initially, people are very motivated to get started! They’re excited because they found the diet or the workout plan that’s going to be the one that they can stick to, the one that changes their life. They go gung-ho into it, as motivated as ever to get results. Unfortunately, they begin to rely on this motivation which will often disappear within a few days or a few weeks.

Now, feeling motivated and excited to begin a new program is great! It feels good to make positive changes in your life. The problem begins when you rely only on motivation to keep you going. Motivation comes and goes. It happens. Life gets in the way. Here are a few tips that will help you into get to the gym and out of the junk food aisle, even when you don’t feel like it.

Figure Out Your Why

Figuring out why you’re making all these changes and starting this new journey is key to help you continue those changes when you’re lacking motivation. Your big why might be “I want to lose weight” but try and dig a little deeper into that. Sit down, take out a piece of paper, and truly think about why you want to lose weight. Are you looking to get a revenge body? To be a good example to your kids? To feel healthier and reverse some damage done by chronic disease? Write it down and keep it somewhere that you can go revisit it when you are feeling unmotivated.

Just Do It (In Small Steps)

Don’t feel like going to the gym? Just go for 10 minutes, or workout at home for 10 minutes. Chances are, you’ll end up working out longer, but even if you don’t, you’ve built some discipline within yourself, and you made a positive change.

Feel like eating something junky instead of what was on your meal plan? Just take a few bites of your meal. Oftentimes you’re just hungry and need to eat something. Once you get started eating what your plan was, you’ll feel better and eat the rest of it.

Make a Vision Board

Vision boards are SO powerful. They help you see your ideal life and picture yourself living it. Cut out pictures that motivate you to lose weight. I recommend using pictures of yourself at a healthier weight, or trying to find models that have a similar body type to you. You can also cut out pictures that represent how you want to feel, such as healthy, energetic, or happy. Anything that inspires and motivates you! Visit for more information on how to make an awesome and inspirational visit board.

Phone a Friend

Having a friend, trainer, significant other, or family member who knows your why is extremely valuable. When you’re feeling down and unmotivated, being able to talk to them and have them gently remind you why you are doing this in the first place is key to doing the thing you don’t want to do. You don’t have to tell them everything about why you’re making these changes (a lot of times it’s very personal), but at least let them in when you’re struggling so that they can be your crutch when you need it.

Plan Ahead

This means everything. Planning your meals and workouts ahead of time makes life so much easier. When you don’t know what you’re going to eat or don’t know what workout you’re going to do for the day, it can make it a lot harder. Combine that with a lack of motivation and you’ve got yourself a night off from the gym and in front of the fridge.

I also recommend preparing your meals ahead of time so that you have it ready to go when you’re feeling a hunger pang for something deep fried. We all get cravings, and sometimes it’s even okay to give in to them! But most of the time, if you just eat what you had planned and prepared, you’ll feel better, just as satisfied, and you’ll know that you are now one step closer to your goals.

Start Smaller and Make it a Habit

In the beginning, you may be tempted to give it your all right off the bat. You may decide you’re going to wake up at 5 am, workout for 2 hours a day, 6 days a week, and cut your calories to 1500. This isn’t likely to last. It is hard to make that many changes all at once. Take it slow and easy, and you’ll find that you are still able to lose weight, and it will be a sustainable weight loss.

First, commit to working out for 5-10 minutes a day. It’s a lot easier to find motivation to do that then to do a whole hour, or even 30 minutes. If you do that for a week or so, make it a little bit longer, and so on and so forth. Make a habit out of it until you reach your ultimate goal. Maybe that means working out for an hour 4 times a week, maybe that means working out for 30 minutes 3 x a week. Whatever it is, build up to it until it is a habit and you no longer rely on motivation to will you into it.

Track Your Progress

In my opinion, there is nothing more motivating than seeing progress from something you’ve been working on. I recommend to all of my clients that when they first start, they get as much information as they can. Write down your weight, measurements, clothing size, current diet and workout information, how you feel about yourself, how you physically feel. Get as much information as you can. Chances are, later on down the road, you can go back and revisit this and you will find that while you may not see progress on a daily basis, you’ll find that your clothes are feeling looser, you have more energy, or you have lost 3 pounds. This is incredibly motivating!

Motivation will not always be there. You must build your discipline muscle and focus on your big goals rather than what you want in the moment. Don’t forget to give yourself a break though! Rome wasn’t built in a day. You didn’t put on the extra pounds in a day. It takes time, energy, and patience to get where you’re going. If you need a rest day, TAKE ONE! If you truly want a Snickers, eat one! Remember that this is a lifestyle choice. Moderation is key. You CAN do it and you WILL do it. Beating yourself up over every little slip up will do you no good. Just remember that life is what you make of it, and do your best.

If you ever need support, guidance, or just a friend, please email me at

Kelcy Anderson