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How to stay motivated to lose weight

1 min Read

Add a new food | Reintroduce an old favorite | Mix up your meal plan | Visit a new restaurant | Attempt a new recipe | Add a treat 

Losing weight doesn’t mean going hungry. Have you ever started a diet and thought to yourself: Wow, I basically can’t eat anything but salad. This diet is going to be such a blast.

Many diets focus on restricting calories, labeling certain foods as off-limits, making portions smaller, and eating fewer meals. 

But when we focus on depriving ourselves like that, it’s not only boring—it’s counterproductive. We end up getting hungry (or grumpy) and eventually overeat. (This baguette’s “off-limits”? Better polish off the whole thing now so I’m only out-of-bounds once today.) 

Not exactly the most motivating feeling in the world.

To avoid feeling deprived, try to shift from a removal mindset (I can’t, I don’t have) to an addition mindset (I can, I do have). 

Instead of: Look at all the ice cream I can’t eat.

Think: Look at all the fruit I can try. (And all the blueberries are on sale!)

Adding foods—yes, even produce—to your diet is a form of positive reinforcement, which is great for motivation. 

Now, let’s get in that addition mindset with six tips on how to stay motivated to lose weight—and also lose the weight without feeling hungry or deprived.

Note: This article is based on our Noom Weight curriculum. Learn more below.

1. Add a new food to your grocery list each week

Ever heard of fiddleheads? Salsify? Kohlrabi? These are all nutritious, delicious, and unique vegetables that don’t make it onto most shopping lists, but are a great way to add variety to your diet. Fiddleheads sauteed with garlic and a squeeze of lemon–ah, chef’s kiss! 

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2. Reintroduce an old favorite to your menu—in a new way

Love lasagna? Who doesn’t. But finding room in your weight-loss plan for a slice or three can be tricky. Try to make a lightened-up version with some healthy swaps: roasted eggplant slices for noodles, and low-fat mozzarella instead of full-fat cheese.

3. Mix up your meal plan

Finally found enough healthy meals to map out your menu for the week? Add a different meal in ASAP—before you get bored. Add a new smoothie to your breakfast options, or snack on almonds instead of the usual pistachios. (Or start a healthy snack stash—that totally counts as adding.)

4. Visit a new restaurant 

Expand your horizons by trying out a new, healthy restaurant in your neighborhood. There has to be some new spots you’ve been dying to check out. You can look up the menu online ahead of time to see what healthy options they offer. 

Who knows, they might even introduce you to your future favorite dish—coconut crusted seitan with charred mango salsa. (Yum.)

5. Attempt a completely new recipe

Scour your favorite celebrity chef’s social media feed for healthy inspiration or actually attempt those recipes you’ve had saved on your Pinterest boards. Just get in the kitchen and have some fun. Make a mess!

It doesn’t matter if the recipe doesn’t look picturesque enough for the ‘gram—as long as it’s tasty and helps you practice the addition mindset. 

Note: This article is based on our Noom Weight curriculum. Learn more below.

Ready to make a lasting change?

A healthier you, wherever you are.

Take The Quiz

6. Add a treat

You heard it here first: regularly satisfying your sweet tooth will help you reach your goals. If you’re satisfied with a square or two of dark chocolate, treat yourself daily. If you’re more of a frosted fudge brownie type, make it a weekly event. There’s always a way to make your favorite foods fit into your plan. 

Remember, you can increase motivation by adding new foods to your meal plan—even if you’re eating fewer calories. Which motivational tip will you try today to help yourself stay on track?

  • Adding a new food to my shopping list
  • Adding an old favorite to my weekly menu
  • Adding a different meal to my usual mix
  • Adding a new, healthy restaurant to my list of go-tos
  • Adding an interesting recipe to try
  • Adding a treat