Ultimate Guide To Setting Achievable Weight Loss Goals

woman writing down weight loss goals

Last Updated on June 13, 2022 by Lori Geurin

Setting weight loss goals is an important part of achieving your ultimate aims. The trouble is, many people often dive into weight loss without proper planning. It’s important to design reasonable goals you can actually meet. Creating an effective weight loss strategy can help you meet your goals successfully.

So, while there are a million articles on losing weight, today we’re going to touch on something that’s even more important: setting achievable weight loss goals. This guide will cover everything you need to plan, set the right targets, and get your new weight loss routine off to the best possible start.

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Setting Achievable Weight Loss Goals 101

1. The Basics Of How To Set Weight Loss Goals

Let’s start with the best way to set goals. The first thing to understand is that you have to be realistic about what you are trying to do. For example, many medical professionals believe a rapid weight loss of more than two pounds a week as unsafe. So the most you should try to lose is about 1 to 2 pounds per week.

For instance, if you want to shift 25 lbs of weight, your ultimate aim could take you around a year. That’s a reasonable goal that’s achievable for most people.

Specific Goal Setting

It’s also important to be specific about what you are going to do. As an example, a lot of people start out by saying they’ll exercise three times a week. But what, exactly, does that involve? You’re better off going into detail, such as:

This allows you to make sure you have dedicated time slots that you can fit into your day and stick with.

Finally, don’t forget the importance of tracking your food intake. While there’s more to losing weight than ‘calories in versus calories burned’ it’s a great place to start. And instead of just saying ‘I’ll cut down on eating,’ again, it’s important to be specific.

I prefer tracking my macros and don’t worry much about calorie intake. I’ve used the MyFitnessPal app for at least 10 years now and love it for helping me stay on track with my health and fitness goals. It has a food diary that tracks macros, calories, nutrients, and minerals. You can record your workouts and even connect it to fitness devices, like your Fitbit or Apple Watch.

2. Stop Talking About Weight Loss!

The next point is an important one: Stop thinking about your weight loss as a temporary achievement. Start planning for how you’ll keep up your healthy lifestyle in the future.

Losing weight is one thing, and it’s great – but it’s actually a short-term concept. Once you achieve your ideal figure, how do you intend to keep those extra pounds from coming back? The truth is that successful weight loss isn’t about losing the pounds at all. Of course, it is an awesome benefit of making better lifestyle choices and forming different life goals.

But, if it isn’t workable to continue your plan after you hit your targets, you run the risk of regaining the weight you lost.

The bad habits you used to have might come back to haunt you. And without making those all-important changes, you could return to your former figure, attitude, and sedentary lifestyle that got you to that place, to begin with.

So, when you set your targets, always think about the long-term changes you’re making.

What’s more realistic long-term? Is it living on cabbage soup for the rest of your life, or being mindful of what you eat, and allowing yourself the occasional treat?

3. Learn The Ropes

Another big reason people fail to meet their weight loss goals comes down to a lack of information. While it might seem obvious to say unless you know what you are doing, success can be tough to achieve. And that goes for weight loss as well as anything else in your life.

Unless you’re willing to put in the effort – mentally as well as physically – it’s unlikely you’ll hit your targets and change your lifestyle for the better.

The good news is you can learn a lot online for absolutely nothing. Blogs like this one offer a wealth of information you can use to increase your knowledge about health and fitness. They’ll also teach you about some of the problems you might face on the path to a healthy lifestyle. Having the tools you need can help you be successful!

Also, even if you don’t have time to spend poring over every weight loss post from your favorite site, there’s still plenty of help available. You can learn from personal trainers, doctors, and nutritional experts, too.

Ultimately, you need to learn the ropes to have a basic understanding of why you’re doing specific workouts or eating particular foods. And once you realize what it’s all for, your ultimate goals will be all the more achievable.

Related: Paleo Diet Quick Guide: What To Eat & Avoid

4. Breaking Things Down

The next step is to work on the ins and outs of your new weight loss plan. Let’s be clear here – weight loss is a big project, and approaching it from the perspective of ’you must lose x amount of pounds’ may end in frustration.

Instead, you need to break that huge target into more achievable goals.

As with any other project in life or business, there will be milestones to plan, and risk factors to manage. It’s important to make yourself aware of these challenges.

