Skip Nav
Healthy Recipes
30 Treats For the Ultimate Healthy Halloween
Food Video
The Scary Truth Behind Your To-Go Oatmeal
Healthy Living
7 Foods to Eat When You're Sick

What's Your Advice For Sticking to It?

What's Your Advice For Sticking to It?

Every now and again a question comes in from a user that I know you guys would benefit from all the great suggestions, so check out user thruthick&thin's recent problem to see if you can help her out:

"I know exactly what I should do, what to eat and how to exercise but I can't seem to get with the program...I have so many motivational reasons to lose weight it's unbelievable but I seem to just 'give up' really quickly. Anyone ever have this? I JUST WISH I could stick to it for more than a week at a time and I could get this weight down."

We've all been there, I know I have. For me, it just took time and persistence and eventually I started to feel like I always wanted to feel — my desire for more just snowballed from there. So what is your advice for someone who desperately wants to get fit but just can't seem to stick with it? Share your advice and personal experiences in the comments section below.


Around The Web
Join The Conversation
jesst_volb jesst_volb 8 years
planning ahead seems to be my key to sticking with my plan. i use 'google calendar' which is synced up to my outlook calendar at work so if i can access it everywhere. before i go to bed i have all of my meals planned out, allotted exercise time and other happenings all mapped out for the next day. if something pops up like i get invited to lunch or something, if it's something that sounds appealing, i'll do it and i won't beat myself up over it. i'd say my biggest improvement i've made in my eating habits is not letting a slip up throw me completely off track for that day. just because i have a cupcake my secretary made does not mean that i might as well go out and whoop it up at the pizza/pasta buffet. one more and i'll stop... don't put exercise/eating habit plans off until "tomorrow" or for me it was more planning on cleaning up my act next week because i knew that i would be eating bad all weekend while i was out of town. i realized that with my current lifestyle, there is always some sort of event or something going on where i could use the excuse to get on track after it. it makes more sense to me to make up for the lapse in healthiness in advance as well as after.
mirawilliams mirawilliams 8 years
You'll exercise if you love it. I'm not found of running, so I don't do it, but I love hot yoga. 90 minutes twice a week plus 20 minutes of weights three times a week. It really does add up.
lolababy575 lolababy575 8 years
There's a ton of great general advice on here so far but I think I could add a few quick and easy tips. I cannot say how much changing what I drink has changed me. Just knowing how water can work with your body... it makes a huge difference. I once read some research that mentioned that once a person reaches a certain age (approximately in the early twenties) they either will or will not be able to easily distinguish hunger and thirst. A lot of the time a person may think they are hungry when they're really just thirsty. That's why it's recommended that when you feel hungry, grab a glass of water, drink it, and wait 15-20 minutes. If you're still hungry, then eat something healthy. It's a great strategy that helps you reconnect with your body and really makes you think about what urges you feel and then about what you're putting into your body. Also, cold water will hydrate you faster than lukewarm/warm water and as I'm sure many people know, warm water will help you feel a little fuller - so sometimes I'll just make myself a cup of decaf tea (check out Yogi Tea - specifically the Kombucha Green, it's amazing). Something else that has also helped - I went vegetarian for a month (just to see if I could do it really). It made me plan meals ahead (since household members were meat-eaters) and it also redefined what tasted good - I stopped craving greasy foods and sweet drinks. I also have recently incorporated the sauna into my workout routine - just a few minutes before my run to warm up a little better and get the blood flowing and then a quick scrub down in the shower post-workout and back into the sauna to sweat a little more and get out some of the toxins. Beware though, hydration is extremely important with this, so be careful. Hope some of these tips help or at least spark some ideas of your own!
lizadilly lizadilly 8 years
First, add things gradually. Try weekly or monthly changes to your routine. Second, go for a walk in the morning or do something low impact when you can concentrate -- use this time to focus yourself on that day and promise yourself that you will be true to your goals, no matter what comes up. Don't worry about keeping it up for the rest of your life, just think about that one day. Third -- this always works for me -- choose something fun to train for, and give yourself some time to work up to it. This could be a 5k race, a bike tour, a backpacking vacation, etc. Pay the registration fee and, if it's out of town, book your travel arrangements. You will feel committed and face real consequences for not sticking to those goals you set. And best of all, you'll accomplish something new and fun!
Historygal3 Historygal3 8 years
