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Mar 6, 2011

Weight Loss Goals

Knowing the best type of weight loss goals to aim for is crucial in maintaining your motivation to reduce weight.

Working Towards Weight Loss Goals isn't just about losing weight

For example, "take regular exercise" is a great objective, but it's not specific enough. Better is "Walk four miles every day." Then again, this may not be realistic if you are unfit or if you can't gauge distance. In such cases "walk for 30 minutes every day" is more realistic. But if your work schedule or the weather is too erratic to permit a daily walk, be more forgiving and aim for "30 minutes of walking for 5 days a week". This is specific, realistic and allows you two days off.

Nothing Succeeds Like Success

Before you start a weight loss program, take a few body-measurements. Measure your bust, waist, hips, thighs and upper arms. Keep a note and re-check your measurements every couple of weeks. Being able to see improvements in body shape, as well as weight, can be a useful extra boost if weight loss slows.

Short-Term Incremental Goals are Best For Weight Loss

Olympic athletes are among the world's most motivated people. They typically measure their progress in incremental stages, rather than big leaps. Apply this principle to your weight reduction campaign.

Dieting Goals - You don't have to start a totally new calorie-plan overnight. You can start by eating (say) 2000 calories, then lower this by 100 calories a week until you reach (say) 1400 calories. Keeping a food journal, in which you record foods/drink consumed, is a great way to monitor (and be inspired by) progress.

Exercise Goals - Investing in a pedometer (step-counter) and counting steps is a great way to improve your fitness level, especially if you are very overweight. Aim to walk a certain number of steps per day, (eg. 8-10,000 steps) then increase this number gradually. If you are fitter, you might aim to use a treadmill for 30 minutes at (say) a speed of 5 mph, on an incline of 1 percent. Then increase the speed and incline gradually. Keeping an exercise journal is a great way to monitor (and be inspired by) progress.

Weight Loss Goals - Despite what you may think, losing 2 pounds of weight in one week is a significant achievement. Impatient or unrealistic dieters typically feel very deflated when they only lose 2 pounds, but these people are unlikely ever to achieve long term weight loss. The truth is, 2 pounds is a significant reduction, and should be your maximum weekly goal. For many people, 1.5 pounds is more realistic. Remember, the slower the weight loss, the less chance of weight regain.

The Best Rewards - Give yourself regular small rewards for achieving your diet, exercise and weight loss goals. Earning several small rewards is typically more motivating than earning one big reward which might require more effort.

Tips for Reaching Your Weight Loss Goals

Here are a few tips to help you lose those last few pounds. They may sound obvious, but you'd be amazed how many dieters fail to take these elementary steps.

Be Patient when working towards your weight loss goals

The key to losing those last stubborn pounds is to be patient! When you have very little weight to lose it is important to stick very closely to your diet in order get results. Think in terms of losing AT MOST 1-1.5 pound a week. This means following your diet and exercise program carefully for 7-10 weeks. If you do this, even the most stubborn final pounds of fat will disappear.

Boost Your Daily Exercise

If you take regular exercise, increase your workout by 10-15 minutes each day AND change your workout routine. Changing the type of exercise you do, or the duration, gives your metabolism an extra boost and helps to burn extra calories.

Eat Regularly

Eat little and often throughout the day. This helps to maintain your metabolic rate at maximum speed. Also, it keeps your blood-sugar level stable, which is helpful in reducing appetite build-up and food cravings. Some surveys show that eating "little and often" actually reduces appetite and calorie-intake.

Think Thin!

This may sound like psycho-babble, but it's not! Our beliefs really do affect how we behave. If you believe "I can never lose my final 10 pounds", chances are you won't. This is because we behave in a way that makes our belief a reality. However, if you think "Seven weeks from now my last 10 pounds are gonna be history" you will work to make that belief a reality.

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