5 Tips for Setting Realistic Weight Loss Goals

Many people set unrealistic weight loss goals that are hard to reach, often leading to discouragement or giving up.
Woman stretching in the woods

Many people set unrealistic weight loss goals that are hard to reach, often leading to discouragement or giving up. Setting realistic and achievable weight loss goals can help you stay motivated.

Tips for Setting Realistic Weight Loss Goals

  1. Consult Your Health Care Team 

Before starting any weight loss program, talk to your physician to help plan for safe and healthy weight loss. Your health care provider will examine you for any underlying health conditions that may affect your weight loss. Weight loss varies by gender, age, body type, and genetics.

  1. Set a Realistic Goal 

Depending on your current weight, losing 5% to 10% of your body weight may be a realistic starting point. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you could set a goal of losing 10 to 20 pounds. Health benefits typically begin after achieving a 3 to 5% weight loss. As little as a 3 to 7% weight loss reduces the risk for type 2 diabetes.

Share your goal with friends and family members who will support you on your weight loss journey. Finding an accountability partner with whom you can share your goals and achievements will also help. Telling other people about your aim will help increase the chance of you achieving it.

  1. Be Realistic About Progress 

Measuring your progress through body measurements, body composition, and how your clothes fit may provide a better idea of progress than the numbers on the scale. Health care providers recommend losing 1 to 2 pounds weekly over rapid weight loss. People who have more weight to lose may require a longer time frame. A weight loss of 4 to 8 pounds per month for 24 to 48 pounds in 6 months is a realistic goal.

  1. Re-evaluate Your Goals 

Plan to re-evaluate and adjust your goals throughout your weight loss journey. Keeping goals realistic can keep your motivation high and prevent feelings of discouragement. 

  1. Celebrate Meeting Your Goals 

Plan rewards to celebrate meeting your goals. You can reward yourself for small achievements like buying a new pair of sneakers after losing your first 5 pounds, signing up for a new workout class when you lose 10 pounds, or purchasing a new outfit when you lose 15 pounds to celebrate meeting your weight loss goals.

The information we provide at welldoc.com is not medical advice, nor is it intended to replace a consultation with a medical professional. Please inform your physician of any changes you make to your diet or lifestyle and discuss these changes with them. If you have questions or concerns about any medical conditions you may have, please contact your physician.

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