Tuesday, 23 February 2021

How to Achieve Weight Loss Goals in 3 Easy Steps


What is a Goal

Sometimes too many words are thrown at us when we are trying to lose weight. Goals, planning, schedule, journal, BMI, hip to waist....what does it all really mean? Does it work? In what order do you list all this stuff. You just want to lose the weight right? It's all a bit overwhelming especially when you have just kick-started your 'Mojo'. Any more researching on diets, exercise and ideal weight scenarios will just leave your motivation, well ...... demotivated.

The first step

What is the first thing you should do? Set a goal......I know...its one of those words again!! Let me break it all down into steps. The goal, or in simple terms, the destination, the dream or it's the place you want to be!! Whether its a certain weight, a dress size, a fat percentage range or just for health reason.....this is the Goal. It's the ultimate place you want to be, your final destination. You really do need this..the goal, the thing you are aiming for. It's something that will keep your motivation in 'tip-top' at just the thought of being in that one place. If you are unsure and need a guideline then have a go at this tool. It will give you a good starting point. NHS BMI calculator healthy weight calculator

Just enter the correct information into this handy link (above) and you will have your goal weight. There is a healthy weight range....so there is a weight that you can chose for your own personal goal. Try it now.....it's a very simple tool to use and will help you to gain some clarity of your end target.

Step Two

Now what to do? Make the plan! This is a really important step. If your goal is to lose 12 kilos (26 pounds) then this is a long way to go. Planning means you will break down your ultimate goal into smaller steps to make it more manageable and less daunting. If your goal is too far in the distance then this may lead to 'giving up' before you have reached that final destination. Planning will also give you insight into your own personal journey. One size does not fit all in the weight loss game. Everyone's body type, metabolism, and activity levels are different. A good plan will be sustainable, not too easy but definitely not too difficult. Make it too easy, there is no challenge, make it too difficult, there is scope for failure at an early stage. So with this in mind an example could be:

Jo wants to lose 12 kgs. She wants to lose this before her holiday date arrives in 15 weeks.

Her Goal is to lose 12 kgs. She has a 15 week challenge to do so. It is sustainable, she just needs to make a plan.

Her 12 week Plan is to lose 1 kg per week. To do this she will need to change a few things in her day to day life, so that it is not an overwhelming project. Jo is not too active and wants to improve her fitness but not so much that it massively impacts on her social life. For this to happen she will need to be in an approximate 1000 calorie deficit per day by cutting back on her calorific intake and adding exercise or activity to her day (there are 7700 calories worth of energy in 1kg of fat). This will implement a small change in her previous day to day life to achieve this 1kg loss per week. This sounds harder than it is. Jo wants to lose this weight before her holiday so she is prepared to make changes, but does not want to trade her social life for a heavy exercise load and a complete overhaul of her diet.
  • Jo will limit her daily intake from her previous intake of 2500 calories a day down to 1700 per day
  1. She will replace her usual breakfast of 2 waffles with syrup and a latte with a bowl of special K and a coffee with a tbsp of cream (saving 290 calories)
  2. She will replace 2 cans of coke with 2 cans of zero coke or sparkling water (saving 300 calories)
  3. She will swap her lunchtime packet of crinkly crisps with a packet of sweet chilli rice crisps (saving 75 calories)
  4. She will replace her 4pm tea break snack of an orange and cranberry muffin with a homemade honey oats and banana muffin (saving 223 calories)
  5. A total saving of 6220 calories a week                 
  • She will walk for 50 minutes, 5 times a week (at around 4km per hour which burns approx 240 calories) by walking to and from work instead of catching the bus (25 minutes each way) = A 1200 deficit in calories per week
  • She will join an online strength training fitness class twice a week for 45 mins each session (which will burn approx 220 - 240) = A 480 deficit in calories per week.
  • This is is a weekly total deficit of 6220 + 1200 + 480 = 7900. Jo should hit her goal in 12 weeks if she keeps to her plan. She will journal her eating and exercise in case she needs to make adjustments as she is heading towards her goal.

So Jo's plan has allowed her to have a three week gap between her goal destination and her holiday arrival date. This will help her immensely if she is not loosing the desired weight each week. It has allowed her to increase her fitness levels by walking to and from work and joining an online fitness programme twice a week. Jo has chosen online fitness so that she can fit in her workouts at home and do them at the time she pleases. Jo's life has not altered too much. Her food intake has changed by swapping high calorie foods for lower calorie versions of the same type of food. She has not overhauled her diet completely. Jo knows that she needs to add cardio into her life to increase her cardio health and walking to and from work will mean that she has to leave her home 30 minutes earlier than usual. 

Jo has a Goal to lose 12 kilos and a 12 week plan to reach her goal. That is the difference between a Goal and a Plan

Step Three

Journal your progress......write it down. Why? If your plan is not working at some point in your weight loss journey, then you can monitor what you are doing each day. If we go back to Jo.....she is losing 1 kilo a week for 9 weeks. On week 10 she loses 0.5 kilos. This is not a failure. This is not the time to give up. This will be the time to refer to your journal. There maybe a calorie issue? Jo may not have added up her calories correctly within week 9? She may have missed her walk/workout......maybe had an extra drink socially, that was not a normal occurrence.....it is easily done, the odd glass of wine, sugar loaded can of drink? Or maybe she just needs to 'tweek' her diet/exercise programme to ramp up her metabolism. There are two options here:

Option One: Jo could continue as she is? She will need to continue to monitor her progress. She will still reach her goal on week 15......as long as she continues with a 0.5 kilo weight loss. Her plan and goal have stayed the same. She has just changed the time limit from 12 to 15 weeks.

Option Two: Jo could change her plan. She could add an extra walk at the weekend to burn more calories? If she is enjoying her online class she can add an extra workout to her week. Jo could cut back on her calories per day by swapping another food for a lower calorie version. Her goal is the same, but by monitoring her food intake and exercise programme she can see areas that can change her plan slightly to bring her to her goal at the time limited she originally set herself.

Jo has the same Goal......she is changing her Plan to reach her goal. In your weight loss journey there is no failures just a re-adjustment to get you back on track......the big advantage to any plan is writing a Journal. There is an array of journals on the market to help all sorts of planning schedules in whatever goals you hope to achieve. For me personally I love to write in a journal. I do have apps too, but I find writing things on paper, especially if I need to review a long term plan, a lot easier to see in a written journal. Have a browse through the links to get an idea on journals and how they work. They are inexpensive and good tools to help with your progress and maintenance. 

(This post contains affiliate marketing links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn commission, but this will not increase the cost of the item or cost you extra to purchase. Many thanks. (see my 'about' page for details))

In conclusion - To achieve your goal you must have a plan. Find your goal first, make a sustainable plan, not too easy and not too difficult. You want your plan to be a little bit challenging so you don't get bored, but not too difficult so you feel you are failing before you even start. Make sure that you write down your goal and your plan in a journal or on an app and keep an eye on your progress by monitoring your food intake and exercise programme. Remember....."Your Goal stays the same......its your Plan that can change" and most importantly....."There is no Failures in Goal setting......your plan is changeable. It's your plan and your journey"


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