When it comes to weight loss, there’s no such thing as quick and easy. The only way to lose weight – and keep it off – is by setting a specific goal and taking steps to achieve it.
Just like any other type of goal, weight loss goals need to be structured for success. This means setting a goal that’s specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. These types of goals are known as SMART goals.
Here are a few examples:
- Going for a 30-minute walk after work, three times a week
- Participating in a group exercise class, two times a week
- Eating five servings of vegetables, every day
- Losing 15 pounds in three months
You also need to set both long- and short-term goals:
- Long-term goals focus on the big picture and give you something bigger to work toward. These goals tend to be broader, and you may need to sit down every few weeks to assess your progress and see if your goal still makes sense.
- Short-term goals tend to be milestones within a long-term goal. They provide small successes and motivation as you work toward the bigger goal.
Goal setting gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation.
For example, a long-term goal may be to lose 15 pounds in three months. Because early weight loss is more common, you may want to set your first short-term goal higher. Short-term goals may include losing 7 pounds the first month, 4 pounds the second month and 4 pounds the third month.
While working toward a weight loss goal, it’s likely you’ll hit a plateau at some point. While frustrating, it’s important to not let negative thoughts take over. One way to make it through the plateau is to further break down your goal. Another strategy is to reach out to your support team for ideas. It’s also helpful to recommit to your goal. Maybe you’ve had a few bad days of eating but don’t let it discourage you. Instead, dust yourself off and get back on track the next day.
To help people achieve weight loss goals, Network Health provides health coaches to lead individuals to a healthier lifestyle. We also have a Facebook group open to anyone who is interested in learning ways to improve their health and wellness.
To learn more about setting and achieving weight loss goals, contact your health insurance provider.