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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is a motivational plan of action to help me lose weight?

    I know I am obese and need to lose large amounts of weight. I understand it will give me a better quality of life and benefit my health but I still feel so unmotivated. How do I get excited about healthy foods and exercise?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Lyn Christian


    As a Naturopath and Nutritionist I am passionate about the promotion of health using functional foods to correct nutrient imbalances.All health conditions need to be … View Profile

    I think that you have taken the first step in recognising that losing weight will benefit your health and in turn improve your quality of life so congratulations. Losing large amounts of weight safely has to be done over time- not in the Biggest Loser style.It has to be broken down into steps with each step or milestone achieveable and realistic. With my patients, the first step is to be honest with themselves. They fill out a goals/wellness questionnaire where they have to think about why they want to improve their health and what are their obstacles and strengths (to name a few of the questions).
    By identifiying possible reasons for past failures and succesess they are better prepared for the tasks ahead. Weight loss is not as simple as calorie in calorie out. Hormones, psychological factors, environment,inflammation are some of the contributors to weght gain so it is imperative to consult with a Nutritionist to begin your journey to improved health.Once you begin to taste healthy food and discover how good you feel after exercise, you WILL become more and more motivated to feel good EVERY day. Take care and I wish you well.

  • Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight is likely to produce health benefits. Nonetheless, achieving even a modest amount of weight loss can seem insurmountable at times. When you lack the proper motivation to meet your weight-loss goals, your efforts often fall flat, allowing you to sink back into your old habits. By offering yourself goals for weight-loss success, you stay motivated enough to turn healthy eating and daily exercise into lifestyle habits rather than a ‘diet’. Whether you're just starting a weight-loss plan or you've been at it for a while and have just a few more kilos to lose, the right motivation can help push you toward your goal, achieve it and maintain it once you get there. Lack of motivation can be the beginning of a downward spiral toward discouragement and failure. It doesn't matter what your motivation is, as long as it's healthy. Keep your fitness arsenal packed with creative ways to motivate yourself and you can find success.
    Positive Thinking
    Weight-loss plans and diets often get a bad rap because of language that sometimes implies that healthy living can be a burden. And that can discourage you from sticking to your plan. Instead, use phrases like “get to” and “want to,” instead of “I have to.” Incorporate fun activities into your fitness routine. If you hate jogging but love walking or cycling , schedule these into your week. And then look forward to it.
    Keeping your weight-loss goals to yourself won't help when you reach for that chocolate ice cream carton. But your partner or friend can help, especially when fear of disappointing them is part of your motivation. Share your specific weight-loss goals with those closest to you and ask them to encourage you to stick to your plan. They also may need an accountability partner. The two of you constitute a motivational force that can overpower the constant food temptations. The other alternative is to consult a professional – a dietitian who will give you the direction and support you need.
    Always think how much better you will feel when you are fit and healthy. It is not only about how you will look, but how your energy level and confidence will improve.

    Compassion and looking outside yourself is a strong motivator for weight loss. Look for charities in your community that sponsor walkathons and other fundraisers to help with a cause that you care about. Whether you are interested in breast cancer awareness or advocating for abused children, you'll discover that when friends and family are paying money to sponsor you, motivation comes easier.
    Be kind to yourself and remember you wont be perfect all the time. Try and choose the correct foods, eat small portions and partake in a lot of physical activity. You cannot be motivated all the time to lose weight, good eating habits and exercise have to become a lifestye!

  • Dr Louisa Hoey

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    I am a Clinical and Health Psychologist with over 10 years experience. I have expertise in working with people with disordered eating. I work with … View Profile

    Yep, I totally agree with Arlene above who talks about that 5-10% weight loss…that is really important in my opinion - if you set a goal that is too large it is really hard to stay motivated (weight loss is hard work) - and the risk is that you will have  a goal too high…not reach it…give up…and end up putting your weight back on because you feel like you have failed.

    I talk to clients a lot about goals when they are looking to loose weight as I think this has such an important impact on motivation. Try using SMART goals to guide your weight loss:

    Specific (e.g I will walk for 30 minutes 3 times a week, or I will loose 3 kg over three months)

    Measureable - you need to be able to measure them…kg are good, cms also good, minutes of activity also good.

    Attractive (if you hate walking..don't set that as a goal! Set goals that you want)

    Realistic - make sure that are reasonable and do-able. Otherwise you risk failure and that will be a blow to your motivation which won't help you in the long run. You need to get some ‘runs on the board’ so to speak.

    Time limited - set time frames

    I wish you well!!

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