Goal Setting For Weight Loss Motivation
So You Want To Lose Weight?
Before you do anything, you must know what you want so you can figure out how you're going to reach your weight loss goals.
Let’s look at goal setting for weight loss motivation! Believe it or not setting weight loss goals doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Actually you’re goals should be inspiring and motivating! After all, losing motivation is the reason many of us never reach our goals.
In this post we’ll discuss how to make realistic goals, and how those goals will keep you focused and motivated on your weight loss journey.
There are two goals you need to set for lasting motivation.
An ultimate goal, and smaller incremental goals.
Using two different weight goals will keep you motivated while your losing weight because you’ll shift your focus from an overwhelming number of pounds to lose, to smaller more achievable goals. Weight goals are really just a guide. Your goals can, and should be changed as you go along. The goals you’re setting now shouldn’t be set in stone, because things change. This is especially true if you have a lot of weight to lose!
How To Set Healthy Weight Loss Goals That Work.
You’ll need to start with the basics to get an idea of how long your journey will take and how you’re going to reach your goals.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Where are you now? This might be measured in actual body weight, body measurements or clothing size.
Where do you want to be? At what weight do you think you’ll feel your best? At what dress size will you feel comfortable?
Is your goal realistic and achievable? I remember before I lost weight, I showed a friend a picture of a girl from a magazine and said I wanted to look like that picture. My friend quickly pointed out my goal would never happen! The picture was a girl who was tanned, skinny, had never been overweight, didn’t have freckles etc etc. It was then, I realised no matter how hard I tried I would never reach that goal. It was totally unrealistic! Here’s the thing, I have a body type which naturally carries more muscle and fat. I don’t have long lean limbs which are designed to be skinny. So unless I’m willing to starve myself forever, that goal isn’t going to happen. I had to radically change my end goal if I was ever going to be happy in my skin. Being happy is the real goal right? If you’re trying to achieve someone else body, you’ll never be happy in your body! Read this article later to see how loving yourself can help you lose weight.
How are you going to measure your progress? Will you use a tape measure once a month? Will you weigh yourself each week? Will you use your clothes to measure progress over time? Will you take progress photos?
What changes will you need to make to reach your weight loss goals? Finally you need a realistic and healthy weight loss plan which fits into your lifestyle easily. You could decide that plan is weight watchers, or a general low carb diet, maybe you want to count calories, perhaps you just want to cut out junk foods? Perhaps you’ll focus on exercise rather than food? There are so many ways to lose weight, the possibilities are endless. I did a post on How to Successfully Choose a Weight Loss Menu Plan which you might be interested in.
A Word On Fast Weight Loss.
I know, everyone wants to lose as much weight as possible, as fast as possible. I get it, however, it just doesn't work for long term weight management.
The faster you lose weight, the faster you're likely to gain it back, because your body needs time to adjust. Your body works hard to keep your cells and organs in a stable environment so everything can function properly. This is called homeostasis. Just think for a moment about all the enzymes, and chemical reactions going on inside every cell in your body. It’s an enormous task! Your body needs to make a million tiny changes in metabolism while you burn off body fat. These changes in metabolic rate are happening every single second of the day. You’ll need to allow your body time to adjust to your diet and new exercise activities. You don't want to put your body under more stress, because stress will increase hormones like cortisol, which inhibit fat burning!
If your losing weight very quickly, you're likely not eating enough, which isn't sustainable for the long term. Not only will you end up being a cranky scary H-angry person, but you’ll also become nutrient deficient. Your cells need micronutrients in order to burn body fat. Therefore, it’s healthy to take your time, focus on lasting changes in your metabolism and give your cells what they need to function. A solid healthy eating program.
Apart from all this, you want to enjoy the process, which means you'll need to follow a weight loss program which allows you to eat meals you love. A plan which gives you enough energy (calories) to enjoy your daily life so you’re not feeling tired. I did a video on launching your weight loss which might give you some more ideas for how to design a long term weight loss plan.
Goal Setting For Weight Loss Motivation.
If you’re setting goals for lasting weight loss, those goals need to be achievable and sustainable. You’ll want achievable goals because if you continue to miss your goals you’ll lose motivation very quickly. Seeing progress each time you measure yourself will boost those happy hormones! No progress will deplete you, and send you straight to the pantry!
In order to achieve real progress over time a shift in perception before setting weight loss goals in a must. Remember this:
The weight will come off. It will take as long as it takes. All you have to focus on, is one day at a time. Think about the big picture. It’s all about small daily action, and that means baby steps.
Setting Your Ultimate Goal First.
Your overall goal is what you hope to achieve as a final result. You can use weight or dress size, or you can use both. Now remember, you can change this goal as you go along. There’s no need to set a massive goal if it feels overwhelming to you. You can break it up into two or three seperate goals if you like. Focus on being realistic, and make you're goal absolutely achievable for your body.
Ignore The Hight Weight Chart.
