Weight loss can be one of the most rewarding or frustrating journeys for an individual. Many people struggle with its process, hence why there is a market surrounding how to accomplish weight loss. For many, losing weight can feel like a never-ending start line with no finish in sight. 

The good news is David Reagan, Atlanta native and a NASM certified personal trainer who specializes in weight loss, knows what reaching your weight loss goals boils down too: motivation. Below, Reagan shares five ways to gain motivation and keep it during this crucial health trek. 

1. Have realistic expectations that fit your lifestyle

The easiest way to lose motivation when starting your weight loss journey is to set unrealistic goals that do not fit in with your lifestyle. If you have a hectic schedule and travel regularly, you might not set yourself up for success by purchasing a local gym membership and planning to spend an hour at the gym Monday through Friday. Research and explore multiple fitness options and set maintainable goals that you know you can keep up with along with your life plan. 

2. Determine your ‘why’

Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to gain self-confidence? Improve your heart health for your daughter’s wedding? Whatever your logical decision as to why you want to lose weight, it’s essential that you identify it and write it on paper. Writing down your reasons why will aid in maintaining determination and staying committed. It helps to read your whys daily and before your work out for long-term achievement. 

3. Clean out your closet and focus on a feeling

Do you fluctuate between sizes when the motivation for weight loss comes and goes? Stay motivated to be the size that makes you feel your best by cleaning out your closet and keeping only the clothes that you feel most confident when wearing. Rather than focusing on the number on the scale, hone in on your self-assurance and courage when you are feeling and looking your best and how it positively affects other areas in your life. 

4. Treat yourself

When fatigue hits hard mid-week and going to the gym is the last thing you want to do, think about the things you would love to do instead. Allow yourself to set goals in the gym that result in acting on the things that give you your Zen. Tell yourself if you stick to your fitness goals until the weekend, you will treat yourself to your favorite massage or buy the book you’ve been holding in your Amazon cart. However, try to reward yourself without food

5. Seek competitions

A great way to stay motivated is to focus on competitive goals to work towards accomplishing. Maybe you just started running, and want to stay excited about it. Try signing up for a 5k to work towards, then a 10k, and continue to escalate your goals forward. Compete against yourself, others, or even join a team to work together in competition. Weight loss competitions that are team-based and overall social influence help you lose 20 percent more weight than on your own.