Think Ahead! Tips for Setting Your Weight Loss Goals
Without the right planning in place, you might feel a bit like a hamster in a wheel when you think about reaching your goals. This is a common complaint among those who turn to Dr. Waller and her medical weight loss team for support. You know you want to lose weight so you eat right and attempt to exercise as often as you can, but somehow you always end up right where you left off. Instead of working towards a goal, you are stuck in a perpetual loop of weight loss and regain.
Planning For Success: Creating SMART Goals
It is hard to say where goals come from. Some people carry lofty goals that others bestowed on them, while others prefer not setting goals at all to avoid feeling defeated if they don’t work out. To figure out your goals, you need to sit down and think long and hard about what you want.
When it comes to setting your medical weight loss goals, here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
- When was the last time I felt healthy? What size clothing did I wear then, or how much did I weigh?
- What are my biggest concerns about my weight? Is it my appearance, my health or being a role model for my children?
- What habits have I developed that have led me to lose weight, and how can I begin to change them?
As you contemplate these questions, write down the answers you come up with. This type of personal insight can help you craft healthy weight loss goals. The answers to these types of questions can be valuable when you begin working with your weight loss doctor, as they help you create your big picture and decide what goals you are going to strive for.
Once you have a larger idea of what you want to accomplish, it is time to break those lofty ideas down into bite size goals. To do this, you can use a common mnemonic device.
SMART goals are: Significant, Meaningful, Action-Oriented, Rewarding and Trackable
Here are a few more tips to consider when creating your goals:
- Be brief. Your weight loss goals shouldn’t be in essay format. You might have 10,000 words as to why and how you plan on losing weight, but the goal itself should be bite-sized and easy for you to remember.
- Be positive. When you create your goal statement, be as positive as possible. Instead of saying you “won’t mess up this medical weight loss plan” say you will “successfully follow this medical weight loss plan.”
- Be realistic. If you want to lose weight for an event, then start early. Otherwise, be happy that you are in the process of losing weight as events approach, and feel good about the progress you are making. When you feel good, you look good, so focus on your health and don’t rush the weight loss process.
- Be specific. Generic goals are rarely useful. Deciding to “lose weight” isn’t enough. Work with Dr. Waller to create meaningful and specific goals that are right for you.
Creating a healthy weight loss goal is the first step of your medical weight loss program. Once you set your goals, it is time to announce them to the world so we can help each other stay accountable.