Why is goal setting important? It can keep you motivated, make weight loss progress measurable, and give you direction when you are trying to lose weight. However, unrealistic dieting goals can have the opposite effect. Impractical weight loss goals may make you work harder in the beginning, but when it seems unreachable, you will be more likely to give into temptation and shy away from future weight loss attempts. Here are a few tips on how to set accessible, reasonable goals to make your weight loss diet easier, rather than setting you up for failure. Here are three tips to help you on your path to a healthy lifestyle:
- Set short term and long term goals. Having a goal you can reach sooner rather than later keeps things interesting and gives a sense of accomplishment. They should be measurable
and reachable in about a month’s time. This goal might be a certain clothing size or a number on the scale. Let your long term goals be less specific and more abstract. For example, a positive feeling, body image or a weight loss goal would help keep you on track and give you motivation to set short term goals in accordance. Just remember to take it one step at a time!
- Track your progress in a way that works for you. Keep a journal or use an online resource. Focusing on how much improvement you have already will help you continue to reach for the stars and set realistic goals in the future. Even if you hit a rough patch, it won’t take away all of the improvement you have already make. Documentation of your weight loss is a good way to remind yourself of how good your success feels.
- Realize that it is unrealistic to lose a lot of weight all of a sudden. Here at Camp Shane weight loss camp for children, your child might lose 5 pounds a week, but that is because they are in a controlled environment with a controlled diet. In the real world, it is only healthy to lose about 1-2 pounds a week. Do the math, and only set your goals along with that. It is ok to set your goal a little bit high to give you something to work harder for, but don’t expect to lose twice as much as you should.
Don’t let motivation get you down! Keep these things in mind when setting weight loss goals and you will be sure to make it a healthy one.
Written by Amanda Yazbek, Nutritionist at Camp Shane weight loss camp for children and teens