Before and after weight loss photos can provide powerful motivation and encouragement on the journey to a trimmer you. Here is how to make the most of this visual tool.

Sealing the deal

Fitness model taking selfie in gymAt the beginning of your weight loss journey it is a good idea to take a few moments getting clear about why you want to lose weight. Understanding your motivation can help you stay on track during moments of temptation. As you identify goals, also write down a few milestone markers. For example, I will lose 1 pound next week or 5 pounds over the next 4 weeks. Finally, pull out the tape measure, scale and camera. Recording your starting place makes it easier to see how you are progressing. Post your photo and measurements in your food diary if you keep one. If not post them in another prominent place where you can see them and recommit to your goal daily.

Staying on track

Choose clothing that lets you clearly see the spots you are working to reduce. Wear the same clothing in each photo and update the photo and measurements once each month. This can be especially encouraging because as you lose fat and build muscle you may notice that even when you haven’t lost pounds you may have lost inches. Lost inches helps you look slimmer and toned even when the scale hasn’t moved much. This positive feedback will help you feel successful and keep you on the weight loss track.

Get and give motivation

Viewing before and after weight loss pictures of others can also be a source of encouragement. Just knowing that someone else has done the very thing you are working to do can remind you that if a thing has been done – it can be done again. Take a look at weight loss photos of others when you need a little encouragement boost. It is also a good idea to share your photos when you feel especially proud. The positive feedback you get will help you celebrate your accomplishments as well as fuel your desire to do even better.

Stay focused

Sports woman making selfie on smartphoneAnother benefit of before and after weight loss photos is the encouragement they can provide for maintenance. We have all heard inspiring stories of weight loss. Unfortunately, for many people without an ongoing commitment to maintaining the loss with permanent lifestyle changes, the weight returns. Use photos as a reminder of how far you have come on the healthy lifestyle path, and of where you can return to if you aren’t deliberate in your plans.

Write a farewell letter to the person in your before photo and a welcome to the person in your after photo. Include any feelings about the rewards you will reap in the trimmed down version of you and why maintenance is important.  Frame both or place them in your journal and view regularly. Good luck with your weight loss goals.