Most of us, when we start a weight loss plan, we are excited and hopeful that this time, we’ll finally shed those extra pounds and rediscover our younger, thinner figure. But somewhere along the way, we too often become distracted and tempted.

It’s so much easier to grab a burger at a drive-thru window than mix a salad at home. Not only is the quandary frustrating, but it’s debilitating, because it prevents you from losing weight.

Four Tips for Staying Motivated

People quit diets for any number of reasons. According to one weight-loss expert, the five most common culprits are unrealistic expectations, changing too much at once, treating changes as temporary lifestyle alterations, using food as a reward, and not getting support.

Though these five factors undoubtedly come into play and have probably derailed one of your own weight-loss attempts in the past, there’s a simpler way to explain society’s alarmingly high failure rate with losing weight: It’s a lack of motivation. 

If you’re sufficiently motivated to lose weight, the pounds will come off. And while you might launch your weight-loss plan with plenty of motivation, it’s awfully easy to grow discouraged and distracted as the days pass.

In order to stay on track and avoid losing interest, apply the following tips. 

1. Try a Formal Weight-Loss Program

One of the biggest issues people have is that they try to concoct their own weight-loss plan that won’t really work. For example, they’ll try only to eat healthy and not work out. Or they’ll try to work out for two hours a day, but still eat fast food for all three meals.

In order to stay disciplined, adopt a formal weight-loss plan that’s structured to help you thrive. Take the Nutrisystem diet as an example. Not only does it provide structured meals, but it also gives participants some freedoms -- like one weekly lunch and dinner -- to keep participants motivated over the long haul.

2. Stock Your House With Healthy Foods

What do you do when you’re hungry? Most people look in the pantry or refrigerator and survey the various foods on hand.

Unfortunately, if given the choice between a bag of chips and a bag of apples, most people are going to reach for the chips. That’s just the way the human brain works.

In order to overcome such temptations, you need to make sure you have only healthy foods in stock at your house. When the choice is apples versus almonds, you can’t make a bad choice.

3. Find a Support Partner

It’s hard to tackle something on your own when everyone else is doing something else. If your friends want you to come out for dinner and drinks, but you know that you need to go to the gym and make a healthy shake, that’s a tough choice.

If you’re alone, it’s hard to avoid the temptations. If you have a support partner -- someone who’s going through the same challenges you are -- then you’re much more likely to stay on track.

4. Constantly Set and Reset Goals

The final tip is to set and reset your goals on a constant basis. The same goals that you chose at the beginning of your weight-loss regimen may cease to apply over time. The more frequently you update your goals, the more relevant your plan becomes for you moment to moment. 

Set Yourself Up for Success

If you know you’re the sort of person who gets distracted easily and can quickly lose your motivation to finish something you started, it’s imperative to create a plan that will increase your odds of staying on track. The tips highlighted in this article won’t make the perfect solution, but they can help keep you grounded.