Weight Management

Perhaps you have been diagnosed with a weight related medical condition or maybe you want to create some healthier habits. No matter the reason, we are glad you have joined us. The Weight Management page has tips, recipes and information from Mayo Clinic experts to help you create a healthier lifestyle. And if weight loss in one of your goals, you can learn more about options available to support your journey, including lifestyle changes, medication, procedures or surgery.

Aug 25, 2020

How Do I Stay Motivated When I’m Not Seeing Results?

By Tara Schmidt, RDN, LD, @taraschmidt

Weights, shoes, food, stethoscope

Written by Melissa Mapes, Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach 

You’ve been watching what you eat, moving more and drinking water, even counting calories…doing all the ‘right’ things that you know will help you lose weight. You tell yourself "this week it’s going to happen" and when you step on the scale…nothing. It hasn’t budged, again.

When it comes to losing weight, it can be downright difficult to stay motivated after weeks and weeks of putting in the effort and not seeing the results you were hoping for.  It’s frustrating, to say the least; making it hard to want to keep on, keepin’ on. So what can you do to stay motivated, keep your mojo, and not throw in the towel?

Here are a few things to consider:

What’s my 'why'?  It’s easy to go through the motions without thinking about why we’re really doing what we are doing. Maybe you’re doing what you ‘should’ do, or what you were told to do, but do you really want to do it? Take a moment to check-in with yourself:  "Why am I doing X (name the behavior) and how will X help me today, and in the long run? Why do I want to do this?"  In other words, why does this matter?  When know how a new behavior will give back to us, we are less likely to give up.   And, if the new behavior doesn’t really matter to you, give yourself permission to stop doing it for a bit.

Reassess and tweak, if needed.  Take a look at what you’re currently doing—what’s working? What isn’t?  List the things you are doing that are helping you achieve the outcome you want and then choose one or two things where small changes could help.

Find a little inspiration.  Who or what can you tap into to get inspired? Talk with encouraging friends who perhaps are a few steps ahead of you in your journey—what have they tried? How do they stay motivated?  Check out magazines, or search the internet for inspiring stories, phrases, or pictures that move you.  Sign up for a virtual race. Find what spurs you on!

Change it up!  Are you bored, or in a rut? If you’ve been doing the same exercise, eating the same foods, or doing life the same way…it might be time to change things up. Get creative! Listen to some different tunes, try a new fruit or vegetable, cook something in a new way, use different equipment, try a new exercise or change up your intensity…the options are endless.  Our minds love novelty so try something a little different or in a new way and see how that boosts your motivation.

Add some fun!   What are ways to lighten the stress and add some fun to your day? Perhaps it's adding the element of ‘play’ to your movement routine, or doing a friendly competition with loved ones.  Maybe it’s borrowing your neighbor’s dog and playing with him or racing in the yard. Perhaps trying one new food each week or cooking with a friend makes meal time more enjoyable.  Whatever you do, think about how you  can turn the everyday ‘to-do’s’ into more interesting experiences.

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing— that’s why we recommend it daily.
–Zig Ziglar

Be realistic. If it took you years to develop a bad habit, like over eating, don't expect it will be resolved in seconds.


People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing— that’s why we recommend it daily.
–Zig Ziglar

Be realistic. If it took you years to develop a bad habit, like over eating, don't expect it will be resolved in seconds.

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They say it takes 30 days to develop a good habit. I seem to be able to develop bad habits over a long weekend! For me motivation has never been an issue. Though he has been gone for four years I still hear my Dad's voice in my head. "I did not ask you if you wanted to or not. Get your a** up and get to work.!" All followed by a series of expletives. Strangely I miss him.

And if I may I would add the topic of perspective to the consideration list though it may be inherit to "why". We live in an Amazon culture of wanting and getting it now. Health is a long term proposition that rarely has a 30-day payout. Though my heart was totally shot, I came into my transplant with a lot of residual health. I am convinced that my investment over the the years paid off in a strong recovery.


I greatly admire Tim Kaufman, a man who has lost a couple of hundred pounds and cured some serious health concerns. He says that he does what he does because it is his "responsibility" to regain his health, support his wife and children, etc. He doesn't need motivation to pay his mortgage or go to work everyday because it is a responsibility and so is living a healthy life. I have never heard anyone else say it quite like that before but it's so true. On the subject of weight loss, I find calorie density is the key. Eating low calorie density foods allows me to stuff in all I can eat and still lose weight.


Look up Guy Dowd, Classroom of the Heart, about 13 minutes into it. He talks about his loosing weight, lots of it. He encourages people to celebrate that he was able to do that.

It is a similar theme that Zig Ziglar presents as he was over 350 and slimmed down to less than 200: When you change your picture of yourself, you change your life.

You will be hungry at times. All people thick or thin are hungry at time. Do you dwell on it or do you move on to what's more important — for YOU. You will not succeed if your goal is actually somebody else's goal. You only succeed when the goal is YOURS. You then look for people, places, activities, things that will get you to your goal. You win when you own the goal.

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