Weight Loss Goal Setting That Works

Weight Loss Goal Setting That Works

One of the first and biggest steps to successful weight loss is understanding where you currently are in relation to your “Goal Body”, and also knowing what a realistic goal for you looks like. So many people begin the weight loss process focusing in on nutrition or workouts, but the initial focus should always be on your mindset. As you probably know, your mind controls what actions you will take. If you have an unrealistic or faulty path in your mind to start with, chances are you going to be headed down the wrong road from the very conception of your weight loss program. The first step to getting your mind in the right place is to discover your “why”. If you know exactly why you want to change and the benefits that you’re going to obtain from this lifestyle change, you can set a solid foundation for the months of change to come. After you have discovered your “why”, it is important to set SMART goals.  SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.


You have a much greater chance of accomplishing your goal if you make it specific and write it down. Some questions you might ask yourself as you formulate your goal is exactly how much weight you are going to lose, what body fat percentage you will be at when you hit your goal, and what clothes size you will be wearing.  During this step of your goal setting you also want to fully understand the specific reasons you want to attain this goal. Don’t be too general! Too general goals would be examples like:“I want to be in better shape”“I want to work out more”“I want to lose weight”


How are you going to know if you are making progress if you aren’t able to measure the results you’re getting along the way? You can’t. Make sure that your goal includes how much weight you are going to lose and make sure you know what your current weight is as you begin. Even though it may be hard to look at your numbers, it will be well worth it in the end and along the way because you’ll be motivated by the small drops and chunks of progress you are making.


When you start to figure out what goals you want to reach, is important to make sure that the specific goals are attainable. For the most part, any goal you set for yourself is attainable if you are willing to put in the work. Layout your ultimate goal for weight loss and then break it up into several components and benchmarks. This will help you to understand the long-term process but also give yourself more motivation to attain these goals in smaller, digestible chunks.


If you weigh 200 pounds and want to get down to 160 pounds in two weeks, I would imagine that this is a very unrealistic goal for you. A realistic weight loss is anywhere from 1 to 5 pounds per week depending on your starting point and your activity level throughout the week.  This 1-5 pounds should be fat weight, not just weight on the scale.  The more obese, can drop a lot more weight than someone who just needs to lose 10 pounds to get to their ideal body weight. I know that 1 pound doesn’t sound like a lot, but have you ever seen what 1 pound of body fat actually looks like? Every pound of body fat holds 3,500 cal of energy.

Time Bound

smartA goal really isn’t a goal unless you set a deadline to achieve it.  You will always be more successful if you give yourself a deadline to achieve both your long-term and your short-term goals. This sounds like an obvious goal setting strategy, but many people are afraid to give themselves a time frame because they are afraid they will not achieve the goal and feel disappointed in themselves. You must get over this fear. There may be times that you do not accomplish your goals in your desired time frame, but you’ll always be closer to them than you would have been if you gave yourself an unlimited amount of time to achieve them.

Yes, it can be a bit scary set goals because no one likes to feel like they have failed if they don’t reach them. Expect to make small adjustments and changes to your goals along the way as you either progress quicker or slower than you thought you would. It is totally okay to make these adjustments. It is 100% proven that you are more likely to see big weight-loss drops if you set S.M.A.R.T goals for yourself.  So, get out a piece of paper and write down your goals starting right now!

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