When trying to lose weight, you likely have some type of goal in mind. Figuring out how much weight you want to lose is the first step on a new weight loss journey.
There are many different ways to come up with a long-term goal that’s both realistic and aspirational. Setting your sights on the future can help fuel the motivation needed to make healthy changes.
Here’s how to get started.
Set realistic goals
Set specific short-term goals to maintain motivation. If you’ve got a nebulous goal, then your efforts seem like an endless mission.
Also, do not set a specific weight goal tied to the scale. That’s because your weight is affected by lots of variables, including how much muscle you have, how much fluid you’re retaining and how depleted your carbohydrate stores are.
Set a sensible timeline
Losing half to one kg per week is a realistic expectation. You can lose a lot of scale weight fast with a crash diet. But that’s not fat loss, and it’s not permanent.
It’s also important to consider you may gain muscle while losing fat. It’s important to look at weight trends over time, and focus on comparing average weights over several months rather than across days or weeks.
Measure your progress continuously
Aside from scale weight, it’s important to have other ways to see if you’re getting closer to your goals. Don’t go off-scale weight so much as body fat percentage. If you don’t have access to a body fat scanner, using the fit of your clothes and taking tape measurements can be good fat-loss indicators.
Think beyond weight loss
Setting non-weight loss goals may also help speed your progress. People who have health-related goals tend to succeed faster than those who have aesthetic-related goals.
There are always exceptions, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good, but it’s easier to maintain motivation long term when your health is on the line.
That’s one of the reasons there should be multiple goals when trying to lose fat. If you’re only focused on the number on the scale, you’ll miss out on all the other benefits of exercise and healthy eating.
Additional weight loss goals to consider
- Improving sleep
- Improving posture
- Increasing strength
- Reducing blood pressure
- Building better confidence and self-esteem
Considering what you can maintain long term is also an important part of setting a realistic weight-loss goal. For most people, the notion of losing weight is daunting. It’s also largely something many of us have considered but not been able to sustain, for a variety of reasons.
Approaching weight loss from a more comprehensive perspective enables you to get in tune with the aspects that have contributed to weight gain in the first place.
Changing your diet will always be a great step in the right direction but to truly optimize well-being, attention needs to be given to other areas, too.