Instead focus on where you think you'll feel healthy, energetic, and look your best. Often this can be heavier than what the charts say you should be, and that’s fine. Your an individual, your not a number. The reason I suggest this, is because those numbers on the charts, only relate to a very small percentage of the population. When I was doing my degree in nutrition, one of my teachers gave us a lecture about the numbers in the textbook, and according to her, they only apply to 5% of the population. I've seen this time and time again with clients as well. So for that reason I've never used the textbook as a guide. If your body carries more muscle, you'll naturally weigh more, while looking smaller. If you have a bigger bone structure, on the scale you'll probably appear heavier, but not necessarily carry an unhealthy amount of body fat. You need to allow for these variables when deciding on your goal. If your not sure, you can take a guess now, and change it later. Your weight loss goal is not about putting pressure on yourself, it’s just a guiding light. If you never reach this goal, that’s ok. Your true goal is to feel healthy, energetic and happy in your skin.
Setting Incremental Goals.
An incremental goal is a small goal which you’ll focus on reaching in the short term.
These smaller goals will be your weekly or fortnightly goals. Just as with your ultimate goal, you must be realistic. A good aim is one or two pounds a week or a half to one kilo per week.
The more body fat you have to lose, the faster your weight will drop in the beginning. And your weight loss will slow down as you progress. If you have a lot of weight to lose, I suggest you still only aim for two pounds a week, and count any extra weight you lose as a bonus…
Using The Scale Successfully To Measure Progress.
Short term goals are more important than your ultimate weight loss goal because it keeps you in the moment. In order to reach your ultimate goals, your focus has to be on today!
Let me give you a quick scenario, lets say you have a project deadline at work, and your deadline is two months away. Most of us don't worry about it until it starts looming closer right? Most of us procrastinate, and if you’re thinking only about your overall goal, but nothing in the immediate future, there’s no sense of urgency to make you follow through with action today. We want to set up a new perspective in your mind which keeps your focus on right now, today, in this moment. If you have it in your mind, that Sunday morning your going to weigh yourself, and it’s now Friday, the chances of you falling off the wagon over the weekend are much less. Making a goal for a very short period of time, keeps your head in the game, especially if you've set realistic goals, which you know you'll reach if you follow your plan.
The other reason I use immediate goals is because after you've reached your weekly goals a few times in a row, you start to build up confidence in the fact that you're making progress. This keeps you even more motivated. This feeling of accomplishment propels you forward to keep going no matter what you might be faced with along the way. Seeing your own progress will infuse excitement into your weight loss journey.
The Magic Of Weekly Weight Loss Goals.
People who don’t set weekly goals, usually fall off their program more easily. These small goals are all about consistent progress. It’s about small little wins all the way to your success.
The more little wins you have along the way, the more likely you are to reach your ultimate goal.
In order to reach your happiest size, you must have consistent progress.
There is one more reason I believe in weighing once a week. If you've hit a weight loss plateau, its much easier to navigate. If you don't weigh yourself often, you don't know how long you've been in a weight plateau, and you won’t be able to experiment with any accuracy. However, if you're keeping a record of your weekly progress, you’ll know exactly how long the plateau has lasted, you'll know if its just water weight with monthly cycles, or if its because you've changed your eating and exercise plan.
Please don't let the scale determine your moods. It’s just a number. It’s a reflection of many different things. Your body weight is a measurement water, muscle, gut contents, hormonal fluctuations, and much more.
Even though many people don't like weighing each week, the upside far outweighs the downside.
Weighing yourself once a week, will give you a lot of information about what’s happening in your body. When we break it all down, the only downside to weighing ourselves is our emotional response to the number on the scale. Take the emotion out of weighing! Pretend your a scientist and use the information to your advantage.
Set a Routine To Get Feedback.
Set up a routine so you can get feedback on your progress. This includes your weekly weigh in, taking body measurements and progress photos.
Pick one day of the week to weigh yourself. Choose a day that’s easy for your lifestyle.
You’ll need to weight yourself in the same spot and on the same scales each time. Sunday or Monday morning is a good time, because it will keep you on track over the weekend while you’re out socialising.
Taking body measurements should be done once a month. This gives your body time to respond. The best way to see progress over a longer period of time in by take progress pictures! Take some photos once a month in the same place and if possible in the same clothes. After a couple of months you’ll be able to see huge progress. There is nothing more motivating than watching your body change in photos!
Weighing More Than Once A Week.
Don’t weight yourself more than once a week! Becoming obsessed with the scale is dangerous. The bathroom scale is a tool to guide you, and nothing more. We want to move away from food obsession and diet obsession, and at the same time, we need something to measure progress.
Remember the scale is just a tool to see how your body is responding to your weight loss program. If you're weighing yourself all the time, you’re not going to get accurate measurements because your weight will fluctuate so much from day to day. Scale obsession keeps you stuck! Getting your weekly weight is all about determining if and when your program needs an overhaul, and to keep you focused on reaching your incremental goals.