Set Goals! When I wanted to start running I signed up for a race months in advance. It kept me motivated the whole summer because I had already paid for it and told everyone I was doing it. Also I try to eat at least 5 fruits/vegtables a day. Not only does that goal keep me focused on the healthy food, but after I eat 5 servings there's not a lot of room left over for junk food.
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 8 years
It sounds like you may be a little depressed also. You should see a therapist and talk to her/him about your general lack of motivation.
icountinthrees icountinthrees 8 years
Track your progress! Schedule gym dates and put a sticker or a check each time you go- then you'll hate to see empty spots. Right now I'm using a fitness program from the Women's Health Magazine website- it's all set up to track your workouts really easily, plus it changes to keep you challenged. It takes the thinking out of it for me. Find some healthy recipes you like, and replace one meal each week. For example, this week, start eating oatmeal for breakfast. Next week, find a healthy lunch recipe or two that you can make and eat for a couple of days. Don't cut any foods out completely, but if it's a food you binge on, like ice cream, buy a children's size cone from an ice cream shop instead of a pint. Good Luck!
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 8 years
Exercise: Mix it up! Get new equipment or change gyms, try new types, etc. Keep it fun and interesting! Variety is the spice of life! Eating: Mix it up! If you have the money, it's nice to be able to eat out every night, or order gourmet meal delivery from websites that delivery pre-cooked, heat & serve, chef-prepared meals right to your door. It makes it easier for me to plan the week ahead of time so I'm not standing in the kitchen wondering what I'm going to make, and ultimately deciding to eat out at unhealthy, quick places. Also, I buy new kitchen items regularly to keep it interesting and fun to use. General wellness: MIX IT UP! Keep it interesting! When people are inspired to be healthy, lose weight, or whatever else their goals are, they are said to be on a "kick". The key is keeping that enthusiasm, and the key to keeping that is to keep it new.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 8 years
Mostly because I have had to visit my grandparents in nursing homes. Hopefully regular exercise can help steer me away from that kind of future.
sensei sensei 8 years
Jill37’s advice is right on the money! Also, maybe the timing is wrong or you aren’t doing it for the right reasons. But if it’s a weight issue and you feel like you might not be ready, what you can do in the mean time maintain your present weight. Doing that is an accomplishment in itself. This will set some references as to what you have been successful at. This is a powerful principle that James Ray uses to show people that they have succeeded before and that they are an ongoing success story. He refers to it as building up a root system. The more references you have, the stronger your root system is. Make a list of all the things you've accomplished in your life, from finally riding a bike after falling a 100 times, to graduating or learning how to drive. Weigh your self regularly to keep your weight in check. If you gain a few pounds, cut down on the “things” you know you shouldn’t have, eat more vegetables, drink plenty of water and avoid diet sodas. Count your successes and already you will feel lighter. May wisdom be with you! Josee RD
DreaAST DreaAST 8 years
you just have to. think of the outcome if you do it!
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
Start VERY SMALL and don't call it a diet or anything. DO NOT LABEL YOUR BEHAVIOR. just say, "this week, hmm, im not going to eat any fastfood burgers." (or one of your vices) that isn't to say ALL fast food, or even ALL of one restaurant, just one thing. you can still get a burger at a sit-down-place, just not fast food. So, let's say you eat at mcdonalds, you can go and order fries and well, anything that isn't a burger! It's an extremely subtle change that won't have a huge affect on your diet right away but will get you used to not eating something you enjoy. Do that for a week, then maybe the next week, say no fast food fries. Then onto no mcdonalds (but still burger king or whatever) then no fast food altogether.... but def. take it slow. too much of a change at once can be overwhelming and easy to give up on.
pennylane pennylane 8 years
jenn i like your advice of planning out every meal and shopping for those foods only. i think if you know what you're eating next and don't let it be debatable you're much less likely to snack on unhealthy food!
juju4 juju4 8 years
I totally sympathize with this question, as I will be really great for a while and then fall off the wagon. I am trying to coach myself to develop healthy habits. My 30th birthday is coming up, and I was told by a doctor that for the most part they can look at your habits at 30, and have a good prediction for how long you are going to live. People that don't exercise, eat fried foods, smoke, and drink a lot are going to have a worse outlook. I wanted to make sure that by 30 years old I have healthy habits that I am going to stick with for life. Here were my goals: 1) tackling my sugar & artificial sweetner addiction. I consume way too much sugar in general, and I have artificial sweetner every day as well. I find that when I drink a diet coke with lunch it makes me eat more in the afternoon. It's tough, but once I go about 5 days avoiding sugar, I tend to develop will power I didn't know I had! I find that sugar is a trigger for my worst decisions when it comes to eating. 2)Taking a multivitamin every day, 3) working as much produce as possible into my diet 4) Working out an average of 3 times a week. For me, this means that if I miss a session or two one week because family is in town or I am sick, then I just make it up by adding a couple sessions in the following weeks. Before, I used to work out 5 times one week, and then wouldn't get back to the gym for a month. :-( I wasn't setting realistic goals for myself and my lifestyle.
