How Will I Stay Motivated After Losing Weight?

I’ve written a couple of times about how I have been working to get in better health this year.  So far things are going great, and I’ve now lost about 9.5 pounds total.  Things have definitely slowed down over the past couple of months.  I expected that, as this is typically the area where my body hits a wall.  But, I’m still happy with where things stand.  The issue now will be how to stay motivated after losing weight.

Summer Is A Downfall

I wrote earlier about how I stopped snacking at work at the beginning of the year.  That’s still held up.  I haven’t eaten one single thing that I haven’t brought in!  If you know my typical snacking habits, that is a big accomplishment.

But my other normal downfall is upon us:  Summer.  We do lots and lots of camping, and this tends to bring about a lot of poor nutritional choices, at least compared to the rest of the year.

  • Snacking.  There are always munchies and stuff around for camping.  It’s just the nature of things.  I’m always a sucker for a handful of potato chips or something.
  • Alcohol.  It’s vacation, usually at the beach or around a fire. These things make a nice cold drink or two a big temptation.
  • Lack of exercise.  Right now I’ve been trying to get some sort of exercise just about every day.  This involves a combination of running, walking, or lifting weights.  Last year, I tended to do very little of this while camping.

As you can see, these are all things that could definitely put at risk some of the gains I’ve made.

How To Combat The Dreaded Summer Weight Gain

So, I guess the question now is how do I fight this?  Here are some ideas I have:

  1. Hold myself accountable.  Last year, I knew I was gaining weight throughout the summer.  In typical denial, I basically avoided the scale.  This year, I’ll make sure to check in regularly no matter what.
  2. Carry a snack cup.  Instead of a handful of this or that, I’m thinking of getting my own little snack cup that I would have to use when snacking.  This would force me to go get it, force me to fill it, and hopefully put up a mental block if I fill it multiple times.
  3. Take some healthier options.  There’s between 4-8 of us on typical camping trips.  I can’t ask that people like be removed on my account. Nobody wants to be that person.  But, hopefully I can take some of my own stuff to mix in so that it’s not all junk food.
  4. Reduce alcohol and change mixers.  I don’t drink beer, but instead prefer mixed drinks.  Last year, my drink of choice was whiskey and Coke.  This year, I’ll probably switch to vodka and club soda.  Vodka has a few less calories than whiskey, and club soda is 0 calories, compared to a whole lot for Coke.  I’ll also mix them a little lighter.
  5. Exercise regularly.  I’ve gotten in such a routine of waking up and doing some exercise, that I’m hoping I just keep this up.  Right now, if I wake up and don’t exercise, I don’t feel right.  So, if I can tap into that when camping, it’ll keep me pushing along.

Crossing My Fingers For Success

This probably won’t be easy.  The work thing was actually easier because I went cold turkey.  But, I just can’t see myself going cold turkey on the fun things associated with camping.  I think starting off with an approach centered on moderation is my best bet.

The best laid plans, right?

Wish me luck.

Readers, how do you deal with temptations and other obstacles that can derail success you’ve made? Do you have any tips for me?  Please let me know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.

16 thoughts on “How Will I Stay Motivated After Losing Weight?”

  1. Similarly I’ve lost about 8 pounds. I’d like to lose another 5, but I’m already what is normally considered thin. I’ve tried everything in the book to lower my “set” weight and I’ve stumbled upon the ONE thing that has been working for me. I warn you, though, it’s very rigid. However, I actually find comfort in the rigidity.

    I calculated I need to eat around 1700 calories a day to lose 10 pounds in 2 months (using online calculators). I devised a menu plan where I basically eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks Mon to Fri. On the weekend I vary, but I don’t overeat. The repetitive nature of the diet has taken away all the decision making and portion control obstacles. It’s working for me.

    • If I get close enough to really really want those last few pounds I’ll do something like that, but for me I know I’m at a healthy weight now, so I’ll probably not make any big adjustments. I also look at it that I could so something ‘out of the ordinary’ and get to where I want, but as soon as I got away from that, I’d probably drift back up anyways. For me, it’s really about establishing a new ‘ordinary’.

  2. Definitely prepare your own snacks and as much of your own food as possible for the camping trips. Make some homemade trail mix with quality nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, as it’s a great go anywhere snack, a handful or two should help curb cravings and the healthy fat in the nuts will help you feel fuller than any potato chip can.

    You can do lots of bodyweight exercises while camping – squats, lunges, pushups, dips on the picnic table, pull-ups on a tree branch, etc. And get those steps in hiking.

    Have a good mindset going in. Remember why you want to stay active and keep the weight off. Allow yourself something…say a couple drinks, but just not everything.

    You can do this!

  3. My partner and I started on the Keto diet about a month ago and what has helped keep me on it is the “competition” to not cheat (partner doesn’t know it’s a competition, I just don’t want to be the first one to go off the diet.) Having someone else to stay accountable to has been really helpful. Other than that, we’ve just stayed determined. It sucks to be out with friends and only order a salad, or a glass of wine instead of beer. But my pants are fitting so much better that it’s enough motivation to stay the course.

    So, other than an accountability partner and bringing your own snacks, maybe you can find a hiking buddy so that you’re getting some steps in each day you camp? Or, if you know you won’t be eating the greatest make sure to get a big walk/swim/run/whatever exercise you like in, or if you know you won’t be moving your body then try to eat moderately?

    • Good tips. It’s funny because my wife started running and walking more and substantially increased her step total (we both have Fitbits). This made me step my game up to. I don’t even try to keep pace with her, but even so, I’ve still increased my average daily step count about 30% since the beginning of the year. This has to help!

  4. My only temptation during summer is ice cream. And that’s a good thing, because ice cream doesn’t affect weight gain that much.

    I actually find myself craving liquids more than food in the summer. It’s so very hot here, I’m always thirsty and not in the mood to cook or eat anything hot or even warm.

    I usually carry water with me everywhere (so I’ll avoid being tempted to drink soda & other sugary drinks!) and always have fresh fruit in the house. My favorite summer snack is a bowl of ice cream with pieces of fruit. Low in calories (well, depends on the fruit and type of ice cream) and quite healthy!

  5. It’s been 49 days since I’ve had a drink and it has had huge impact on my weight. When I drink less, I snack less. Between the empty calories of those, it was keeping my flabbier than I should be. Without changing anything but drinking – and related evening snacks – I’ve dropped over 10 pounds in this past month+.

    It makes a huge difference.

    Something else I’ve noticed – we’re below budget on both food and dining out. Alcohol and snacks are expensive!

  6. It sounds like you have thought out what it will take to at least maintain your weight loss. Planning food and increasing your exercise routine on the day you might cheat is the best way to get ahead of weight gain!

    • Very true. What I have to make sure I don’t do is justify eating worse on days I work out. I used to do that all the time. I’d run 4 miles and then use that to justify eating extra candy from the jar at work. That’s why I had to go cold turkey on the work stuff.

  7. I feel for you. I’ve tried several dozen times to lose weight over the past few years.

    Are you a member at It’s a very supportive and large group of folks over there and it gamifies the whole exercise thing. I’m over there too; let me know if you join (it’s free) and I’ll prop your workouts. 😉

  8. I always think losing weight in the summer will be easier because I’m more active with the kids outside playing sports. But then I think about all the BBQ parties and cold beers and suddenly all that extra exercise isn’t having the effect I thought it would.

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