It’s important that when you choose to set new weight loss goals that you choose realistic ones. According to a study from the University of Pennsylvania, on average overweight or obese individuals set goals of losing over 32% of their body mass. That is three times the amount needed in order to achieve better health. This is a large goal to set from the start, which starts dieters up for disappointment as well as failure.
It’s true that you can achieve your goal weight as long as you choose reasonable as well as attainable goals to work toward. Your healthy lifestyle journey is done to improve your life, your health and for you to take a control over your weight. This journey should never be about perfection.
Set Mini Goals
Modest weight loss can help to improve blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure as well as triglyceride levels. Losing just 10 pounds can help you improve self-esteem and keep you moving toward that larger goal. To keep motivated, set mini goals that you can reach within a month. Track your progress along the way and reward yourself during milestones. This keeps your attitude positive toward your goal and helps you see the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle.
It’s important that you set specific, short term goals that you can track. Also be positive about your goals saying I will lose XXX pounds before May or I will run 2 miles without stopping. Make these goals personal. Never lose weight in order to impress others or to please them. Lastly, reward yourself for every small victory or goal you meet (even just one pound) as these are the building blocks for long-term weight loss success.
Make Changes You Can Live With Forever
It’s true; you can lose weight on nearly any diet. However to send those extra pounds packing forever, you have to live a healthy lifestyle that you can stay with for the rest of your life. See this new change as an eating plan and not a diet, as a diet is something that people go on and off of. Adopt a new lifestyle that helps you find attitudes and behaviors that help you stay on track. Once you figure out your bad habits and why you gained weight, you can gradually change them to create more healthy patterns. Some habits include overindulging, eating too fast, having too many interruptions during meals and eliminating bored snacking or eating.
Switch to fat-free or light food products and give up all fried or greasy foods. Aim to walk at least 10,000 steps a day and incorporate activity into your daily life. Instead of meeting a friend for dinner, ask them for coffee and a walk around town.
Also, set process goals including the 10,000 steps daily or eating 5 or more vegetables a day. This is much better then goals such as losing X amount of weight. Changing behaviors is key to continued weight loss and a healthy life.
Staying Motivated For Yourself
After several months come and go with your healthy lifestyle change, many of your cheerleaders will be gone. That means you need to keep yourself motivated on your own. Behavioral changes are what will keep you on track and help you to create strategy that keeps you moving toward your goal. The three month mark (March) is crucial to continued weight loss, so maintaining healthy new habits is important. Challenge yourself to try new healthy recipes, find someone to work out with or to try a new workout.
Reflect on Your Successes
It’s important to take time to reflect on what you have achieved during your journey. During this time, you can also rethink your goals and adjust accordingly. You must accept that healthy weight loss is a slow and steady process. Make a list of all of the things that have improved in your life as you have lost weight. Celebrate each of these things and revisit the list when you’re feeling discouraged by the process.
Ultimately, realistic goals will help you to improve your self-esteem, stay focused and to provide the much needed reinforcement you need in order to continue on this path toward a healthy life.