onesong onesong 8 years
the newest trick i've found that works awesome for me is instead of thinking "i have to go to the gym today," i tell myself "i'm going to go lose weight today." and then later i say to myself, "i lost weight today!!" because it's true!! every time you get in there, you lost some weight. so tell yourself that, and you'll be amazed at how much less daunting the workouts look when you think of them not as "gym time" but "weight loss time"!!
lawyerjenn lawyerjenn 8 years
Several thoughts: (1) depression (even a slight case of it) can zap all motivation. Try to make sure you are doing okay in all spheres of your life and don't beat yourself up because you fell off the horse. (2) PLAN PLAN PLAN. Plan what you will be eating for the next 10 days. All meals. If you can't afford to grocery shop 10 days out, shop for 3 days at a time. STICK TO IT. If you know you are having a yummy pasta salad and grilled chicken for dinner, you will be a lot less inclined to grab an unhealthy afternoon snack or take out for dinner. If you have a buddy that you can share dinner duties with (assuming you're single) do. If you are married or have a partner, try to involve them by making it fun. Have a glass of wine while you cook and watch a fun TV show. (3) Put your gym time on your calendar. Do not, ever, double book yourself. (4) Set realistic expectations. don't say I'm going to lose 2 dress sizes in 10 days. Say I'm going to stick to my menu all week and if I don't cheat at all, I can go out on Saturday night. OR I am goign to reward myself with a cute new shirt if I go to the gym every time it's on my calendar this month. (5) Shake it up with your work out. If you are bored with one machine, take a class. (6) Find a gym buddy that you MEET at the gym. You are 10 times more likely to go if you think you might be standing someone up. (7) Get a hobby well outside the fitness/cooking realm. Do something you enjoy with your downtime like reading, scrapbooking, knitting, volunteering, SOMETHING. Make this unrelated to sitting on the couch watching TV. I know it sounds silly. But I truly believe that TV is a huge problem in our culture. We've stopped being responsible for our own entertainment and mental well being.
gingeriffic gingeriffic 8 years
A lot of good advice here... here's my thoughts. I lost 80 lbs in about 6 months, kept it off for about 3 months, and a year later I'm up about 25. So even though I mastered the mechanics of weight loss, I didn't really get to the root of the problem that got me so fat in the first place. Now I have been spending a lot of effort on trying to get to the root issues that really have nothing to do with food or exercise. Part of you wants to be healthy, but another part of you doesn't... what does that other part of you gain by being unhealthy? What is that other part of you afraid of? What are the benefits you are getting from unhealthy habits and how can you replace those habits in a way that satisfies you? Also I watched the "I Can Make You Thin" show that just started on TLC. Its amazingly cheesy but the advice is good. So my arrogant self that says "this is so cheesy" and then my centered self says "oh yeah? cheesy? then why aren't you doing it?" Amazing the kind of arguments I can have with myself!!
runfaster runfaster 8 years
I try to make myself stop thinking of food as a treat or a reward and exercise as something I have to do to burn off calories--which is so ingrained that it's hard to convince myself to change. It's easy to start rationalizing everything--I can have X if I run for Y minutes. For me, it's more about getting into the headspace of "I am a runner" than "I am dieting," because it's easier for me if I think in positive terms. "I am a runner" means it's something I do because I enjoy it, and so I want to eat well so that I can do it even better. I have been planning ahead more, trying to make sure I have good food around all the time so that I won't go eat something unhealthy just because it's fast and happens to be there when I'm really hungry after running stairs or swimming.
p4F p4F 8 years
Find a friend to be your "fitness buddy", hold each other accountable. Think about what your favorite activity is and schedule it into your calendar. Others have the same difficulty so find a group of people to walk with, bike with, swim with, play tennis with or whatever your passion. Makes it easier - have fun with it!
jill37 jill37 8 years
