Why you need to be SMARTer with your weight loss goals!
Its nearly March, meaning for many we are almost 2 months into our new years resolution of losing a few kg!
For some that resolution might have already failed, for some who are truly committed and have remained consistent since Jan 1st, they should be starting to see the reward for their hard work!
So why do so many of us fail to reach our weight loss goals?
The answer is simple we fail to prepare, meaning we go into it half-arsed and without a solid plan.
Then when the going gets the tough, which weight loss is, the wheels fall off.
Most not only fail to reach the weight loss goal, but end up going backwards and adding more kg!
Losing weight, isn’t easy!
If it was the whole world would be fit and healthy.
But realistically the world is getting fatter, more unhealthy and full of avoidable diseases.
Our world today is filled with temptation and overindulging.
The bad foods are cheaper and more readily accessible, the goods foods are more expensive and involve preparation.
And guess what? People are becoming so time poor that preparing a healthy meal seams impossible in the chaos of life.
It is easy to fall for convenience, after a hard days work, the last thing we feel like doing is going to the gym, for a run and get physical then head home and cook dinner.
But you think:
“A quick trip to KFC, wont hurt”,
“I’ll just grab a pizza on the way home”
“Italian is healthy enough!”
Can see where and how it can start to pile on?
All those suckers are packed with between 1000-1500 calories and its all going to pile on.
Even if you made it to the gym, you have probably only burnt off 300-500 of those calories at best.
So what can you do to give yourself a fighting fit chance at reaching your weight loss resolution even if the wheels have fallen off months into the new. year?
It starts with the way you go about re-defining your new years goals!
No diet or weight loss program will be successful without a solid goal in place.
A solid goal sets the platform for the entire weight loss journey!
How do we go about defining a weight loss goal that will drive success?
It comes in the form of a system called SMART goal setting.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound.
When we say “I want to lose weight” we are really just stating a desire!
However, when you set a SMART goal you’re creating a clear objective!
Now that we have the system, how do we go about utilising it to maximise our chances of achieving our weight loss resolution.
Read on to find out how.
Step 1: Specific
Be specific with your weight targets, expecting to lose weight without a target is a recipe for drop off.
“I want to lose weight” is just a desire, a dream, a hope it happens.
“I need to lose 5kg” is much clearer,
“I will lose 5kg” now demands it!
Step 2: Measurable
Be sure to take measurements!
BUT DON’T rely on the scales.
Use multiple measures, as body composition will change, but body weight may not in the beginning.
Tip: Use a tape measure for neck, hip and waist, or even before and after photos.
These allows for progress to monitored to ensure you are on the right track with your current plan.
Step 3: Attainable
Be realistic when it comes to weight loss, you have to take into account the time it took for you put the weight on.
Expecting to lose 10kg in 2 weeks is near impossible. For those who do it will certainly not stay off and more than likely return in excess of 10kg in the long term.
Research suggests that 0.5-1kg a week is a healthy weight loss target and more realistic.
Step 4: Relevant
Make sure your goal is, relevant to you!
Just because your friend Tracy has lost 20kg, doesn’t mean you need too.
We are all different, shapes, sizes and builds.
Be individual in your approach and research what YOU need for YOU!
This may be A 5kg weight reduction, or dropping from a size 14 to 10, dropping 2 points of the BMI scale or a 3% change body fat.
This may be all you need to do to find yourself within a healthy weight range again.
Step 5: Time-Bound
Set time limits on your weight loss targets.
This provides added accountability. A time frame for you to work towards.
Without it, you will just keep pushing it back to “next week” “next month” or even “ill just start again next year”
What does a SMART weight loss goal sound like?
“ I will lose 5kg of body weight to reduce my BMI to 23 and be within a healthy weight range by the 10th of July 2020”
Even though SMART goal setting is a critical step in helping to achieve your weight loss resolution, it is only the first step of your weight loss journey.
Once a goal is in place you need to set a plan on how to attain that goal.
Usually that next step involves developing a plan that incorporates both dietary changes and an exercise regime!
Hang tight, our next blog will look at this process.
Tips for Future Success!
- If you have not reached your goals in the past, re-evaluate and ask yourself why?
- Maybe you need to make changes your current diet or exercise regime.
- Maybe you need help, direction, accountability, or a push!
- Or like many you know what you need to do, but honestly have no idea how to do it!
For more advice around these keys aspects in achieving your weight loss resolution and giving a huge thumbs down to that extra tyre, chat to the team at Fighting Fit to get started today!
Chris Hunt is Fighting Fit’s Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Sport Scientist and Strength and Conditioning Coach. He has a special interest in enhancing physical performance in everyone from athletes to elderly.