Having unrealistic fitness goals can make weight loss extremely frustrating. With the wrong expectations, you can set yourself up for failure.
Weight loss goals should be:
- Precise. Outline an action plan for the week, and be specific. Create a fitness plan that’s clear and goal-oriented.
- Progressive. Take baby steps in the beginning and allow yourself to gradually move on to the next level. For example, say, “I’ll walk 20 minutes, three times a week,” rather than, “I’ll walk two hours every day beginning tomorrow.” Once you’ve gotten the hang of walking regularly, it will be easier to do it for 30 or 40 minutes, and then to an hour or even two a day. Track your progress by keeping a diary. There’s nothing more motivating than seeing your fitness trend on paper.
- Optimistic. Say, “My average daily intake will be 3,000 calories this week” rather than, “I’ll never eat more than 1,000 calories every day.” Setting positive, sensible goals will make you feel good about your successes, not deprived or—worse—starved.
- Realistic. Set goals that you can live with and fit in your lifestyle. Say, “I want to lose a pound this week,” rather than, “I will lose ten pounds before the end of the week.” Remember—you didn’t gain the extra weight overnight, so don’t expect to get rid of it overnight.
- Rewarding. Celebrate each victory, even those as small as losing a pound after your first week on a much healthier diet. These small triumphs are crucial in attaining a long-term success.
Setting goals that are practical and sensible allows you to enjoy a weight loss program that is effective, and brings permanent results.
So, how much is within reason again?
- Lose 1 pound, per week. Losing 1 pound a week, according to nutritionists, is recommended; anything more than that is unhealthy and could easily put your body at risk. Now this also means being realistic about your timetable. If you want to lose 30 pounds, for instance, then embrace the fact that you will be going on a much longer program.
- Cut back 250 calories, per day. Cutting back 250 to 500 calories a day will help you lose about a pound per week. Making little changes in your daily diet add up in the long run: the syrup on your pancakes, the butter on your toast, the extra glass of milk you drink in the morning.
- Burn 250 calories per day. Exercising off 250 to 500 calories will also help you lose a pound or more a week. Ideally, you should do a combination of both; for example—cutting back 250 calories and then sweating off an extra 250 calories will help accelerate your weight loss goals.
- Lose 5 to 10 percent of your starting weight. This, according to most doctors, is medically achievable. This means that if you weigh 200 pounds, a reasonable target would be to lose 10 to 20 pounds.
Revise your thinking and your targets. Unrealistic goals only increase the risk of dropping out of a weight loss program. The best way to go: smaller, more tangible expectations.
Enjoy your journey!
Contact me if you’re interested in hiring me as an In-Home Fitness Trainer. I serve the Colleyville, Southlake, Grapevine, Hurst, Euless, and Bedford, Texas area.