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What sort of weight loss goals should I set?

Losing weight is tough! There will be days when it feels like you are going backwards and you just want to give in to your cravings and eat that tub of ice cream. But if your weight loss goals are important enough to you then you will get there. They will help remind you why you started on this journey for the tough times ahead and will help keep you focused.

Choosing the right goals are really up to you. Probably most of them will be centered around your weight loss, such as achieving a target weight, reducing your BMI or body fat percentage. However, a big reason that a lot of diets fail is because people focus solely on the weight loss component so try to consider more than just losing weight.

Some other areas you might want to improve on are feeling more confident, drinking less, being more active, improving your mood, stopping food cravings, identifying allergies, sleeping better or reducing inflammation. So, write down a couple of goals you would like to achieve and why these goals are important to you.

And make sure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound) so for example instead of saying “I want to lose weight” try something like “I want to lose 7lbs this month”.

Some example goals

Non-SMART goals

SMART goals

Why this is important?

I want to lose weight

I want to lose 7 lbs in the next 2 months

I can barely fit into my work clothes - and I want to feel like it is not such a tight squeeze getting into my suit.

I want to get fitter

I want to be able to run 20 minutes by the end of the month

I will often feel faint after just 15 minutes of walking. I want to be able to walk for an hour without getting low blood sugar shakes.

I want to sleep better

I want to get 6 to 8 hours of good quality sleep a night.

I keep waking up at 3am feeling anxious about being overweight. I want to get better night sleeps on a regular basis.

Now, before you get going on your planning, start off by taking some pictures of yourself in front of the mirror and record your weight today. Whilst setting goals is really important you also want to see how far you have progressed. And having those starting numbers and pictures can be a great motivator to remind yourself why you are doing this as well as help you track your progress.

And finally, think about when you want to start this process. Whilst there is no time like the present you should choose a start date that fits around your lifestyle. You probably don’t want to start this just before you go on holiday or if you have a couple of tough weeks at work. So, choose a start date and go for it!

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