What Weight Loss Goals are Best?
Knowing the best type of weight loss goals to aim for is crucial in maintaining your motivation to reduce weight.
Not Just a Matter of Losing Weight
It’s great to step on your bathroom scales and discover you’ve lost weight, but weight reduction isn’t the only target to aim for. In my experience, the most successful dieters are those people who have a variety of different goals.
Weight Loss Goals Should be: Specific, Realistic and Forgiving
For example, “take regular exercise” is a great objective, but it’s not specific enough. Better is “Walk four miles every day.” Then again, this may not be realistic if you are unfit or if you can’t gauge distance. In such cases “walk for 30
minutes every day” is more realistic. But if your work schedule or the weather is too erratic to permit a daily walk, be more forgiving and aim for “30 minutes of walking for 5 days a week”. This is specific, realistic and allows you two days off.
Nothing Succeeds Like Success
Before you start a weight loss program, take a few body-measurements. Measure your bust, waist, hips, thighs and upper arms. Keep a note and re-check your measurements every couple of weeks. Being able to see improvements in body shape, as well as weight, can be a useful extra boost if weight loss slows.
Short-Term Incremental Goals are Best For Weight Loss
Olympic athletes are among the world’s most motivated people. They typically measure their progress in incremental stages, rather than big leaps. Apply this principle to your weight reduction campaign.
You don’t have to start a totally new calorie-plan overnight. You can start by eating (say) 2000 calories, then lower this by 100 calories a week until you reach (say) 1400 calories. Keeping a food journal, in which you record foods/drink consumed, is a great way to monitor (and be inspired by) progress.
Investing in a pedometer (step-counter) and counting steps is a great way to improve your fitness level, especially if you are very overweight. Aim to walk a certain number of steps per day, (eg. 8-10,000 steps) then increase this number gradually. If you are fitter, you might aim to use a treadmill for 30 minutes at (say) a speed of 5 mph, on an incline of 1 percent. Then increase the speed and incline gradually. Keeping an exercise journal is a great way to monitor (and be inspired by) progress.
Weight Loss Goals
Despite what you may think, losing 2 pounds of weight in one week is a significant achievement. Impatient or unrealistic dieters typically feel very deflated when they only lose 2 pounds, but these people are unlikely ever to achieve long term weight loss. The truth is, 2 pounds is a significant reduction, and should be your maximum weekly goal. For many people, 1.5 pounds is more realistic. Remember, the slower the weight loss, the less chance of weight regain.
The Best Rewards
Give yourself regular small rewards for achieving your diet, exercise and weight loss goals. Earning several small rewards is typically more motivating than earning one big reward which might require more effort.