The key to getting down to a healthy weight is to set smart weight loss goals along the way. Let’s talk about that for a minute. It’s easy to come up with a number in your head and decide that you want to lose 15 pounds. You may even have an end date in mind. Maybe there’s a wedding you’re going to or you’re headed off on a nice vacation in 2 months.
Having a specific goal and a deadline is a great start. Next you want to make sure it’s a realistic goal. You want to be able to make it in the time allotted. It’s good to make it a little ambitious but don’t expect to lose more than a pound per week on average.
Speaking of weeks. It’s good to have weekly and monthly goals. It’ll help you notice the progress you’re making and will keep you motivated. Once you have your smart weight loss goal set, it’s time to get to work.
The fastest way to lose weight is a two-pronged approach. You want to change what you eat (and how much) and you want to move around more. Not only will you start to see the pounds melt off, you’ll also find yourself feeling better and with more energy.
As far as diet goes, we recommend eating clean, natural food. You want to cut out as much processed foods and sweets as possible. If you’re looking for some good guide lines to follow, look into Whole 30. It’s a 30 Day clean eating challenge that will get you on the right track when it comes to food and drink.
When it comes to exercise pick something that’s fun and that you’re comfortable with. Just about anyone can go out for a walk. Pick up a pedometer like a FitBit, lace up your walking shoes and go out there. Set a daily stepping goal. You may want to start out walking 7,000 steps per day and then increase that number by another 1,000 steps every few weeks. Make a goal of moving at least 1 hour per day but remember you can break that down into 15 minute increments, too. 15 minutes in the morning right after you wake up – set your alarm clock early if you need to. Another 15 minutes before lunch, 15 more after lunch and 15 after dinner will have your daily requirements met easy peasy.
Last but not least, weight loss is about more than just the number on the scale. Take a few other measurements including body fat percentage, and take out a measuring tape and take your chest, waist, thigh and upper arm measurements. Write those numbers down. Often you’ll lose inches even if the scale insists on giving you the same number day after day.
While the scale might not be moving as quickly as you want it to, take stock of those other measurements as well as how you feel physically and emotionally. Finally, how are those clothes fitting? A little looser than they used to, I’d bet.
From Overweight to In Shape – 6 Smart Goal Setting Tips
Losing weight isn’t easy. The truth is that no matter what the advertising for the latest and greatest diet product promises, it’s hard work. And it’ll take you a while. That sounds pretty discouraging, doesn’t it? I’m here to offer some help. The single most effective “tool” I’ve found for sustainable weight loss is to set smart weight loss goals. What makes a goal smart? Read on to find out.
Find Your Focus
Losing weight won’t happen overnight. What will make it happen is developing better eating habits and moving more. Those are lifestyle changes and it will take a while before they become habits for you. In the meantime, you will need to focus on practicing your new habits daily while focusing on your goal at the same time. If you have a concrete reason of why you want to lose weight you’ll find that focus easier. Here are a few questions to ask yourself. Do I want to live a long, healthy life? Do I want to set a good example for my kids? Will I have a better quality of life if I make these changes? Find your focus and use it to reach your goals before this new lean lifestyle becomes a habit.
Saying “I need to lose some weight” just doesn’t cut it. Sorry to be so harsh, but it’s the truth. You need to be more specific. Set a weight loss goal. Pick a number. How many pounds do you want to lose? How many inches do you want to whittle from your waist? Be specific. The only way you’ll know when you’ve reached your goal is to have a number in mind to reach. Otherwise, while you might make progress, you’ll never reach your goal.
Set Yourself A Deadline
Someone smart once told me that goals without deadlines are just dreams. There’s a lot of truth in that statement. Without a deadline, you have no frame of reference. As specific as wanting to lose 25 pounds is, without a deadline it could take you a year or a decade. Smart goals have a realistic deadline. Losing a pound per week is an ambitious but realistic goal. Losing 25 pounds in the next 6 months is a smart goal with a deadline.
Celebrate Your Victories
Changing your eating habits and getting your body moving isn’t easy, especially if you’ve been a couch potato until now. Stay motivated by breaking your big goal into little mini goals and celebrating your victories along the way. If your end goal is to lose 25 pounds in 6 months, break it down into 5 pound increments. Give yourself a pat on the back and do something nice or fun to celebrate each 5 pound loss. Just try not to use food as a reward.
Don’t set your goals so high you’ll get discouraged when you don’t meet them. Losing 100 pounds in 3 months just isn’t going to happen. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure. Instead, set yourself up for success with goals that you can reach … but don’t be afraid to have to stretch a bit to reach them.
And don’t get discouraged if you fall of the wagon every now and again. Life happens and sometimes there’s just no way to say no to that slice of pizza (or two, or three). The important thing is to pick yourself right back up and keep working towards your goals.
It’s nice to have someone that has your back. Find an accountability partner. Ideally this person will be on a weight loss journey as well. You can support and encourage each other. You can call each other out when you’re binging on junk food or skipping your walk yet again. Share your goals with your accountability partner and have him or her hold you to them.
Now it’s your turn. Ready to set some smart weight loss goals?