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  • Writer's pictureJames Dickson

How to set realistic weight loss goals?

Updated: Apr 17

Here's how to set realistic weight loss goals so you won't be disappointed.

Setting realistic weight loss goals can be a crucial step towards achieving a healthier lifestyle. It's important to approach this journey with an understanding of what is achievable and sustainable for you personally. By setting attainable targets, you'll increase your chances of success and maintain your motivation throughout the process. To begin, it's essential to have a clear idea of what your overall goal is. Think about how much weight you would like to lose and why. Maybe it's to improve your health, boost your confidence, or simply feel more comfortable in your own skin. Having a strong sense of purpose will help you stay focused and determined.

Next, break down your larger goal into smaller, manageable milestones. This will make the process less overwhelming and allow you to celebrate each accomplishment along the way. For example, instead of aiming to lose 50 pounds all at once, set smaller targets like losing 5 pounds per month. This gradual approach will give your body time to adjust and you will see gradual improvements helping with motivation.

Here's how:

Ditch the Unrealistic: Crafting Weight Loss Goals for Success

Setting weight loss goals is essential, but unrealistic expectations can leave you feeling defeated. Let's shift the focus from grand numbers to achievable targets that pave the way for lasting progress and improved health.

Why Realistic Goals Matter

  • Motivation Boost: Achievable goals fuel motivation, while overly ambitious ones can breed discouragement, potentially leading to abandoning your efforts altogether.

  • Sustainable Solutions: Slow and steady wins the race. Setting realistic goals teaches you healthy habits you can maintain long after you reach your initial target.

  • Beyond the Scale: True health encompasses more than just a number on the scale. Realistic goals create space to focus on improved energy levels, better health markers, and increased fitness.

How to Set SMART Goals

The SMART acronym offers a roadmap for setting goals you can achieve:

  • Specific: Instead of "lose weight," get clear. How much weight do you want to lose over a specific time frame?

  • Measurable: Will you track progress in pounds, inches, or how your clothes fit?

  • Achievable: Is your goal realistic considering your starting point, resources, and lifestyle? Don't aim for drastic changes overnight.

  • Relevant: Are your goals aligned with your overall health and wellness priorities? Is long-term health more important than rapid weight loss?

  • Time-Bound: Set a deadline, but allow flexibility. Break down your big goal into smaller milestones to maintain momentum.

Factors to Consider

  • Starting Point: Your current weight, fitness level, and health conditions all influence what's considered a healthy and sustainable rate of weight loss.

  • Lifestyle: Can you realistically commit to the lifestyle changes needed to reach your goal in the desired timeframe?

  • Support Systems: Do you have supportive friends, family, or access to professional guidance like a dietician or trainer?

Realistic Expectations

  • Healthy Weight Loss: Generally, losing 0.5 - 1 kilo per week is considered safe, sustainable, and more likely to stay off long-term.

  • Fluctuations are Normal: Water retention, muscle gain, and natural body cycles can cause temporary stalls or plateaus on the scale.

Celebrate Your Wins!

  • Acknowledge Progress: Celebrate every step, whether it's hitting a small milestone or realising you feel fitter and healthier.

  • Focus on Non-Scale Victories: Pay attention to improved energy levels, better sleep, or how your clothes fit, as these are equally important indicators of success.

Tips for Staying on Track

  • Reevaluate and Adjust: As you progress, it's okay to refine your goals if needed.

  • Partner Up: Find an accountability buddy for shared motivation and support.

  • Focus on Lifestyle Changes: Remember, weight loss is often a result of healthy habits like balanced eating and regular exercise. Focus on these first.

Additional Considerations

  • Talk to Your Doctor: Especially if you have underlying health conditions, seeking professional guidance is crucial for setting safe and realistic goals.

  • Be Kind to Yourself: The journey won't always be linear. Practice self-compassion and remember, lasting success takes time and consistency.

The Takeaway

Setting realistic weight loss goals empowers you to achieve long-term health improvements. Ditch unattainable targets, celebrate every victory, and embrace the process of building a healthier, happier you!

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