30 July, 2013

Setting Healthy Goals to Lose Weight

How do you measure success when you lose weight? Is it a number? A pant size? A feeling? Success is dependent on your own expectations. Setting healthy goals at the onset of your weight loss program will have a direct effect on how you’ll interpret your own success. You want your goals to be challenging, but not so out of reach that they aren’t worth pursuing.

A great goal can become a guiding force as you lose weight. It becomes something for you to work towards and focus on as you encounter challenges and fight fatigue. A goal like this can be among your greatest assets following weight loss surgery, and you are the only one who can create it for yourself.

Crafting Great Goals

The first step to creating a great weight loss goal is determining what you want. Think long and hard about what it is you want to accomplish through weight loss surgery. Are you ready to improve your health? Do you want to feel able to move easier? Lose weight you’ve gained in recent years?

The best goals are personal ones. There are things in your life that will drive you to succeed, and this makes your goals different from anyone else’s. Once you know what you want, you can turn this desire and drive into a well-crafted weight loss goal.

The best goals are SMART. That means they are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Result-focused
  • Time-bound

When creating a weight loss goal, try your best not to let it be too vague. Simply saying you want to lose weight is a great start, but it isn’t enough. Talk to your weight loss surgeon and decide on a number. Then, set a date you hope to reach that number by. Make sure this number is attainable—setting it too high is only going to lead to discouragement as you set yourself up for failure. But setting it too low won’t motivate you to keep going, either.

Things like wanting to feel better, having more energy, moving around easier—these are all great goals to have, but they are difficult to measure and that can make it hard to know where you stand in the weight loss process. By creating a SMART goal you are giving yourself something to measure up against and an opportunity to track your progress as you take steps to improve your health.