15 ways to stay motivated to exercise and lose weight

Three of the most common reasons people choose to hire a life coach, in my experience, are to help them stay motivated, start a fitness program, and lose weight. And, of course, staying motivated on their fitness program, or staying motivated to lose weight.

When embarking on this journey to exercise and lose weight, about 90% of my clients learn that the reasons they aren’t able to stick to their weight loss goals is due to lack of motivation – consistent motivation. It’s my job to help with this struggle and push them to stay motivated.

The reality is, while losing weight IS hard, the science is extremely easy. The amount of calories you consume should be less than the amount of calories you burn. That’s it. While, on a literal and logical sense, achieving what’s called a consistent ‘caloric deficit’ to lose weight is easy, the emotional fortitude one needs to accomplish this is what makes it so difficult to sustain.

So, to help with this goal in sustaining weight loss once you’ve gained momentum, here are 15 changes you should make and hold in your life to achieve success and stay motivated to lose weight. After reading this article, be sure to read about the 40 weight loss “secrets” that don’t work.

1. Find a gym partner – ask a friend.

The best way to embark on a difficult journey is to have a companion, a comrade, a partner in crime. Find someone who can help keep you motivated while at the gym. Studies have shown that, even on a social psychology level, individuals are prone to work harder at the gym if they have a peer working out with them. And, it follows, that they are able to get more out of their workouts. It also removes the excuse of not going to the gym if you have someone with whom you’re accountable.

2. Hire a coach or personal trainer.

Just like having a partner in crime, having someone who can guide you, coach you, remind you why you’re sweating your butt off, can help you work transformative miracles when it comes to your weight loss goals. Having a life coach or personal trainer will help you maximize your accomplishments and ultimately keep you accountable to the goals you’ve set for yourself while helping you gain clarity on why you’re doing what you’re doing. The most rewarding part of my job, as a life coach, is showing my clients that the inevitable obstacles along the way are merely tests to challenge their threshold and how far they’re willing to go to achieve their goals.

3. Begin your days with motivational quotes.

Keeping your brain in a positive mind-set should start from the second you get out of bed. Whether while you’re drinking your coffee, morning tea, or whatever you decide to consume or do first thing in the morning, read motivational quotes every day to lock in a ‘can-do’ attitude throughout the rest of your day. Remind yourself of this goal anytime your mentality shifts to the negative. Getting your hands on daily motivational quotes is extremely easy, from buying a daily motivational quotes calendar to visiting one of my favorite websites: Motivational Quote Generator

4. Set realistic attainable goals.

One of the greatest obstacles in losing weight is setting unrealistic goals. Losing fifty pounds in six months (while attainable) can seem far away and unrealistic on day one. But striving to lose a minimum of 2 pounds a week and checking in every two weeks on where you’re at is much more achievable (and it results in the same goal). Long distance runners won’t focus on how far the finish line is, they focus on getting to the next half mile, or even just the next marker to stay motivated on their entire journey.

5. Write down your goals!

Speaking of goals, write them down! One of the first things my clients learn of my coaching process is 1) to bring something to write with and 2) be ready to write! Anytime my clients profess a goal, it’s written down, followed by motivational action steps needed to achieve those goals. When your mind creates a goal, that’s all it does – ‘creates a goal’. There isn’t much your brain can do with just the creation of a goal. Writing it down makes it real and your mind can look at it from an objective point of view and see it as something accomplishable. Keeping your goals inside your brain de-prioritizes them and they become easily forgettable.

6. Avoid comparing yourself to others.

In this social media rich world, it’s really difficult to not compare yourself with where others are on their fitness journey. Forget social media though and just go to the gym. It’s easy to remind ourselves while we’re at the gym where WE are on OUR fitness journey. In Bertrand Russell’s book, a 20th century philosopher, The Conquest of Happiness, he writes an entire chapter on Envy and how comparing ourselves and our journeys to another’s is detrimental to the success of our own journey. The truth is, we can never know what this other person has done up to this point to get to where they are (nor should we concern ourselves). Focus wholeheartedly on your own journey and on your own path to success.

7. Be mindful of your social circle and who you hang out with.

Sales and Real Estate guru, Grant Cardone, says that you are the five people you hang out with. Be sure that these five people are people who are lifting you and living their own positive goals. Surround yourself with individuals who are on the same wavelength as you when it comes to goal-setting and motivation. Whether negative or positive, on a social psychology level, the energy someone holds is absolutely contagious. Be sure you’re becoming infected with something good!

