How to Stay Motivated to Exercise (When You Aren’t Seeing Results Yet)

How to Stay Motivated to Exercise (When You Aren’t Seeing Results Yet)

Jessica Smith
by Jessica Smith
Share it:
How to Stay Motivated to Exercise (When You Aren’t Seeing Results Yet)

You’ve been dedicated and going strong with your new workout plan for weeks now. You’ve put in the time and effort, and you know you’re making changes to your body. So then you step on the scale and … nada. Your clothes aren’t looser, and that scale hasn’t budged. What gives?

While there are many reasons you may not be seeing physical changes just yet, you are still making some incredibly beneficial changes internally.

Before you throw your hands in the air and give up, know that what you are going through is normal and to be expected. In fact, this point in your journey is where most people surrender — just when they are about to start seeing progress. Don’t give up on your goals and resign yourself to feeling out of shape and unhealthy!

Instead of throwing in the towel, please hang in there and read this. Here are my top three tips for staying motivated when you aren’t seeing results yet:

1. Stash the scale for a while.

Usually when someone refers to “results,” he or she is looking for weight loss. But the truth is, you are probably experiencing plenty of results that just aren’t showing up on the scale. That’s why I recommend staying away from the scale for a while, especially when starting a new workout regimen. It’s an easy way to get discouraged! Why? Your weight can fluctuate by as much as 10 pounds due to factors such as hydration, inflammation and hormones.

Rather than look to your weight to tell you whether you are making progress, focus on the bigger picture. Dropping numbers on the scale really doesn’t mean anything except that you are lighter — instead, focus on becoming stronger, more fit and agile, and even on setting a great example for your family.

2. Stop making exercise something you have to do but something you want to do.

I’m often asked what the best workout is for weight loss, the best time of day to work out, the best piece of fitness equipment, etc. In my opinion, it’s pretty simple: Consistency is the No. 1 key to getting and maintaining results. So the best workout is the one you’ll do, and the best time to do it is when you’ll actually get moving.

Exercise offers so many wonderful benefits, including improved immunity, mood and stress relief. Whether it’s taking a weekly Zumba class or jogging with a friend, when you find your own special formula for making exercise enjoyable, it becomes so much easier to stick with it.

3. Focus on the intangibles.

OK, so maybe you can’t see the number on the scale dropping yet or feel your jeans getting looser, but chances are you’ve begun to feel better than before you started your plan. Haven’t you noticed that you aren’t as tired when you wake up in the morning? Or that you aren’t suffering from as much back pain? Or that you can now run after the kids without getting seriously winded?

All these little things that we tend to downplay are really important signs that you are getting results from your workouts, you just aren’t recognizing them! Celebrate the positive changes you are making to your body and your health, and let weight loss be a bonus side effect that will eventually emerge from your new healthy lifestyle.

Now it’s your turn! Tell me, how do you stay motivated to move when you aren’t able to see the results yet? Please share your top tips with us in the comments below!

Need some extra help achieving your goals this year? Check out my “Walk STRONG: 6 Week Total Transformation System.” This all-new, low-impact program has everything you need to succeed, including online support and accountability. Save 20% when you use the exclusive MyFitnessPal promo code “3Z74EZAT” at checkout on

About the Author

Jessica Smith
Jessica Smith

As someone who struggled to lose weight for years, Jessica found that the key to her own 40-pound weight loss was making small, healthy lifestyle changes that led to big, lasting results. Now, as a certified wellcoach, fitness instructor and personal trainer, she has spent the last 15 years helping students and clients reach their goals in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami. She now reaches millions online through her YouTube Channel and home exercise DVD series. Please visit to learn more about her fun, results-driven programs for all levels of exercisers.


Never Miss a Post!

Turn on MyFitnessPal desktop notifications and stay up to date on the latest health and fitness advice.


Click the 'Allow' Button Above


You're all set.