Body Goals: How to Set Weight Loss Goals for Success
Your doctor told you that you were overweight. You look in the mirror and notice how many pounds you’ve packed on over the years. Your clothes don’t fit well, and you feel tired and sluggish all the time. You have your health and body goals in mind, but aren’t exactly sure how to reach them from where you are right now.
Sound familiar? For many, this is the daily reality. Over 35% of American adults are obese, while another 34% are overweight. But if you’re looking to lower these statistics by changing yourself, the first step is to create your vision and plan for weight loss that will set you up for success.
Define Your Body Goals
Forget about the bathroom scale for a moment. Think about what you ultimately want from your weight loss journey:
Do you want to look better in a bathing suit?
Do you want to be able to climb the stairs without running out of breath?
Do you want to increase your health and quality of life?
Keep in mind that the number on the scale only tells part of the story. Height and muscle mass have a lot to do with how you “wear your weight,” so think in specific terms when defining your body goals. If there’s a certain size of clothing you want to wear, include it in your vision. If you want to bring down your BMI, write down what would be ideal.
The more specific you are, the better you can measure your progress to see if you’re moving the needle.
Invest in the Long Term
Anyone can diet for 30 days and lose a few pounds, but does this really set you up for a life of healthy living? Of course not!
The biggest flaw with mainstream diets is that they do nothing to change your eating habits and lifestyle for the long term. But if you’re overweight, the last thing you want is to lose weight and have it return a few years later.
When planning your body goals, ask yourself if your solutions will sustain you over the course of your life. Can you really keep up that Keto diet for more than 30 days? Are you going to continue that plank challenge you found on Pinterest once you complete it?
If the answer is no, you’ll know you need to find a better solution that will help you stay focused and on track, even after you reach your body goals.
Set Smaller Goals
Creating goals can help you know what exactly you’re working toward. Even professional mountain climbers don’t try to tackle Everest in a single day. Rather, they have routes and stops mapped out because the trek would be too daunting and treacherous otherwise.
The key is to look at where you are now and where you want to be at the finish line, and create smaller goals in between to help you avoid overwhelming yourself. Don’t be afraid to start small, such as losing five pounds in a month. This gives you a chance to experiment with different techniques and establish good habits, such as an exercise schedule or eliminating certain foods from your diet.
Take those smaller goals and start gradually building on them. By the time you look back, you might be astonished at how far you’ve come.
Saying no can be difficult when you’re trying to lose weight and change your lifestyle. In fact, saying yes might be what got you into this situation in the first place. Living healthier means saying no a lot, from turning down a chance to eat out with friends to not drinking a mid-day soda to stay awake at work.
It takes courage and confidence to lose weight, so empower yourself to make it happen. Give yourself permission to say no when temptation knocks and remember that you’re in control of the outcome. Remind yourself that saying no is a symbol of strength, not weakness, and only by being strong will you be able to achieve your body goals.
Track Your Weight Loss Progress
Don’t forget to track your progress as you go. Not only can this help you see that you’re moving in the right direction, but also motivate you by showing you how far you’ve come. It’s also essential in helping you see what’s working and what’s not so you can make tweaks as you go to get the most benefit for your time.
Adjust Your Goals as Needed
Keep in mind that weight loss in all forms, even bariatric surgery, is a marathon, not a sprint. You won’t see changes in your appearance overnight, but that shouldn't discourage you from getting off your path.
It’s a life-changing experience in every sense of the word, which means you may need to adjust your plan at some point. There may come a time when you cave into the delicious desires around you, which means you need to be even more disciplined to right the ship immediately.
If you simply have to dive into that snack-sized bag of chips, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, use it as an opportunity to squeeze in an extra workout that day to make up for the calories you consumed. Doing this could serve as a reminder as to how hard it can be to lose weight, which might encourage you to make better choices over time.
If the pounds simply aren’t coming off, don’t give up on your body goals. Rather, adjust your strategy to include a nutritionist or other professional that can help you change what you’re doing instead of wasting time on guesswork.
Remember, you’re in control when it comes to setting and achieving your body goals. And every time you see the needle move in the right direction, the more empowered and inspired you should be to do more for your health.
For more weight loss inspirations, head back to our blog.
- Drew Huffman