8. Understand the power of cheat day.

Guess what, one day of a calorie surplus (the opposite of a calorie deficit (see the intro paragraph on the easy science behind losing weight)), will not halt your weight loss goals. If you’ve been on track the day before and you’re back on track the day after, your body won’t suddenly put on 10 pounds of body fat. Schedule the cheat day, anticipate it every day you’re doing something positive for your weight loss goals (something to look forward to!) and enjoy it!

9. Avoid avoiding delicious foods.

Speaking of ‘cheating’ this weight loss journey does not have to be miserable. There are so many foods out there that have an unnecessary stigma on them and are avoided like the plague. The problem with avoiding them is that when the cravings come around for them and you cheat a little bit (and it’s not cheat day!), the little bit could turn into a lot and you could easily get discouraged that this weight loss thing is just not for you. While it’s important to stay mindful of your caloric count, there are plenty of healthy ways to consume that cheeseburger or that slice of pizza (e.g. homemade with low fat cheese?). Treat yourself to the delicious stuff!

10. Don’t follow fad diets.

The word ‘fad’ comes from the term ‘fiddle-faddle’ which has been defined as ‘trivial fancy adopted and pursued for a time with irrational zeal.’ Think Keto, Intermittent Fasting, Atkins, or South Beach, if something is SUDDENLY becoming EXTREMELY popular, run the other way. The biggest issue with the ‘fiddle-faddle’ diets are that they create temporary results that are not sustainable. The Keto diet, for example, will help you lose a lot of weight in an extremely short period of time. But, after this weight loss is achieved, a low-carb, high protein diet is not sustainable and people do gain their weight back after re-introducing a healthy portion of carbs to their diets. The tried and true method of losing weight and keeping it off is and always has been good ole fashion persistent diet and exercise.

11. Keep track of your calories and macros.

Every time I work out at LA Fitness, there’s a commercial that interrupts the music that goes, “What gets measured, gets improved!” And I couldn’t agree more. When people see me, it is obvious because of my physique that I workout and am training as a bodybuilder. As such, I get asked how they can get fit and have some semblance of a body like mine. I always respond with, “Well, what are you eating?” The adage, ‘we are what we eat’ is so accurate. Every single day, your body uses whatever your eating in so many different ways; and it’s important to pay attention to and maintain awareness of what we’re feeding our body so we’re able to maintain energy and keep the body fat off. There are plenty of resources online that can help you track your calories and your macros, but everyone I personally speak with, and all of the bodybuilders I follow rant and rave about My Fitness Pal. The app is easy to use and free (there’s an upgrade option, but I’ve been using it for years and haven’t seen the need to upgrade).

12. Drink lots and lots of water.

Hydration is key on so many levels and there are so many benefits to drinking water, I don’t have room for it all here. I’ll leave it to this article by Medical News Today to explain at least 15 Benefits of Drinking Water. How much water should you drink? It’s really hard to drink too much, but here’s a calculation to know what minimum you should be striving for. You should also know that the hunger pangs you feel can be related to thirst. Drink some water and watch that hunger sensation disappear.

13. Eat Breakfast!

Eat anything as soon as you wake up. It doesn’t have to be a three course diner size meal, it can be anything so long as you put something in your body to re-activate your metabolism. The moment you wake up, your body has gone at least 10 hours without eating (depending on when you ate dinner and what time you wake up) and is now in a ‘fasted’ state. Your body thinks it’s starving and will begin slowing down your metabolism. So, eating something, anything ‘breaks’ the ‘fast’. It’s why it’s called ‘BREAKFAST’ because you’re ‘breaking the fast’. As mentioned before, skipping this most important meal will put your body in starvation mode. When your body is in starvation mode, it doesn’t know when the next meal will be, so it slows the metabolism down and hangs on to whatever you put into it next (which turns into body fat!). Plus, getting that boost in the morning will help your workout (if you go to the gym in the morning).

14. Be sure you have proper gym wear.

Comfortable gym wear is key. You’re about to put your body through rigorous and hopefully intense exercise designed to keep you healthy and shed the body fat. It’s important to wear gym clothes that are clean, comfortable, and fitting. Also, if your sneakers are more than 3 years old, it may be time to buy new ones.

15. Take a before picture and track your progress.

The picture is mostly for you, so, 60 days from now, if you think you’re not making progress and you’ve been working out and eating right almost every single day, you can check the picture, take a new one and make a side by side comparison to remind yourself how far you’ve come. But here’s where social media can be useful. Post the pic and announce to your friends what you’re doing. And then post a progress pic every 30 days. Get your squad cheering you on so you stay the course and stay inspired!

