Setting and Achieving Weight Loss Goals

Have you set weight loss goals time and again and failed? If you have, you’re not alone. Most people who set weight loss goals have difficulty achieving them. If you’ve never set a weight loss goal, you might be wondering where to start or what the right approach is.

Today we’re going to talk about the thought process behind setting weight loss goals and the steps you need to take to achieve them.

Everyone’s body is different.

Everyone’s body composition, chemistry and fitness level is different. Just because you’re 60 pounds overweight and your neighbor is also 60 pounds overweight doesn’t mean that you should have the exact same goals or approach to weight loss. Your fitness level may be less or more than theirs. They may have other complications besides being overweight that will hinder them from making the same kinds of gains that you will. There are dozens of reasons why your weight loss goal, process and timeline for achieving that goal will be unique to you.

Consider your reasons for losing weight.

Losing weight isn’t always easy. So when the going gets tough, you’re going to have to have the right reason for losing weight in order to keep yourself on track. Are you trying to lose weight for your health? Are you uncomfortable in social situations because of your weight? Do you have a hard time breathing or moving around? Do you want to be able to play with your kids? Have a better chance of living a longer, happier life?

Whatever your reason is, write it down. Keep it close to you and read it out loud every day. It can help keep you on track when temptation knocks on your door.

Do you need to lose weight?

There are a few ways that you can determine whether you are someone who needs to lose weight. The parameters are broad, but generally speaking if:

  • You have a BMI of more than 25
  • You have a waist-to-hip ratio of greater than 0.8 for women and 1.0 for men
  • Your abdominal girth measurement is greater than 35 inches in women and 40 inches in men

Then it is reasonable to believe you should lose some weight. Keep in mind, these measurements do not apply to everyone and general numbers. If you’re unsure, it is best to always consult a physician or medical professional.

Set your goal.

Exactly how much you should lose and in what timeframe is something you need to decide yourself based on your needs and abilities. If you have any questions about how much you should lose, consult a physician or medical professional.

In most cases however, the most effective goals are:

  • Very specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Tangible

If you can create a weight loss goal that is all of these things, plus implement an actionable plan, your chance of achieving your goal will be increased tenfold.

Make a plan. Follow it.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the general recommendation is to lose one to two pounds per week. You can also use these calculators to help you set your goals:

After you set your goal, write it down. Then write down exactly how you are going to achieve your goal. Next, record how you are actively following your action plan.

EXAMPLE

Goal: I will lose 10 pounds in 12 weeks. To do this, I will consume no more than 2,000 calories per day and burn at least 180 calories per day through exercise.

To reach this goal, I will follow a 2,000-calorie diet. (You can find examples of 2,000 calorie meals at www.calorie.org. We also Tweet health food choices and post them on our Facebook page.)

  • And exercise to burn at least 180 calories per day.
  • Walk for at least 30 minutes for 3 days per week (burns 180-240 calories).
  • Strength train 2 days per week (burns 140-280 calories).

As you can see, this example plans out exactly how much weight this person will lose and in what amount of time. Then it details the specifics regarding exactly what action he/she will take to achieve those goals.

Get help, if you need it.
If you need help planning or maintaining your weight loss goals, we can help. Contacting us is easy, and we make losing weight fun with professional guidance and support groups.

Just call Hallmark Health Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery at (781) 306-6166 find out more.

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