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Setting Weight Loss Goals

If you want to lose weight for life you need set realistic goals, have realistic expectations and devise a plan... To reach and maintain your healthy weight you can't simply wake up every morning and react to what happens. You need SMART goals, meaning that they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely:

Specific

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • And what would you like to change or improve on?
  • You want to be a certain weight?
  • What changes do you need to make in your life, not just to lose weight, but to maintain your healthy weight for the rest of your life?

Measurable

Make your goal measurable and focus on a 'healthier' you. For example, set goals for the number of:

  • Hours that you will sleep each night
  • Litres of water that you will drink every day
  • Minutes of exercise that you will do per week
  • Healthy meals that you plan to cook / not skip.

Attainable

Allocate enough energy, time and effort for your goals and make your goals flexible and realistic. For example, to achieve your exercise goals when you are busy at work or travelling you may have to shorten your exercise sessions or focus on incidental activity.

Realistic

Accept your body's natural ability to lose weight; otherwise you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Most people find it difficult to lose more than a pound per week.

Make your goals achievable and if you succeed sooner than anticipated then this will really increase your confidence. Expecting that you will be ready to run a marathon next year may be expecting a bit too much!

Timely

Give yourself ample time to achieve your goals. When people place too much pressure on themselves to lose a particular amount of weight or progress too quickly with exercise, this can lead to anxiety or injuries. To lose weight you need to change some ingrained habits, and ingrained habits are tough to break. The achievement of permanent weight loss is a marathon not a sprint.