Your Guide to High Motivation

Your Guide to High Motivation

So, you’ve got yourself a gym membership, splashed on a new pair of fancy training shoes, and loaded your phone with energising workout music. 

Now it’s time to face the real challenge, which is dragging your ass to the gym and keeping your diet under control.

You plough through the first few weeks with vigour and ambition. But as time passes, the dial on your motivation meter drops and eventually hits zero. 

Your membership card starts gathering dust, and you replace meals of grass-fed beef and vegetables with French fries and trans-fat-loaded burgers.

Sounds familiar? If so, you’re not alone. It’s very common among those who want to whip their body into shape. 

The good news is that you can rely on a few proven and simple steps to stay motivated. In this article, you’ll discover these very steps, which will help you remain on track with your fitness goals and attain them.

Step 1: Determine Your Why 

Do you know one of the main differences between people who doggedly pursue their fitness goals and those who throw in the towel? It’s that the winners have a compelling reason for wanting to transform their body.

You see, if you don’t have a clear vision, it is easy to skip the gym after a long, exhausting workday or to indulge in junk food when assaulted by cravings.

It is therefore extremely important to know why exactly you want to transform your body. 

This reason must be personal, but typical examples include improving your self-confidence, looking your best for a special event, having more energy, or improving your health.

Once you’ve determined why you want to pursue a fitness goal, write the reason down and keep it within reach. Use this as a reminder to work out when you don’t feel like it and to eat right when cravings attack.

Step 2: Be Realistic

Many trainees have an unrealistic view of how fast they can reach their goals. (You can blame it on those “Get ripped now” and “Lose 10kg by tomorrow” programs.)

This can smother motivation when progress isn’t as fast as people have hoped for. Research has confirmed it, showing that those who expect to lose the most weight when starting a program are most likely to quit [1].

Thus, it is essential to have realistic expectations. Here’s how much weight you can expect to lose per week if you exercise right and follow a proper diet:

– 0.2% to 0.4% of body weight if you’re male with less than 11% body fat or female with less than 19% body fat.

– 0.4% to 0.6% of body weight if you’re male with 11%-15% body fat or female with 19%-23% body fat.

– 0.6% to 1% of body weight if you’re male with 16%-25% body fat or female with 24%-31% body fat.

– 1% to 1.5% of body weight if you’re male with more than 25% body fat or female with more than 33% body fat.

In case you’re unsure about your body fat percentage, either get it checked by a professional or use the chart below.

body fat percentage chart for men and women

And here’s a realistic weight gain rate for building muscle when you follow proper workout and nutrition plans:

– Beginner trainees: gain between 1% and 1.5% of body weight per month.

– Intermediate trainees: gain between 0.5% and 1% of body weight per month.

– Advanced trainees: gain up to 0.5% of body weight per month.

Sure, you can gain weight faster. But the rates above are the ones to shoot for when your aim is to maximise muscle growth while minimising fat gain.

For more information on the optimal weight loss and weight gain rates, check out this article we wrote

Step 3: Think Long Term

Transforming your body takes time. That’s why it’s essential to choose a workout routine and a diet plan for the long haul. 

So, if you know you can’t sustain a very-low-carb eating style such as the ketogenic diet, then don’t get started on it.

Instead, set up your diet in a way that fits your lifestyle and food preferences and nail down the fundamentals of every effective diet – calorie and macro intake.

We’ve created a free, step-by-step guide on how to create your nutrition plan based on personal situation, goals, and preferences. Check it out here [link nutrition guide].

The same holds true for working out. Establish a routine you can maintain in the long run. 

Step 4: Watch Your Surroundings

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed something remarkable. The researchers involved in it evaluated the spread of obesity in a large social network over 32 years.

And what’s that remarkable thing they found? You’re 57% more likely to become obese if a mutual friend becomes obese. And this risk rises to 171% when a close friend becomes obese [2]. 

The reason is that your surroundings have a significant impact on your view of an acceptable body type. 

Besides, people with unhealthy habits can affect your behaviour and motivation negatively and thus prevent you from succeeding in your fitness pursuit.

The good news is it also works the other way around. If you surround yourself with people of healthy weight, you’re more likely to shape and maintain a beautiful figure yourself [2].

That’s why you should try to surround yourself with people who are conscious about their health and figure. 

A similar concept also applies to food. We’re sure you will agree that once junk food enters your house, it is incredibly tempting to pounce on it.