Sometimes it can be discouraging when someone else's inspirational experience doesn't match your own. For example, not everyone eventually falls in love with working out and feels miserable if they don't make it to the gym -- I'm really jealous of the people who do! I guess my advice is to accept that your journey might not look like anyone else's, and not to judge or compare or think that you're doing something wrong if after a year you still hate cardio and crave junk food. Don't convince yourself that you're doomed if you're not "a natural" fitness addict. It's taken me a long time to accept that I'm not a runner. Running hurts my joints, and the only pleasure I get from it is that "If I'm totally miserable, it must be good for me" masochism. But I always wanted to be one of those happy 5K marathoners! It was almost a status competition with myself. Needless to say, I never stuck with a running routine for more than a month or two . . . Now I try to do what works for me -- yoga, pilates, strength training, elliptical. Maybe you hate that kind of stuff, and that's ok. I had a friend who took up sword-fighting and got in great shape. Who knows what will make you feel like "a natural"?
AtlantaNoleGirl AtlantaNoleGirl 8 years
It took me years of on and off diet and exercise to finally get to the point I am now - I've been on a healthy, reduced calorie diet and exercise program for about 3 months. I work out 3 mornings a week before work, and at least once on the weekend. I've only missed 1 workout since starting (and that's because I stupidly set my alarm wrong!). It was hard in the beginning, but I think you just have to get through the first few weeks and then it becomes routine. What finally got me moving was that on New Years (granted I was dressed very skimpily for a theme party), someone compared me to a very talented but very overweight celebrity. And that was enough to motivate me. What keeps me going most is another online community I use - The Daily Plate. It's a free site to track your diet and exercise. There are also TONS of really great support groups there to keep you motivated and talking with others who have your same goals. Seeing everything written down really helps me - I feel SO guilty if I have to come home from dinner and log french fries in my food diary! When I get to the weight I want, I'll change my goals on the site to maitenince and keep tracking until I know I can do my healthy lifestyle on my own. If you join, PM me and I'll tell you my user name so we can be friends on there!
br0wneyed9irl00 br0wneyed9irl00 8 years
i think it's important not to give up if you mess up once. life happens and you can't get in a workout, or end up eating a doughnut at a staff meeting. it's okay to screw up, it's about the long term choices, so if you have a bad day, wake up on the next one ready to be good. i've heard of some people who eat healthy and exercise all week, then have one "day off." maybe this method would work for you? it can take the edge off, and it's easier to deny yourself something on tuesday, wednesday, and thursday, if you know you can have one of it on saturday. also: it's hard to stick to a change when your motivation is various reasons. it's easier to set a goal. whatever your fitness level now, decide in a month you will run one mile further without stopping. tailor it to yourself: you might need more/less than a month. but it gives you something attainable, and you can reward yourself when you get there. it's easier to keep up with something when you've already had a success in it. good luck!
Auburngirl08 Auburngirl08 8 years
Make time benchmarks. Tell yourself, I am going to stick to my workout plan & eating healthy for 30 days. Make a plan, put it on your calender, become completely anal about "crossing it off your list". This is about the time period where you form a habit, and where you will start to see results. It's only 30 days, if you hate it after 30 days, tell yourself you can quit. However, I imagine after really gritting your teeth and sticking with it for 30 days, you will have formed a habit and you will start to crave the positive effects. Secondly, find something you love. If you hate running, do something else! Everyone is different, you don't have to follow anyone else's idea of a 'good workout'. Try different things in that 30 days to find what you like. Also, this will keep things from becoming boring. You aren't "running for 30 days" you are trying tons of new activities in 30 days. I recommend group exercise, and when you've found one you like, make it social. Introduce yourself to the instructor, so you feel invested in the class. It will keep you more accountable to go. Lastly, every little bit counts. Don't think, 'well, I didn't work out the rest of the week, so I'm not going to go today'. It all adds up, you can look back at time that has passed and say, 'well, I wasn't perfect, but, I did do something'. And, don't get discouraged with time either. The next month or year is going to happen whether you make changes or not. So, don't think about last year, think where you could be a year from now.
ley ley 8 years
Chances are you're going a little too strict too soon, which is good if you have super strong will power. But I suggest you try eating clean for 6 days a week and have 1 day in the weekend or so with a cheat meal not cheat day. Also I recommend excercise - it helps curb the cravings and makes you really guilty if u mess up since you have to o double the effert after you've cheated. Moreover, I think its a good idea to get a personal trainer for motivation and support. Goodluck,
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Will power and dedication...
Workout Motivation
How to Stay Motivated For Working Out
Motivational Playlist
Body-Image Inspiration
How I Learned to Love Running Without Music
Beginner Running Motivation
How to Get Motivated to Cook at Home

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds