By Mayo Clinic Staff Hundreds of fad diets, weight-loss programs and outright scams promise quick and easy weight loss. However, the foundation of successful weight loss remains a healthy, calorie-controlled diet combined with increased physical activity. For successful, long-term weight loss, you must make permanent changes in your lifestyle and health habits. How do you make those permanent changes?
Is it because some number on a scale is really that important and meaningful in and of itself? What this means in concrete terms will be different for everyone. It may involve solving or preventing medical problems; living to see children and grandchildren grow up; having the ability to do activities that you enjoy or need to do ; or looking in a mirror or going out in public without feeling like some kind of escapee from a circus side show act.
But whatever your real goals might be, losing weight is just one thing that will help you achieve those goals. Maintaining your motivation for a long-term project like weight loss means clearly picturing the real reasons for all of your hard work.
If you make the mistake of getting the means confused with the ends, at least two major problems can develop: You may develop weight loss tunnel vision. Emotional eating, here you come. This involves the incorrect belief that you need to lose the weight first, before you can do anything else about reaching your actual goals.
This is a tragic mistake. Many people go back to their old ways at this point, regaining the lost weight. To avoid these problems and others, you need to prepare your Weight Loss Vision Statement right now! Writing Your Weight Loss Vision Statement A comprehensive and wide-ranging Vision Statement sets the stage for everything that follows in your weight loss efforts.
This Vision Statement can and should provide both inspiration and direction. Inspiration Your Vision Statement should tell you why you want to lose weight or get fit, and why the hard work and effort to accomplish your goal is worth it.
Your answers to these "why" questions can include some "general" elements feeling good about yourself, being around for your grandkids, being a good role model, having the career or relationship you really want, etcbut as much as possible, the big picture you paint here should have specific details.
You can generate this detail by asking yourself questions like: What do I want my life to look like in 1, 5 or 10 years? Explain what you want to be doing, the roles you want to take on, how you want to see yourself, etc. What would my ideal days look like? What personal values love, human connection, security, independence, comfort, variety, interest, excitement, contribution to society, family, career success, etc.
The questions are just tools you can use to get yourself thinking. It should also include your beliefs about why losing weight is crucial to meeting your "big picture" goals.
Direction Your Vision Statement should tell you what else besides your weight needs to change within yourself and your life to help you get from where you are now to where you want to be. For example, you could take the list of ranked values you created above and compare that to the values that appear to be guiding your life right now; you could compare your ideal day to your typical day now.
It is crucial NOT to get down on yourself over the way things are now. Make sure you are focusing on what you CAN do to change your life as you see fit.
Your Vision Statement should be in writing. Use your Vision Statement regularly to remind yourself why you are committed to your weight loss plans, especially on those hard days. For more ideas you can use to prepare your Vision Statement, see:Whether it was pounds or inches lost or how my clothing fit, setting a measurable goal was key to achieving it.
My measurable goal was 25 pounds at a healthy rate of a half-pound to a pound per week. I tracked my progress by writing down each half-pound lost, which broke down my goal into smaller ones. I saw little victories right off the bat.
Take a minute right now to rethink your weight loss goals, and remember you are in this journey for the long haul. Accept that healthy weight loss is slow and steady.
Your goal is to lose a pound. Wouldn't it be nice if you knew exactly what to do to lose weight successfully? What you need is a fitness tracker and a smart goal!
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym to remind you how to set a goal that maps out exactly what you need to do. These goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Research suggests that a % weight loss is attainable for most overweight people. A measurable, attainable goal could be, “I will lose 7% of my body weight.” Relevant. Weight-loss goals can mean the difference between success and failure.
Realistic, well-planned weight-loss goals keep you focused and motivated. They provide a plan for change as you transition to a healthier lifestyle.
But not all weight-loss goals are helpful. Unrealistic and overly aggressive weight-loss goals can undermine your efforts. 1. Write down one specific goal.
For example, “Lose 60 pounds in 12 months”. 2. Break down your goal into smaller chunks. If you want to lose 60 pounds in 12 months, how much on average will you need to lose in a month?
In a week? In this example, you’ll need to lose an average of pounds per week. 3. Set benchmarks for yourself.