We live in a “I want it now” society. When a new idea comes to our head, we set out to make it real — and quickly. You can bet this translates to the diet industry, too.
Do you have weight-loss goals in mind? Have you created a plan to reach them? Even more importantly, are your goals and plans realistic? Most of all, healthy?
The problem that most of us face is the length of our plan. We often set out to lose weight thinking we can do it right away. We put the pedal to the metal, so to speak. That’s why we often get disappointed if we don’t have success. Maybe that detox diet left you feeling cranky or miserable. Perhaps you got burned out from hitting the gym almost every day.
The truth is that weight-loss is a lifetime journey. Your ultimate goal should be forming healthy habits that last forever, even after you’ve reached your “goal weight.”
Guidelines for Setting Realistic Weight-loss Goals
Be Okay with Slow Progress
Don’t make the mistake of setting out to lose a ton of weight in a short amount of time. Odds are, that’s not healthy. Average weight-loss is around 1-2 pounds per week. Slow and consistent progress will help you adjust to a lower weight. Cut yourself some slack!
Make Your Goals S.M.A.R.T.
S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based. For example:
“For three months, I will spend two days/week at the gym doing resistance-based exercise. For three other days each week, I will do an active outdoor activity that I truly love.”
A goal of “exercising more each week” isn’t S.M.A.R.T. because it isn’t specific or time-based. It also doesn’t give you something solid to measure, so it’s hard to record progress.
Do Activities You Enjoy
We all know that eating right and getting regular exercise is important. That doesn’t mean you have to slave away at the gym every day. You don’t have to limit your foods to ONLY lean meats and vegetables. Customize your goals in ways that work for you. Do you love exploring the outdoors? Commit to going hiking one weekend each month. Do you want to eat more whole foods? Try shopping at a neighborhood farmer’s market. Purchase foods you’ve never had before. Enjoy the experience of lifestyle changes, not just the outcome.
Do an Honest Self-Assessment
You can only do what you can do. If you’re fairly inactive right now, you probably can’t do seven sweat sessions in a row next week. When setting goals, consider where you are right now. How can you improve? That’s what your goals should be based on.
Share Your Goals
You are more likely to be successful with a support system. Build accountability by sharing your goals with loved ones. You can also share them with a trusted healthcare provider. Sharing your goals can even strengthen your determination to reach them.
Want to learn more? For additional information about setting realistic weight-loss goals, claim a FREE copy of our Understanding Your Weight-loss Options Brochure by CLICKING HERE.