Why Getting Healthy Won’t Motivate You to Lose Weight

October 26, 2016 6:00 am
fruits and veggies

Most people don’t care about “getting healthy” when it comes to weight loss.

Most people “know” they should lose weight for their health. But if all it took was some doctors’ recommendations, we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic on our hands, would we?

At Thrive, we love helping people lose weight, get stronger, and be healthier. But we know that, for most people, “health” isn’t their number one driver. Instead, we’ve found a much deeper motivational driver that helps people stick to their programs, even when it’s the last thing they want to do.

Let’s take a look at what drives our weight loss motivation

So Why DO we Train?

Fat loss is a hot topic. We’ve got magazines talking about it, doctors doing research on it, there’s an entire industry devoted to fat loss.

Magazine Rack

All these fitness and weight loss magazines and not ONE of them can tell me how to motivate myself?

If you’re overweight, chances are, you want to lose that weight.

But how many of us ever stop and ask “why?”

Why do I want to lose weight? Why should I lose weight?

There’s a brilliant little exercise we’ve picked up from Precision Nutrition called The Five Whys that helps us to answer exactly that question.

Basically, if you’ve got a goal, ask yourself “why” you want to achieve that goal.  Then, like an annoying five-year-old, ask yourself “why” 4 more times.

Knowing why you want to do something is important because it affects your motivation. When you have a concrete meaningful reason to lose weight, it makes more sense to persevere on days when you wanna quit.

Let’s take an example:

Maybe you want to lose weight because you’re worried about heart disease and you want to live a long life.

Well obviously that’s important, but why is it important to you?

Is it because you want to be around for your loved ones?

And what will being around for your loved ones mean? More fulfillment and happiness for you and for them?

And what will that mean? A great family and a legacy you’re proud of?

Now we’re beginning to get somewhere meaningful! Keep digging down deeper and deeper until we get past the superficial and figure out what it is you’re really trying to achieve.


Being there for your family might feel much more urgent than just “getting healthy”

Or maybe you dig down and find the real reason you want to lose weight is that you you’ve lost your confidence and want to get it back. It’ll be a bit different for everyone.

It has to Matter Now

We all ignore recommendations from doctors and dentists because the reality of what they say seems too far removed from our situation right now.

A doctor might say: “Lose weight or you’ll cut 5 -10 years off your life.”

“Ehh… I’m in my 20s right now. I’ll deal with that later.”

To be motivating to you, it has to matter now. And when you dig down to your basal, passionate reason for wanting to lose weight, it’s much harder to ignore. You might say “no” to your doctor but will you say “no” to your spouse? Your 5 year old daughter? That’s a hell of a lot harder to do.

Ultimately the magazines, the media, the health advisories, the fat shaming, and everything else we see doesn’t actually motivate people.

It makes them feel like crap.

And when you feel like crap, you don’t want to take action. So really, it’s not helping.

When you take a look at your goal and drill down to the deep seated reason for why you’re doing it, you can find the motivation to get started.

And once you get started, you have momentum. Then you just have to keep showing up. Day after day. Through thick and thin. It won’t be easy but if you hold onto your “why” and build a network of support for yourself, you’ll get there.

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