It is the most crucial talk when you wish to lose weight. This is difficult because the success of your weight loss program depends upon how you have planned your goal. How much do you need to lose? This question is hard to answer and often based on your individual goals. If you’re losing weight for health, your goal might be more modest, say 5-10% of your current weight. But what if you have something more specific in mind like a certain clothing-size you want to fit into? How do you set a reasonable goal for yourself?
The key to setting weight loss goals is to follow the standard of goal setting. It needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and tangible. Your first step is determining if you really need to lose weight.
Set Your Goals
When you are determined to lose weight, your next step is to set a reasonable weight loss goal for yourself. You can base your goals on any number of factors, but a great place to start would be the general recommendations set out by the American College of Sports Medicine which are 5-10% of body weight or one to two pounds per week. However, you can also use these calculators to set your goals:
- Ideal Body Weight Calculator
- How to Assess your Ideal Body Weight
- Height – Weight Chart
- BMI Calculator
Keep in mind that these calculations offer an approximate estimate. There are a number of factors that affect weight, so it’s best to take the results you get with a grain of salt. For example, BMI is affected by how much muscle you have…if you have more muscle, your weight might actually be higher than what is considered healthy on the BMI chart, even though you have a healthy body fat percentage.
Make a Plan
You have to determine your weight loss goals and should record that goal and then make a plan to reach it. Look at your goal objectively: is it specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and tangible? For example, assume a person is 5’7″ tall and weigh 160 pounds. According to the calculators above, the person’s BMI is 25.1, which falls under the ‘overweight’ category. If he loses just 10 pounds, his BMI will be at a healthier 23.5.
Now the goal setting part. To lose 10 pounds in 12 weeks, you’ll need to cut the calories each day by 300-500 through both diet and exercise. To reach your goals break down your goal into specific steps. It will help you to focus on your daily tasks. Just remember to adjust your goal whenever you need to. If you find you’re not losing weight as quickly as you thought which is quite normal, change your goal weight or the length of time to reach it. Remember, your goal needs to be attainable, so be willing to set new goals if the old ones aren’t working for you. Be smart and plan your goals!