5 Tips to Setting Realistic Weight Loss Goals

Unfortunately, research shows that unrealistic goals elevate the risk of dropping out of a weight loss program. It has been found that dieters will temporarily eat less when their weight loss goals are high, however under-eating may be replaced by overeating at the very next temptation. 

The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to go: smaller with realistic goals, says Janet Polivy, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, Canada.
This leads me to the #1 question: How do I set realistic weight loss goals? There are a few strategies and before you put any of my tips to use, please consult with your physician. Here are my 5 tips to setting realistic weight loss goals.

1. Lose the weight slowly- Most clinicians and experts will state that losing 5-10 percent of your start weight is an achievable goal. So if you weigh 200 lbs., a reachable goal would be to lose 10-20 pounds.
2. Do the math- A realistic goal is losing 1-2 pounds per week to stay healthy. This means that if you want to lose a total of 25 lbs., your time frame to lose the weight the healthy way is to take 3 months. If your weight loss is 50 lbs., then your time frame would be at least 6 months. Aim to burn at least 500-1000 calories per day by eating less, exercising more, or both.
3. Set short-term goals- People that go on diets get discouraged if they don't see their losing the weight quickly. So you must set milestones or short-term goals. Instead of focusing on the 25 lbs. you want to lose, go for and celebrate the 1-2 lbs. per week that you need to lose to accomplish your final goal.
4. Track your progress- This is a must to not only keep on track but to celebrate each of your milestones as well. Record all of your successes in a method that works for you. For example; a journal, excel spreadsheet, etc. Whatever keeps you on track of your progress.
5. Think about your long-term goals- It's okay to think big, but it may mean starting small and working your way towards the big goal. The big goal by the way should be to change the way you think of food and stay eating healthy with exercise! If your long-term goal is to lose 50 lbs. in a year maybe your short-term goal is getting through the day without overeating. Find the triggers that make you want to eat as well is a good way to change your habits to a healthier way of living.

In conclusion, there is an old saying and it's true "lose it slowly, keep it off". This saying makes sense if you think about it because losing slowly will give your body and mind time to adapt to new behaviors, like eating healthy & less plus exercising more. When you focus on the process of changing your habits not just on losing weight, those new and healthier habits will be the big boost you need in helping you meet your weight loss goals.


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