Setting weight loss goals may be one of the best things you can do to lose weight. Creating well-planned, realistic goals will keep you focused and motivated, even when busy schedules and unexpected opportunities to eat treats try to shatter your weight loss dreams. Setting goals can even help you make lifestyle changes as you transition into a lower calorie, healthier lifestyle.
While setting reasonable and attainable goals can make losing weight easier and more effective, many people find it hard to create such goals.
Step by Step Guide on Setting Weight Loss Goals
Create weight loss goals that reflect your needs and desires
Never try to lose weight for someone else – take this important step for your own health and well-being. When you have achieved your weight loss goals, it will be your victory.
Set relevant goals
Create goals that reflect where you are in life. Do not try to get the perfect beach body if you don’t live near the water and never wear a skimpy bathing suit, for example, but feel free to set that lofty goal if you have always wanted to scamper across the sand in a sleek Speedo or teeny-weeny bikini.
Identify any factors that might prevent you from reaching your goals
Certain events, such as holidays, can feature high calorie treats that tempt you to stray from your diet. To maximize your chances of reaching your weight loss goals and still enjoy your life, plan your diet and exercise routine around these events. Eat low-calorie meals before holiday dinners, for example, or schedule an extra day at the gym.
Create health goals
Losing weight can help improve your health by lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, and helping to keep your blood sugar at healthy levels. In fact, an obese person can expect a drop of 5 to 20 points in blood pressure for every 20 pounds he or she loses, according to Harvard Medical School. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that an overweight person can drop his or her “bad” LDL cholesterol 5 to 8 percent by losing 10 pounds.
Set small health goals, such as lowering blood pressure 5 points or reducing cholesterol by 5 percent, through weight loss. Achieving these smaller goals can help inspire you to continue towards your ultimate goal of losing weight.
Aim for measurable goals
Try to avoid vague goals, such as “losing as much weight as possible this year.” Instead, set a measurable goal. One measurable, attainable goal would be to lose 7 percent of your body weight in three months, for example.
Use a calendar
Everyone’s body is different, so one person might lose weight a little faster than does another. Using a weight loss calendar can help you determine how much weight you can lose each week. Keeping track of your weight loss also helps inspire you to continue working towards your goal.
Mark the start date and end date of your weight loss diet. Note your starting weight on the start date; write down your desired weight on the end date. Weigh yourself every day; write your weight on the calendar once a week.
Set short-term goals and long-term goals
While focusing on the long-term goal helps you focus on the big picture, long-term goals can seem too far away or too difficult to achieve. Setting and achieving short-term goals can provide the feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction along the way. If your goal outcome is to lose 20 pounds over the course of several, for example, break it into smaller goals of losing two pounds each week.
Know what low calorie foods to eat while dining out
It is nearly impossible to avoid eating out throughout the entire duration of your weight loss diet. Learn which foods to order in restaurants to stay on track towards your weight loss goals.
Set attainable goals
The American Council on Exercise suggests aiming at losing 1 to 2 pounds per week. If you are like many people, you may be able to lose that much and more during the first few weeks of your weight loss diet, but lose less weight during the final weeks of your diet.
With the help of our personalized weight loss program, though, you may be able to set a larger goal and lose more weight faster. A weight loss specialist can help you sustain a weight loss diet for a longer time, so that you continue to lose weight longer than you ever thought possible.
Seek the help of a medical weight loss doctor
Medical weight loss doctors can help you set attainable, reasonable and measurable goals. They can also provide you with expertise and medical assistance you need to reach your goals, safely and effectively.
You can lose all the weight you need simply by setting goals and taking small steps to reach those goals. For more information about setting and achieving weight loss goals, talk with your medical weight loss doctor or contact us today.