Set a Weight Loss Goal You Can Control

You can control your ability to hit your weight loss goal if you set it properly. If you are working hard to lose some weight but are getting frustrated by the scale, it may be time to rethink the way that you are setting your weight loss goals.

For most people, a goal for weight loss centers around the number of pounds lost. The most popular of these is to set a goal to lose a certain number of pounds by a particular date, which is typically a very aggressive target. This is a great goal to set, as long as you know how fast to lose weight to make it a long term success, but there are other goals that should be set to offer some relief from the singular focus on the scale. This can be especially important to help you stay positive when you feel stuck in a weight loss plateau.

So what types of goals can you set that you can control but that don’t use the scale? Think about things you can count (except for pounds). Here are some examples to get you thinking.

Goal Example 1: Walk 8 Miles This Week
This goal is distance related and requires that you get on your feet and do some walking. If you do that you can check this one off your list. Break it up however you like. You can walk one mile per day and do a double session on the weekend or break it up into a few walks. The choice is yours.

Goal Example 2: Workout on the Treadmill 4 Times for 30 Minutes This Week
This goal is based on time and means that you need to log the time. You can work the time into your schedule as needed. Early birds can workout in the morning while night owls might choose an evening session.

Goal Example 3: Eat Fast Food 0 Times This Week
This goal is food related, but it’s not focused on calories. Here, the choice of food is the goal and you can achieve that without asking the scale. There are goals like these that should be part of your plan and give you more reasons to celebrate as you achieve them. Even if you don’t lose the weight this week you will know that you ate a healthy diet, which will ultimately lead to weight loss.

Goal Example 4: Get 8 Hours of Sleep Each Night This Week
Sleep is so very important for every person, but perhaps even more for those attempting to lose weight permanently. Lack of sleep is a partner of unhealthy snacking, so getting to bed can really help. Also, feeling tired during the day often causes poor choices, especially with food. This goal is accomplished by you and your alarm – no scale needed.

Goal Example 5: Ride Your Bike to Work 3 Days This Week
Sometimes a weight loss goal benefits your wallet at the same time, and if you have the opportunity to ride your bike to work or walk to work once in a while you will save money on gas and burn more calories at the same time. Another option is to drive to a certain point and walk or bike from there if the roads are not safe the entire way. 

Do you get the idea behind these alternative weight loss goals? In addition to your current weight loss goal to achieve a target weight by a particular date, other supporting goals should be set along the way to give you the opportunity for successes throughout the process. These additional goals also give you more things to strive for and will create a more positive mindset going forward when they are achieved.

The biggest problem with a single weight loss goal based on weight is that, if a person gets off track, it can be so demotivating as to cause a person to abandon the goal altogether. You should know that very short term changes in your diet, exercise, or even sleep can impact your weight. Weighing yourself too often can make your true weight a difficult thing to judge and mislead you. But there is nothing vague about a mile or an hour or whether you went to bed on time. You either did it or you didn’t.

When you are setting the goals to include in your weight loss journey, remember these points. Having a single goal that is only to lose pounds can be too limiting. Adding goals that don’t count on weight help to support your weight loss goal and offer you more opportunities at success and motivation along the way. Choose goals that you can count, like distance, time, or occurrences. These are weight loss goals you can control more easily than your weight. If you keep it up, the weight will come off.

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