Life Coach Tommy is a Certified Life Coach based out of Sherman Oaks, CA and serves Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. You can contact him for a free consultation by clicking HERE

An oldie but a goodie: Constant Action = Results – and how to stay inspired in life

New video on the well worn mantra: Constant Action = Results. I also cover in this video key tools to help you stay inspired in life!

TRANSCRIPT:

Life Coach Tommy: Hey guys, Life Coach Tommy here, I just did my cardio workout and walking down Wilshire Boulevard, on this beautiful crisp sunny morning. Hope everyone had a great productive Monday, productive beginning of the week – and I am in front of the SABAN Oscar museum so I’m going to record this video really quick here because one of my aspirations is to be featured here.

Anyways, so I wanted to talk about this sort of cliche mantra of “Consistent Action = Results.” Basically, what this means for people is that – you know it follows in my own personal life – again most of these videos will talk about bodybuilding because that’s really my focus: bodybuilding, acting, obviously life coaching, but – Consistent Action = Results is – what I’ve seen in my own life – when it comes to acting just submitting to anything and everything I’m qualified for and the auditions do come because it’s consistent – I’m consistent with it. And with bodybuilding I get under the weights – I do it every week and I see results because I’m consistent with it.

Results rarely come from trying something a few days then stopping it – then trying it again – then stopping it – and trying it again and then stopping it. That doesn’t equal results. It also can be used in the sales world, in the executive setting that – you know if you’re coaching your team every single day and – you’re not trite in your coaching – you’re going to get results from your team. Same thing with sales. Your sales professionals – whenever they’re getting on the phone if they’re consistently nurturing their leads – they will get results.

Anyways just want to talk about that and the biggest thing of – you know the reason we’re not consistent is that we usually quit and it’s important to say inspired. And what I mean by that is just basically, there are many – thousands upon thousands of people, before you that have achieved what you want to achieve. Thousands! And it’s important to look at what they’ve done and how they’ve gotten to where they’ve gotten.

I look at Arnold Schwarzenegger, I look at Ron Coleman, I look at Jay Cutler, I look at Tom Hanks, I look at Tommy Lee Jones, I look at Tony Robbins – these are just a select few of the things I use to inspire me. But there are plenty of people that are in your profession that are accomplishing amazing things that you want to accomplish. Look at their lives, look at what they’ve done. Most of them weren’t that special – weren’t that unique. And if you look at most of their successes – it’s because they were consistent, it’s because they were committed – it’s because they followed the mantra – consistent action gave them results.

So, check that out. I’ll give you a homework assignment – most of my clients get homework assignments so here’s some free life coaching for you. Whatever your profession is – whether it’s acting, whether it’s bodybuilding, whether it’s – you’re an executive leader for a company, whether you’re a lender, whether you’re a realtor. Whatever function, whatever profession you’re in – or whatever profession you aspire to be – whatever level you aspire to be on. Wikipedia [or google] the people who have made it. Wikipedia [or google] the people who have gotten there. And see their lives – see what they did to accomplish their goals and you’d be surprised at what you’ll find. So that’s your homework assignment from life coach Tommy.

If you have any questions about this, as always, comment, send me a message, and, again, have a Happy Tuesday! Take care, bye.

END OF TRANSCRIPT: Life Coach Tommy can be reached here for a free consultation: Let’s Chat

A quick article written by Living Social on my journey in how I became a Life Coach

Life Coach Tommy has a perceptive insight into human psychology that is uncanny, offering simple, grounded solutions to deeply complex problems. He brings both knowledge and wisdom to his coaching sessions, willing to share his own successes and failures which allow anyone to relate.

16 years ago, after experiencing an unstable childhood, Life Coach Tommy put himself on a journey to discover what it was that we were missing in our daily life that we could use to improve the Human Condition. He found that gaining self-empowerment and setting positive goals was a start.

The positive feedback and knowing that he’s helping individuals, some of whom have lived their entire life with a negative mind-set, bring positive permanent growth to their life is the one thing Life Coach Tommy loves about his job.

The best reaction Life Coach Tommy has ever gotten from a client was when an entrepreneur, after an entire weekend full of team building and leadership exercises for her staff, said that, without his empowering guidance, the weekend wouldnt have turned out as positive as it did.