To get started, try writing down what you want out of your lifestyle changes. Then break each of those goals into smaller chunks, including milestones. Also, include a few ideas of how you might reach the goals.

It’s also vital that those milestones are pretty easy to do in the early days. As you progress, you can set yourself more challenging targets.

5. The Importance Of Motivation

No matter how supercharged and excited you are about embarking on a weight loss plan, there will likely be difficulties along the way. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but it’s good to be prepared.

There will be days when your motivation deserts you, antipathy sets in, and you feel like giving up. It’s important to know where you can find help when the chips are down. You have two choices, here.

Internal And External Motivation

Internal Motivation

The first comes from within. Self-motivation is an essential part of breaking through your mental roadblocks. And a great way of keeping yourself on track is to remember why you’re doing this.

So, before you start your weight loss journey, get writing! Jot down all the reasons why you want to make changes. Write about how crucial it is to you – and your family.

Be frank, too. Outline how you’re feeling, and all your pain points, fears, and self-consciousness about your current situation. And finally, don’t forget to write down your dreams – where do you want to be in 6 months or 5 years from now?

The journal you create here should help you defeat discouragement and self-doubt.

External Motivation

The second source of motivation can come from others. Reading other people’s stories can be a great way to motivate yourself. You’ll find inspiration from other people’s successes, especially those that started off in worse condition than you.

But it’s also vital that you get support from family and friends, if possible. Before you get started, tell them you need their help – whether it’s to look after the kids for an hour every other day or just to come along with you for the occasional workout. Having the support of your loved ones can be surprisingly powerful – so try to involve them, if possible. 

And if you don’t live near family or friends, many gyms offer complimentary childcare while you work out.

6. Match Your Program With Your Lifestyle

Not all exercises work for everyone. You might hate the gym, for example, or dislike a particular type of food. Perhaps you have an injury from your youth that prevents you from going jogging. Or maybe you’re allergic to one of the foods on a particular diet plan. Obviously, if your weight loss plan includes these activities, it’s unlikely you’d stick with it and succeed.

So, make sure you consider your current lifestyle when setting your goals. There are alternative exercises out there for anyone, whether it’s using home DVDs, joining a local sports club. Or swimming instead of high-impact activities like running. 

It’s the same thing with nutrition and dieting. If you don’t like recommended food, find out why it’s important to eat. Understand the vitamins and nutrients it gives you. Then simply find another source of those same nutrients, to make sure your body gets what it needs.

As we discussed earlier, knowledge and research will be a powerful tool on your route to weight loss success, and this point underlines why.

setting weight loss goals that work

Summary – Weight Loss Goals

Setting your weight loss goals doesn’t have to be difficult. But it’s important to be intentional when tackling your plan. Making your goals specific and reasonable is crucial. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of losing weight and feeling healthier. But remember to look to the future and how your goals will help you sustain your weight loss long-term.

Keep in mind that when you have a large goal you want to achieve it’s best to break it down into realistic, smaller goals. Setting simple goals early on is a great way to celebrate success and start building motivation into your weight loss program.

Keeping a weight loss journal and involving your close friends and family in your journey are powerful motivators for your success. So don’t be afraid to reach out for support when you need it.

Make your plan fit your lifestyle and preferences to enable your ultimate success.

And there you have it – following these guidelines will lead to a successful and achievable weight loss plan. Good luck on your journey and please let me know if I can help answer questions or provide support to you in any way!

What tips do you have for setting achievable weight loss goals? What have you found that works for you?

Share your thoughts below – I love hearing from you!

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8 thoughts on “Ultimate Guide To Setting Achievable Weight Loss Goals”

  1. Thanks for the great tips! I find eating a healthy balance food helps with my weight loss without having to go on diet. Agree that setting realistic goal is important.

  2. These are really useful tips to getting a handle on weightless and making concrete steps to follow and goals to work towards. As with anything, having a solid plan and achievable milestones really contributes to the end results.

  3. This is great advice and I wish I’d had it when I lost 7 stone 8 years ago! I didn’t really have a plan and sometimes felt very wayward with where I was headed. I did eventually do it and I tried to keep things manageable starting with going for a walk and then working up to more exercise. Now I’m in a good plan of healthy eating and working out, but this would have helped me no end back in 2009!

    1. I converted stones to pounds because I’m not familiar with stones. So, you lost 98 pounds?! That’s awesome! It must have taken a lot of diligence and commitment on your part. Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

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