3 Tips For Setting a Weight Loss Goal

Setting a weight loss goal is a good thing, of course. Writing it down is better. And there's even more you can do to help solidify your resolve to achieve it.

I'd like to make a distinction here about a weight loss goal. Women seem to get very attached to a number when it comes to weight loss. "I want to weight 130 pounds, therefore I need to lose 20 pounds." That's that. End of story. I don't like it. For example, I currently have some fitness goals myself and I've not stepped on a scale in many months. I just don't care about that. What I do care about is when I sit down at the computer and I can feel this tiny little bulge over my waistline, the "hangover", as one of our local plastic surgeons calls it. And that has nothing to do with weight, because I'm a tiny person and my arms and legs are great (if I do say so myself!) but I've got this tiny bit of blubber round the waist. Probably would not even equate to a pound of fat. Well, yeah, maybe one. I don't need a scale and I don't need a number to know if I'm accomplishing what I set out to do.

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It's not that I'm trying to be different or difficult about this. It's just that women can put themselves on this enormous emotional rollercoaster by weighing themselves frequently. I don't agree with that. Why are you going to discourage yourself for not losing anything from Monday to Friday? You'll feel all bad and then the next week it will all work out. Or what's worse is when you get fed up and you downward spiral right off the path to weight loss.

So while I do recommend setting a goal, I like measurements as a much better way to judge progress. Especially if you are exercising and building muscles (and you should be), this is a much more accurate read of your progress than the scale. How your clothes are fitting is an even simpler way to assess your situation.

And most importantly, however you decide to frame your weight loss goal, please remember to be realistic. If you are going about all this as a healthy lifestyle makeover, which as you know I wholeheartedly support, I want you to expect an average loss of 7 lbs per month. Some months more, some less. I know it may not sound like much. It really is and what's more, this is weight you will be keeping off. You aren't returning to the old ways. You're making a new healthy life with more energy, more confidence, and, dare I say, possibly more sex, too.

Therefore, if you are deadset on using an actual number of pounds as your weight loss goal, here's the formula to set a date of achievement. How many pounds you want to lose, let's say 35. Divide by 7. Put your calculator away, the answer is five. So, I would set the date for six months from now. You know how fast six months can fly by. Just think what size you could be wearing if you embarked on this journey today.

To sum up, the rules for setting a weight loss goal are:

1: Use inches or sizes as guides rather than weight

2: Be realistic about a timeframe. Maybe 2 pounds a week, max. (because even though I say "Use measurements instead of pounds", I know most of you won't. Realistic expectations, folks!

3: Make sure you write it all down, including how you will reward yourself and how you will feel. Getting into the feeling of already achieving your goal is HUGE.

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