SETTING GOALS FOR WEIGHT LOSS – THE S.M.A.R.T. WAY
Before starting your weight loss journey, it is a great idea to plan it out first. Keep in mind to think about how you are going to approach it and start setting goals for weight loss the S.M.A.R.T. way.
Many people want to gravitate toward the “lose-weight-fast” programs. However, it’s good to remember that weight loss should be a journey, not a sprint. A general recommendation and a good benchmark is to lose 1 – 2 pounds per week. If you lose weight slowly but steadily, you will be more successful with maintaining your weight after the loss. When you first start a program, you may lose more weight at the very beginning, then stabilize after that. You may even hit plateaus along your journey. If that happens, it is important to remember – don’t get discouraged. You may need to do a little something different to “surprise” your body.
In the process of determining your weight loss goals, you may tend to focus on the numbers on the scale. However, another part of the picture is weight maintenance. You may want to lose 50 pounds and you may succeed at reaching your goal in a reasonable amount of time. However, after you’ve lost those pounds, how difficult will it be for you to maintain that weight so it doesn’t creep back? Find a number that is realistic to maintain. Another aspect to keep in mind when concentrating on the scale numbers, if you are including weight training, you may gain muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat.
When creating goals in your life, they should be S.M.A.R.T. Your weight loss goals should not be any different. What are S.M.A.R.T. goals?
S = Specific – identify how much weight you want to lose
M = Measurable – define what your achieved goals will look like for YOU
A = Attainable – when determining the amount of weight you want to lose, decide if that number is achievable and if can you maintain it
R = Realistic – decide if deadline date you chose to lose the weight by is realistic
T = Time-based – determine the date in which you want to hit your goal weight
– Realize Time Plays an Important Role
When making your goals, think about what you are willing to give up and take on as far as time. There will be a need to concentrate efforts on this journey. Grocery shopping may take more time because being conscience of ingredient labels may mean shopping will take longer than usual. Keeping a log of what is eaten takes more time as well. For accuracy the log should be kept as foods are consumed during the day – not completed at bed time. Incorporating exercise is also going to take some thought as to when it will be fit into an already hectic schedule. Planning is an essential part of the grand scheme of things.
– Surround Yourself With a Good Support System
When you decide to go down the path of losing weight, it is a good idea to have a good support system around you. Find others who will be there to cheer you on when you feel like giving up; remind you to stay on track; work out with you at the gym, etc. The weight loss journey can be a stressful one if you don’t have positive people around you to fall back on in the time of need.
YOUR NEXT STEP
Remember that weight loss is a journey, not a sprint. When losing weight, maintenance is key as well, so make sure your goals take into consideration what you can easily maintain in the future. Before starting any venture, it is a great idea to set goals for yourself and use the S.M.A.R.T. method. If you do that as well as have a good support system, you will achieve your goals and maintain them for life. By making goals for yourself, you will stay focused and on track. If you don’t set realistic goals, you will get off track, start to become frustrated and give up.
What weight loss goals have you set for yourself? I would love to hear from you.
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