So, avoid bringing junk food into your house. Instead, surround yourself with nutritious foods that bring you closer to your ideal body shape.

Step 5: Find Social Support

Get allies for better results! Research shows those who have a support partner while following a weight loss plan are more successful than people who are alone on their journey [3-4].

So find someone to hold you accountable – your partner, a mate, a sibling – to increase the likelihood of reaching your fitness goals.

Ideally, you’ll get this backing from your partner, a close friend, or a trainer because they can provide the most support. But if you can’t enlist their help for your fitness efforts, online support groups have also proved themselves beneficial [5].

Step 6: Track Your Progress 

A straightforward way to boost motivation is by monitoring your progress. It immediately perks you up to see your goal moving closer.

You can track progress in various ways. If you want to improve your appearance, we recommend three methods.

First off, log your food intake. Research published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics shows that people who keep track of their food intake are more likely to lose weight [6].

If you want to gain weight, it is also advisable to track your food intake. It holds you accountable for consuming enough calories each day to pack on mass.

There are various tools available to make logging food intake easy. Two good ones are MyFitnessPal and Cronometer.

Secondly, take progress pics. Every two weeks, take one photo from the front, one from the side, and an optional one from the back. The important thing is to take them in the same circumstances and lighting.

Seeing how your body transforms into an even more attractive figure is among the best motivators there is.

Thirdly, weigh yourself every day. Trainers often claim you shouldn’t do it as scales can be misleading and thus push you into bad eating habits. However, that’s not true.

Two systematic review studies found that checking your weight on a daily basis results in greater weight loss and less weight regain [7-8]

This is because weighing yourself every day holds you accountable. It leads to less impulsive eating and better restraint from food [9-10].

Step 7: Ditch Perfectionism and Forgive Yourself

Too many trainees have an “all or nothing” attitude. They either fanatically follow their diet or throw all efforts to the wind when their willpower falters.

This is something you must avoid. Here’s a scenario for you to consider: say you want to lose fat and cravings set upon you. If, by “accident,” you indulge in 200 calories in the shape of cookies, it isn’t that big of a deal (as long as these are isolated incidents). 

But if this small slip leads to finishing the entire box and dashing off to the store for more, you might be undoing your fat loss efforts from the last few days, maybe even weeks.

So, instead of considering your diet “ruined”, forget your transgression and get back on track with your eating plan as soon as possible.


1. Dalle Grave, R., Calugi, S., Molinari, E., Petroni, M. L., Bondi, M., Compare, A., . . . QUOVADIS Study Group. (2005). Weight loss expectations in obese patients and treatment attrition: an observational multicenter study. Obesity Research, 13(11), 1961-9.

2. Christakis, N. A., & Fowler, J. H. (2007). The spread of obesity in a large social network over 32 years. The New England Journal of Medicine, 26;357(4), 370-9.

3. Gorin, A., Phelan, S., Tate, D., Sherwood, N., Jeffery, R., & Wing, R. (2005). Involving support partners in obesity treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73(2), 341-3.

4. Jackson, S. E., Steptoe, A., & Wardle, J. (2015). The influence of partner’s behavior on health behavior change: the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. JAMA Internal Medicine, 175(3), 385-92.

5. Pearson, E. S. (2012). Goal setting as a health behavior change strategy in overweight and obese adults: a systematic literature review examining intervention components. Patient Education and Counseling, 87(1), 32-42.

6. Kong, A., Beresford, S. A., Alfano, C. M., Foster-Schubert, K. D., Neuhouser, M. L., Johnson, D. B., . . . McTiernan, A. (2012). Self-monitoring and eating-related behaviors are associated with 12-month weight loss in postmenopausal overweight-to-obese women. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 112(9), 1428-35.

7. Vanwormer, J. J., French, S. A., & Welsh, E. M. (2008). The Impact of Regular Self-weighing on Weight Management: A Systematic Literature Review. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 4;5, 54.

8. Burke, L. E., Wang, J., & Sevick, M. A. (2011). Self-monitoring in weight loss: a systematic review of the literature. Journal of The American Dietetic Association, 111(1), 92-102.

9. Steinberg, D. M., Bennett, G. G., Askew, S., & Tate, D. F. (2015). Weighing every day matters: daily weighing improves weight loss and adoption of weight control behaviors. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115(4), 511-8.

10. O’Neil, P. M., & Rieder, S. (2005). Utility and validity of the eating behavior inventory in clinical obesity research: a review of the literature. Obesity Reviews, 6(3), 209-16.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *