When embarking on a weight loss program, it is important to set realistic and time-sensitive weight loss goals. Here are some expert tips on setting weight loss goals which you can actually meet, to prevent swift weight regain.

How to Set Weight Loss Goals

Weight loss goals should be:

  • Specific - For effective weight loss, you need to set yourself specific weight loss goals, such as lowering your body fat by 10 percent, losing 50 pounds or reaching a size 6.

  • Realistic - If you lose more than about 1.5 pounds a week, you’re most likely subjecting yourself to muscle and water loss, which can take a toll on your health and may result in swift weight regain.

  • Time-sensitive - For effective weight loss, you need to set yourself strict deadlines, which will increase your motivation. Give yourself a year to drop 75 pounds or two months to lose 10 percent of your body fat and set yourself measurable monthly weight loss goals to monitor your progress.

    Weight Loss Plan

1. Take your time.

The most important thing to bear in mind when setting goals for weight loss is that effective weight loss takes time. Don't trust those advertisements for diet products which promise you will go from a “size 20 to a size 6” in no time. Even if you did, losing weight too fast puts a strain on the body and you might end up regaining them in no time. If you propose to lose 50 pounds, a more realistic weight loss goal would be 1.5 pounds a week, which means an overall timeframe of about 8 months. It may seem like an awfully long time, but slow and steady wins the race.

2. Reassess your weight loss goal regularly.

Your current weight and your set weight loss goal will influence the number of pounds you can lose each month. As a general rule, the lower your starting weight, the less ambitious your monthly weight loss goal should be. In addition, you should reassess your monthly weight loss goal every month based on the weight you have managed to reach and the number of pounds you still have to lose.

Losing Weight

3. Accept that everybody is different.

Finding a weight loss buddy can keep you motivated, but you should each set individual weight loss goals. If your friend's goal is to lose 25 pounds, while your goal is to lose 50 pounds, bear in mind that she will probably reach her goal first and that increasing your monthly weight loss goal to match your friend’s is not a good idea.

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