Don’t Shake Your Head! Setting Weight Loss Goals Really Works!

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Setting weight loss goals can have a huge impact on your ability to reach your target weight. You have seen the contestants do this on The Biggest Loser, and while not recommending rapid weight loss, you can learn from their positive weight loss goals. Setting goals is a number one motivator.

Weight loss is not about how much time you spend in the gym sweating with the Amazon-type woman with the perfect body and hair. You know her – the one who is extremely fit and can swing those weights with man or woman. In fact, you can avoid this scene all together if you don’t like gyms. Losing weight is a combination of exercise, proper diet, setting realistic goals, motivation, and positive self-esteem. The way you feel inside can impact the way you look outside.

Overweight Vs. Obesity

Are you overweight or obese? Many of you ladies may have been told by a doctor that you are carrying too many pounds. You are not alone.  Over two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese while one-third are obese according to the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey of 2007-2008. (Overweight and Obesity Statistics, 2011)1

Overweight is defined as the excessive amount of body weight that may come from adipose or fat tissue and water. This is generally measured with a BMI between 25-30. Obesity refers the excessive amount of adipose, (fat), tissue on a person’s body with a BMI >30.2

If you suffer from obesity or are overweight you most likely have a negative balance of calories taken in, in relation to calories expended. Your body gets energy from calories which come from the food you eat. Your body’s weight is determined by the food you eat minus the calories you expend or that your body burns through exercise on a daily basis. As you begin to burn more calories you will tip the scale in your favor. But, do not forget, there are major behavioral, genetic, environmental, and other factors that also affect your weight problems.

Why Should I Learn About Setting Weight Loss Goals

It is more important than ever to learn about setting weight loss goals. More and more is becoming known about the risk factors for overweight and obese teens and women. Let’s look at a few of the risk factors you face if you do not take the reins and get control of your weight now3:

  • ·Type-2 diabetes
  • ·Coronary heart disease
  • ·High levels of bad cholesterol (LDL)
  • ·Stroke
  • ·Hypertension
  • ·Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • ·Gallbladder disease
  • ·Osteoarthritis
  • ·Sleep apnea
  • ·Breathing problems
  • ·Several forms of cancer including breast, colorectal
  • ·Pregnancy complications
  • ·Menstrual discomforts and problems

Setting Weight Loss Goals

Your first move to a new and better “you” is to set real and reachable goals. This involves assessing your lifestyle and reminding yourself why I should not look like the anorexic celebrities on magazine covers.

You may be surprised at the amount of weight you need to lose. Some of you will need to lose less than you originally planned to improve your health. The object of losing weight is to prolong and improve the quality of your life, not force your body into a starvation mode to be that anorexic “celebutant”. A celebutant is a mixture of celebrity and debutant who tends to look perfect according to (often misguided) cultural standards.

Your goals must cover two separate areas: diet and physical activity.4  You also need to add an objective or goal for self-esteem. Purchase an inexpensive notebook and divide it into two or three sections, one for each of your goals. Throughout your weight loss program you can keep track of your progress in the journal. Writing your goals down is very important. Simply keeping your goals in your head is not the same and will not be as effective. It may seem difficult at first to take on one more task in your already busy schedule but keep in mind – anything can become a habit in 21 days plus you are giving up all that down time and will now have more energy!

Each goal should be short and sweet. Goals must be reachable. You can set long-term goals that you hope to reach by the end of the program, but break these goals into weekly goals that are easily met. This will help boost your self-esteem as you reach each goal.

Your goals will be effective if they are specific, realistic, and forgiving – less than perfect. Who among us does not make mistakes? Allow yourself the option to fail, wipe it off, and get back up and on track. For example, if you are at a restaurant one evening and can’t ignore the tempting dessert menu don’t beat yourself up and feel like a failure. This is when many people stop their weight loss program completely.

Instead, be strong. Admit that you made a mistake. Then jump right back on the diet wagon. Make sure to mark this event in your journal. It is a major event in your weight loss program, a hurdle you have now overcome.

Many women ask about setting specific goals. How specific should a goal be in order to be effective? ‘Get more exercise’ is a great goal for all of us; however it does not tell you what kind of exercise to give you any other information.

‘Jog 3 miles on a treadmill’ is a very specific goal. Unfortunately, if you are just beginning your weight loss program this goal will not be attainable. It may even cause you to back off of your plan altogether.

‘Walk ½ mile every morning and every evening’ is a goal you can reach. It is ambitious, and you may want to start with a goal of only a morning or an evening walk. The point is that this goal sets out exactly what you need to know to accomplish it by the end of the week. For weight loss, setting a goal of losing 1-2 pounds per week is reasonable and healthy. Trying to lose 5-10 pounds per week is unrealistic and can be dangerous if attempted.

Setting weight loss goals is a prime part of your total weight loss program. As you reach your goals you see the pounds coming off and you will feel your self-esteem rising. Keeping track of these goals will help you stay on your plan as you go from overweight or obese to your target weight.


1 Overweight and Obesity Statistics. (2011, July). Retrieved from Weight Control Information Network: win.niddk.nih.gov/statistics/index.htm#what

Overweight and Obesity Statistics. (2011, July). Retrieved from Weight Control Information Network: win.niddk.nih.gov/statistics/index.htm#what

3 The Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity. (2011, August). Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/effects/index.html

4 Moving Forward. (n.d.). Retrieved from Aim for a Healthy Weight : www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/aim_hwt.pdf


The content provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Our content is not medical advice and you should seek a licensed physician or health professional regarding all health issues. WEIGHTLOSS.US takes no responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, or application of medication which results from reading this site.