Life Coach Tommy is a Certified Life Coach based out of Sherman Oaks, CA and serves Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. You can contact him for a free consultation by clicking HERE

Do I need to see a life coach near me or can I have a life coach from anywhere?

When I’m contacted to be someone’s life coach, they are often extremely close to where I reside, in Sherman Oaks, CA.

While it is extremely convenient for face to face interaction, there are some clients that also contact me from the East Coast as well as the Pacific Northwest. As it isn’t financially feasible all the time for either of us to travel to each other on a weekly basis, we are able to do some great work with modern technology, i.e. FaceTime or Skype.

Gone are the days where life coaching is done just over the phone. With FaceTime and/or Skype I am able to offer the same valuable encouragement and goal-setting practices that are experienced through face to face interaction.

So, no matter where you are, whether you’re here in Los Angeles, in my Valley neighborhood, or on the other side of the country, I’m more than excited to help you fulfill your goals and live a satisfying life.

Also, another important question is how to find a life coach and not just, in general, but, how to find a life coach that’s the best fit for you. The basic foundation of finding a life coach that’s right for you is, overall, that gut instinct – how do they make you feel. Do you feel inspired? Motivated? Heard? These are important factors to consider when you find a life coach and connect. Obviously you can easily find a life coach near you by doing a quick google or Yelp search. But get them on the phone, chat with them, and feel them out.

This is why I never take a life coach client unless we’ve a had a FREE 20 minute session that not only allows me to discern your level of commitment to achieving your goals, but also so that you can discern MY level of commitment to guiding you in achieving your goals. We are both, essentially, feeling each other out! I cannot take a client unless I am convinced they are 100% committed to applying the tools and resources I will provide through life coaching.

Quora Q & A, mostly about diet and fitness

I recently started answering questions as a Life Coach on Quora and received an overwhelming response to answer more questions. I’m pleased that there are a lot of people interested in learning more about how to eat healthy and very specific work out routines. While my focus is more on how to establish goals and fulfill them, I have over 20 years of practical knowledge in diet and fitness and am more than willing to share my wisdom. Here is a selection of specific questions and answers, to submit your question on Quora feel free to visit me here @ My Quora Profile

Quora Q & A:

Does healthy weight loss improve your mood?

If we’re talking about consuming healthy macros in conjunction with a strong fitness routine, absolutely. There is scientific evidence that consuming healthy macros while getting that heart to pump can improve overall mood immensely!

What is the most important aspect of one’s diet in terms of building a six pack?

Great question, and it’s a relatively simple answer. The most important aspect of one’s diet of building a six pack is keeping your body in a hypo-caloric state In conjunction with building the muscles of the abdominal region. In other words, the calories you put in should be less than the calories you’re burning (it also helps if those calories are solid macros (i.e. avoid too much processed sugar, sodium, and saturated fat)).

How do you get your ex-boyfriend back even though he has a girlfriend?

The best thing is to ask yourself whether or not he is worth your attention when his attention is not on you. Would it be better to have someone in your life whose sole devotion is toward you?

What sabotages your diet?

There are too many things to mention here, but the biggest thing that can really sabotage your diet is not sticking to one! 🙂

I want to start strength training but it seems complex and expensive. Do you have any advice for me? 

Depending on where you live, a gym membership is only around $30/month. Outside of that, it’s not too expensive to make sure you’re eating healthy in conjunction with intense training. At the end of the day, it really depends on your goals. If your aim is to compete on a professional level, yes, it can get pricey (I currently ingest up to 3000 calories a day to maintain my gains). However, if you just want to get stronger, there are plenty of inexpensive options to help maintain a solid strength training diet. I highly recommend watching a crap ton of YouTube videos on strength training. My favorites are Athlean, Jeff Nippard, and Fouad Abiad. Best of luck, brah! 

How do I keep my muscles hard and in shape for a longer time?

The easy answer is consistent training and sticking to your macros. If you get off track however and your muscles soften, don’t be dismayed. Once you’ve built the muscle it’s easier to get it back and stay harder longer…again, if you stick to it.

Should a low carb diet be temporary or permanent?

Depends on how low you wanna go and your goals. If you want quick short term weight loss (and don’t mind gaining it all back later) go for temporary. But, overall, any sort of eating behavior should have some level of permanence. It also depends on your activity level on any given day. Healthy carbs provide a solid source of energy, so if you’re doing heavy cardio or heavy weight training, be sure to get your carbs in to sustain the energy. But if you’re staying inside all day and not doing anything, you won’t need as many carbs.

