Setting realistic goals for weight-loss

When we make the decision to lose weight, we usually have a goal in mind for what we would like to achieve. It doesn’t have to be specific weight target though, it could be aiming to fit into an item of clothing, for instance. But whatever that goal is, we need to be realistic about achieving it in a given time-frame.

It’s very common to want to lose weight to look good for a wedding, or a beach holiday. These are good goals, but they need to be achievable. There’s no point saying I’ve got a wedding in a month and I need to lose a a stone (6kg). That’s not achievable. That’s a three-month goal, not a four-week goal.

We only advise you to aim for a 1lb (0.45kg) loss per week. The reason for this is that it requires a 500 calorie deficit, per day. This is achievable for the vast majority of people. Trying to lose more than a 1lb a week is extremely hard, as you will usually find yourself hungry all the time, with fading will-power. That said, if you have a lot of weight to lose, you may find that for the first few weeks, the weight comes off a lot faster, before settling down to the target of 1lb a week.

Going back to that one-stone (6kg) loss, three months might seem like a long time and you might feel frustrated with the slow progress, but just think about it this way: You probably didn’t put that weight on in the last three months. It may have taken a year, or even longer. Think about weight gain as climbing a mountain. It takes a long time to climb that mountain (putting the weight on) and while you can try and run back down the other side, you’re probably going to stumble and fall! Coming back down needs to be slow and steady, so we get to our goal.

Whatever goal you set yourself it needs to be S.M.A.R.T

Specific – Lose weight or fit into those jeans
Measurable – Pounds, kg, cms, inchs, etc.
Agreed – Either with yourself, or us, a friend or family member
Realistic – Aim for 1lb a week (0.45kg)
Time – How long will it take you to reach this goal?

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