New Year’s Resolutions: Setting Realistic Weight Loss Goals

Losing weight is already a challenging process, but even more so if you set unrealistic goals that are too difficult or even impossible to achieve. Setting realistic weight loss goals is key to increasing the chance that you will actually each your desired outcome. Below are some tips on setting achievable targets that will set you up for success in 2024!

It can also be hard to go through that weight loss journey alone. If you feel like you don’t know where to start or lack the proper accountability, we can help! Medically-supervised weight loss programs are great way to ensure more success with your goals. Read through some of these goal-setting tips below and then head over to our weight loss program page to learn more!

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Start With Small, Gradual Weight Loss Goals

Trying to lose too much weight too quickly often backfires. Drastic calorie restriction or overzealous exercise regimens are difficult to maintain over time. This is where a medically-supervised weight loss program can help too. Our dietitian will help guide you through a new nutritional plan. They’ll also help you adjust goals as your progress through the program and are some built-in accountability!

Similarly, add just 30 minutes of moderate activity like walking to your routine a few days per week before ramping up. Everyone is starting from a different place, so there’s no one change or goal that will apply to every journey. But at the end of the day, gradual changes are always easier to stick to.

Focus on Behavior Changes, Not Just Pounds

Rather than fixating on a specific number on the scale, shift your mindset to changing daily habits for the better. For example, pledge to eat more vegetables, walk daily, or sleep 7-8 hours per night. These small behavior modifications accumulate over time to impact your weight in a healthy way.

Set Shorter Timeline Goals

Much like setting small goals, look to set short-term ones as well. Shooting for a long-term weight loss objective several months or years down the line can feel daunting. Break it down into mini-goals on a weekly or monthly basis. For instance, focus on losing 4 pounds each month for the next 6 months rather than looking solely at the total 24-pound objective. Mini-goals provide more frequent milestones to celebrate progress.

Avoid Comparisons

Do not get discouraged by other people’s weight loss success. We all have different body types, metabolisms, lifestyles, and backgrounds that impact weight management. Comparing yourself is a recipe for reduced motivation. Stay focused on your personal journey and don’t judge progress based on others!

This is why a dietitian-guided weight loss program is more effective as well. You’re giving a completely individualized plan specific to your goals and lifestyle.

Use SMART Goal Framework

Applying the SMART goal framework can help keep weight loss targets realistic. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Being SMART with goals sets clear expectations. An example of one would be, instead of vaguely saying “I will eat healthier this year,”  instead say “I will eat healthier by having breakfast every morning and striving for whole food dinner meals at home 5 days a week.”

Account for Plateaus and Alter Goals as Needed

Weight loss is often not linear. You may hit plateaus or stalls along your journey despite consistent effort. This is normal and does not indicate failure. Have realistic expectations that progress will ebb and flow. Stick to your plan and be patient during plateaus. Eventually you will break through.

Also, check in regularly on your weight goals and timeline and adjust them as needed. If you set a goal to lose 20 pounds in 5 months but are only down 8 pounds halfway through, revise your expectations. There is no shame or harm in extending your timeline or reducing the total weight loss objective. Be flexible and listen to your body.

Focus on Non-Scale Victories

While specific pounds lost is often the metric for weight loss success, also embrace non-scale victories. How do you feel? Are clothes fitting better? Do you have more energy? Appreciate these small wins along the path too. Not just the number going down.

Make Weight Loss Goals Public

Tell close friends and family about your weight loss aims. Making goals public adds accountability and motivation. Loved ones can provide crucial support and encouragement when challenges arise to help you stick to the plan.

Enjoy the Process

Losing weight requires commitment and hard work, but don’t forget to also enjoy the process. Appreciate how your body feels energized from nutritious foods and daily activity. Find fun in trying new healthy recipes, workouts, and mindfulness practices. Focus on how your body feels, not just how it looks.

Celebrate All Wins

Losing just a half pound when you were striving for 2 pounds or not seeing a change on the scale for 2 weeks still calls for celebration! Recognize your diligent effort and consistency. Progress comes from the small daily choices to prioritize health. Acknowledge ALL your victories.

Setting realistic weight loss goals maximizes your chances of long-term success. Focus on gradual lifestyle changes, celebrate small wins, allow flexibility in your expectations, and enjoy the process. Consistency and compassion for yourself above all else will serve you well on your journey. You’ve got this!

Again, if you’re feeling lost on where to start with your weight loss journey then we’d love to help! Fill out our initial consultation form here to get started with the process today.

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