What’s the most common excuse people give for not getting abs?

Believe it or not but the most common excuse people give for not getting abs is that they don’t do ab workouts enough. The problem with this excuse is that it’s highly inaccurate. You could do hundreds of crunches every day, but if it’s not followed by cardio and a good diet, the abs will never show. The most common legit excuse, though, is simply eating too many calories and not burning it off.

How can I change to a healthier diet and start training?

The easy answer is: start eating healthy and train 🙂 but the answer I teach my clients is to start with why do you want to eat healthier and start training? The science is easy – and the information on how to do it is out there, but getting and staying motivated is the real reason I believe you’re asking this question and it starts with ‘Why?’

If you have removed carbs from your diet, how long is it safe to not eat any, and what is a good substitute?

Unfortunately, carbs are the only good substitute for carbs. There are a lot of alternatives for short term energy, but to get what carbs give you, you’ll need to eat more of those alternatives (which will involve ingesting more calories). After about 2–4 days of no carbs, your body will enter Ketosis and it will start burning fat for energy. I’ll defer to this article for all the risks of being in Ketosis: 7 Dangers of Going Keto

Should I take BCAA’s or is there enough in my whey protein shake?

It’s not that there are enough in your whey protein shake, it’s more for the results you want and understanding how BCAA’s work differently than just whey protein. If all you want is to get stronger and a little toned, then, yes, there are enough in your whey protein shake to get those results. But if you want massive growth and increased strength, add BCAA’s and Casein protein (naturally found in cow milk, but there are also supplements). Another way to look at it is that BCAA’s are a tool while whey protein is a source. Really simplified, BCAAs help inject protein straight to your muscles that otherwise might be digested. Another thing about Casein protein: it works on your muscles longer than whey protein (even while you’re asleep).

While working out to build muscle, should I try to keep my protein intake as high as possible?

If you’re trying to build muscle, you should, at minimum, be eating 1g of protein per lb of body weight. Eating as much as possible wouldn’t be conducive because you’d be adding extra calories to your diet which could turn into body fat and hide your gains.

Can I find a girlfriend if I don’t like to cuss, drink alcohol or go to clubs?

Yes. Find the girl who doesn’t cuss, drink alcohol, or go to clubs – they’re out there, I’ve met them 😉

Life Coach Tommy is a Certified Life Coach based out of Sherman Oaks, CA and serves Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. You can get back to the home page by clicking HERE

A Life Coach doesn’t give advice – how a life coach pushes you to build your own solution

Often, when someone finds out I’m a Life Coach, they’ll ask, usually to prod for free Life Coaching 🙂 – “What should I do about [insert life dilemma here]?” And I’ll usually respond with, “What do you think you should do about it?” Sometimes they’ll believe I’m joking and move on, but others will respond with true workable things which will result in a follow up question, “So what can you do to make sure you stick with that?”

While the question could seem like a joke response, I am actually giving them a small snippet of free life coaching. A life coach won’t give advice for any specific thing – a life coach’s job is to help push you in the direction you already know you need to go. We do this by asking important questions and helping you find the answer in your life that will help move you along.

Life Coaches have plenty of antidotes, visuals, cliche phrases, etc. but true work and momentum is when a life coach can help a client take ownership of their change by helping them find the empowerment that already lies within their heart.

Contact me today so I can help you find the change in your heart!

Life Coach Tommy is a Certified Life Coach based out of Sherman Oaks, CA and serves Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. You can get back to the home page by clicking HERE

My specialties as a Life Coach and how they can help

Aside from helping my clients achieve overall well-being through self-empowerment and self love, there are three specialties I’m able to help my clients with through life coaching:

1) Relationship Coaching

Intimate, work, social, and family relationships have all been focused on through my life coaching process. The focus is mainly on making sure our communication channels are open and honest. Not only with others, but also, and most importantly, with ourselves.

2) Career Coaching

When it comes to my client’s career path, I am able to help them focus on establishing realistic and attainable goals through goal-setting exercises and helping my clients realize their full potential.

3) Fitness and Nutrition Coaching

So many of my clients simply want to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle. But so many are without the resource or knowledge on how to truly create a plan they can stick with and commit to, not only for the summer or an upcoming event, but for the rest of their life!

I help my clients establish solid goals they can remain passionate about while seeing and feeling results within weeks!

Contact me today and let me know which Life Coach you need!

Life Coach Tommy is a Certified Life Coach based out of Sherman Oaks, CA and serves Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. You can get back to the home page by clicking HERE