It's amazing to lose weight and achieve your goals, but for some, it only takes a few months for their weight to come right back. It can be frustrating, I know! Before you get started with your weight loss journey, be sure to ask yourself the questions below. It could make or break the likelihood of keeping the weight off.
What is your long-term goal?
Once you decide on your goal, whether that's lose weight (fat and muscle), lose fat, gain muscle, etc., set mini goals within your long-term goal. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Yes, SMART goals are always the way to go! (Thank you 6th grade for ingraining this into my head...)
Specific: What changes do you want to see in your body?
Measurable: What method of measurement are you going to use? Calipers? Measuring tape? The scale? (I personally don't recommend using the scale) How you feel (i.e., energy, attitude)?
Achievable: What actions are you going to take in order to attain your goal? This is where the mini goals come in.
Realistic: Is your goal and timeline realistic? (See next paragraph for further questioning).
Timely: When do you want to achieve your goal? In 3 months? In 6 months? In 1 year? Think about it! Be sure it's a realistic timeframe.
How much time are you allowing yourself?
You will not see changes overnight. Lifestyle changes take loads of time, hard work, and dedication. Set a realistic goal. Depending on how much weight you would like to lose, I would suggest aiming for 1.5-2 lbs per week. This is generally a sign of healthy weight loss. Losing any more weight than that per week should be monitored closely. Usually (not always), the leaner you are, the slower you will lose weight and the heavier you are, the quicker you will lose weight. Also, it can be difficult to hit the 1.5-2 lb range if you have steadily been losing weight and suddenly hit a plateau. But, if you've read my previous blogs, you know what a plateau means - switch things up!
How are you going to hold yourself accountable?
Are you participating in a X-week or X-month program? Are others, such as your friends, family, or spouse, participating with you? Will you hire a Fitness Coach? Will you hire a Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist? Having someone else push you is much more motivating than relying solely on yourself.
Are you ready to make a change?
Losing weight requires you to make several significant lifestyle changes. It means new foods and eating patterns, new pass-times, and new experiences. These adjustments demand commitment and will not be effective without it. Losing weight is more than showing a different number on the scale. It's creating a new lifestyle and a new perspective of your life. Are you ready for it?
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