Making Realistic Weight Loss Goals
If losing weight and getting in shape are on your new year’s resolution list for 2017, these SMART goal-setting tips will be helpful in achieving your objectives.
The acronym “SMART” helps to give structure to what you are trying to accomplish. It stands for:
- S – Specific
- M - Measurable
- A - Attainable
- R - Realistic
- T - Time-based
While the SMART structure can be applied to any goals, here are a few ideas for how it relates to weight loss:
Setting Up SMART Goals:
Make sure your goals are clearly defined. “I will exercise more and eat better” is not specific. Examples of specific goals include how many days per week you will exercise, how many calories per day you will burn, what types of exercises you will do, and what types of food you will eat.
What assessments will you use to keep on track? Health and fitness assessments include weight, body fat percentage, number of calories, size of clothes, how much you can lift, etc.
Some people don’t like certain measurements because they can be a trigger for discouragement. There’s plenty of different ways you can track your progress, so be sure to find the ones that motivate you!
Can you actually achieve your goal? If so, then how? If not, why?
Is your goal manageable within your availability of resources, knowledge and time, if so then how? If not, what are you going to do about it?
Reassess your goals every now and then to make certain they are realistic. You can’t lose 30lbs in 3 days - it just won’t happen! Set smaller goals along the way to make it easier to commit to a larger goal. For example, if you want to lose 75lbs, keep a goal of burning 500 calories per day, which equals 3500 calories per week and translates to 1lb of fat loss per week.
Let reality set in. Trust me there is NO ONE who can really eat whatever they want and continue in good health - at some point it will eventually catch up. Don’t compare yourself to celebrities or try out the latest fad diets - the only thing that works permanently is consistency.
You have to eat right and exercise over a period of time until you reach your goal and then continue to do so in order to maintain it. In other words, eat and exercise for the body that you want, not the body you have. You will see a difference!
Motivation and prioritizing are also big issues when it comes to realistic weight loss. A lot of people “want” to lose weight, but they also “want” fried chicken, pasta and cake.
Finding something to motivate you like a race, an outfit or lower cholesterol levels will keep you on track. You may still “want” things, but with the added motivation you’ll be less likely to fall into those bad habits.
Along those same lines, when you really WANT something, you will do anything for it—so make weight loss a priority (over that immediate gratification of those high calorie foods) and then decline when someone tempts you with treats.
Do you have enough time to achieve your goal on a daily, weekly or monthly basis? How can you rearrange your schedule to accommodate your goal? How can you make your health a priority?
Check out these healthy recipes to jump start your weight loss in 2017.
Good luck with your 2017 goals!