How to Set Realistic Weight Loss Goals?
Are you being realistic? That is a question you need to ask yourself when developing a weight loss strategy. Staying realistic keeps you focused. Being overly aggressive, however, will undermine your effort. The SMART approach to weight loss is to develop short-term objectives that are part of a long-term solution.
What Does Unrealistic Look Like?
If you are hoping to drop three dress sizes by fasting for two weeks, you will be disappointed. Sustainability is the key to weight loss success. If your plan is not something you can live with for the rest of your life, it is unrealistic.
How to Plan Realistically
SMART is an acronym that helps you create realistic goals.
Specific – When you write something out, it helps motivate you along the way. Jot down how many calories you need to eat daily. What are your exercise plans? How about a schedule for meeting your workout goals? Seeing it in writing helps pinpoint potential flaws, too.
Measurable – To stay motivated, you need to track your progress. Find ways to quantify your goals. How many minutes will you spend exercising each day? Keep a journal for both food intake and exercise, so you know how close you are to reaching your goals.
Attainable – Is it realistic to expect to lose 10 pounds in 10 days? Weight loss requires you to burn 3,500 more calories than you eat just to lose one pound. That means if you cut out 1,000 calories a day, you will lose two pounds in a week. That is an attainable goal.
Relevant – Consider why you want to lose weight in the first place. Is it to live healthier? Do you want to look better? Set goals relevant to your personal needs. If you strive to look better, exercise helps tone your body while you lose. Are you worried about heart disease or diabetes? Focus on your meal plans and eating healthy.
Time-bound – This means making a promise and sticking to it. Set a start day for your new lifestyle and mile markers for your goals. If you want to drop 20 pounds, how long are you giving yourself to meet that goal? If you don’t set time limits, you will always be in that state of flux.
SMART thinking leads to weight loss success and is a practical approach to setting realistic health goals.