Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | August 5, 2010

Lose Weight WITHOUT Dieting: Tip #4 – Set a Goal

Want to lose weight?  That’s great, but you probably already know that losing weight is easier said than done.  Want to increase your chances?  Set a goal.  In earlier posts, I described the goal-setting process relative to starting an exercise program (Setting Exercise Goals for Exercise: Part 1 and Part 2) and developing a training plan (Developing Your SMART Goals).  The SMART goal process I discussed in those posts will serve you well when it comes to setting weight loss goals.  SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound:

  1. Specific – Make sure your goals are precise and stated in performance terms.  For example, “I want to be 10 lbs. lighter 6 weeks from today”.  If you want to improve your body composition your goal can be “to reduce my body fat percentage to 20% in the next 6 months.”
  2. Measurable – A goal is measurable when it is easy to determine if it has been achieved.  For instance, it is simple to determine if you have achieved the aforementioned weight loss goal.  Either you will be 10 lbs. lighter 6 weeks from today or you will not.  The same can be said for the body composition goal.  Conversely, a goal to “lose weight and get into shape” is not measurable.
  3. Achievable – This is probably the most important element of the SMART goal process, especially for those trying to lose weight because so many of us have unrealistic expectations when it comes to weight loss.  For example, a goal to lose 20 lbs. in 4 weeks is NOT achievable (at least not in a healthful manner).   Not only can you hurt yourself physically, you are also setting yourself up for disappointment.  Make sure your weight-loss goals are realistic and achievable.  As a general rule of thumb, never try to lose more than 1 lb. per week and even that is on the high side.  A better goal is ½ lb. per week.  This may not seem like much, but you will be losing primarily fat mass as opposed to water and muscle mass, which is what you lose when you drop weight too quickly.  
  4. Relevant – This one is simple.  Your goals should be important to you as an individual.  Not to someone else.  Make sure your weight loss goals are important to you!
  5. Time-Bound – Make sure your goals have a specific time frame for completion. For example, both of the goals listed above have an end date.  Whatever your goals are, make sure you include a specific date for their completion.

NEXT POST – August 8, 2010

Cycle Log: Competition Phase Week 16


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