How to set realistic weight loss goals

How to set realistic weight loss goals

27 February 2018

Eager though many of us might be to shift blubber, we can also be prone to overestimating the ease with which we could lose that weight. Women's Health mentions a 2014 study hinting that many women may need to shed almost 20% in body mass to reach what they deem a "happy" weight.

However, in setting your sights too high early on, you would be increasing your chances of stumbling and, ultimately, throwing in the towel out of frustration. Here's how to keep your goals attainable...

Consider your weight history

You might already have a particular size in mind - a size which you personally consider healthy. However, you might not actually have the genes to maintain that size comfortably.

Let's assume that you are currently thinking of aiming for a dress size 8. Do you have fit relatives who are consistently this size? If not, you should probably reassess your goals.

Fitbit nutritionist Tracy Morris wisely points out: "You don't need to look like a cover model to be healthy, especially if it means surviving on air to get there."

Set progressive, rather than perfect, goals

Once you have defined your ultimate goal with regards to your weight loss, you should remember that it is simply a final destination; you have many other stops to reach along the way.

Fitness guru and Instagram personality Massy Arias tells POPSUGAR that people starting out on a weight loss regime should "set progressive, sustainable goals that are attainable". She adds: "My thing is progress, not perfection."

Add healthy foods to your diet only gradually

It's worth taking a similar attitude when specifically aiming to overhaul your diet for weight loss success. Arias scotches the idea that years of unhealthy eating could be wholly reversed in one day.

She adds that, if you make increasing but subtle changes to your diet, "slowly, your body is going to adjust and start craving all these things that are good for you".

Keep your exercise goals short-term

If you initially feel like exercise is a chore, that might be because you are attempting to be overly rigorous with it too quickly. Arias advocates that "if you're starting with running, which most people start with, just start with jogging [instead]".

Through slowly scaling up your exercise efforts in this way, you can more easily see exercise positively rather than as a source of frustration as you struggle to meet ridiculously high goals.

Aim for a weight range rather than specific weight

Is there a specific number which you want to see on the scales? Swap that number for a favourable range spanning no more than five pounds.

Morris points out that your day-to-day weight will fluctuate anyway due to your body's changing water stores. For this reason, you should also remember to daily weigh yourself at the same time, ideally just after waking up. After getting ready for the day, you could then head out to one of our boot camps in London; they can help you ease into an exercise regime.