When we set out to lose weight, we get an idea in our minds for what realistic weight loss progress is. We sometimes set goals too high and often times we also set goals too low. The problem there is that what we believe to be appropriate may not be correct after all.
There needs to be a balance and here we will touch on how to do that and what realistic weight loss goals should be. We cannot base those expectations on enthusiasm and novelty or on underperforming. There needs to be a way to examine what we plan to do and what our bodies are capable of giving us back as a result of those actions.
Where to Start in Setting Realistic Weight Loss Expectations
If you’re unsure, your first stop should be a discussion with your doctor. You will more than likely be surprised at the recommendations and advice you receive and at how much better you can do with some additional personalized support that does not include fad dieting.
Remember that just because you read a weight loss blog online, it doesn’t mean that you’ll experience the exact same thing. Every body requires its own balance of nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress management and other factors. These each play a vital role in your outcomes. Getting started on the right healthy foot can make all the difference.
Why we set goals too high
It’s not to say that everyone doesn’t have the same weight loss capability as anyone else. However, it is to say that we have to do it right in order to have optimal success. What is meant by setting the goal too high is not that you can’t lose 60 or even 100 pounds–it is just that you can’t do it in a week or maybe even a month and you shouldn’t try. This is because it is an unhealthy risk and it will fail. Period.
Even if you succeed in losing a ton of weight, you will only gain it back and often times more than what it was to begin with. This isn’t due to you not having the willpower to keep it going but it is because you will shock your metabolism into compensating, so it won’t starve to death. Though this isn’t what is actually happening–it will tell your brain just that and take your weight loss goals into a tailspin.
The best way to reach your realistic weight loss goals is to set balanced eating routines and exercise routines that will best serve you.
When we set goals too low
There are those that have a lack like attitude and will assume it is too hard to lose a certain amount of weight. This is a confidence issue as well as an issue of not having the drive to shoot for what you need to do. Maybe you feel the amount of weight is too much for you to lose so you go just so far and then end up sabotaging the process by falling off the wagon.
Ways to expect realistic weight loss progress
There are many different ways in which you can consider whether or not you’ve set realistic weight loss goals and progress measures. Use the following tips to help you to guide yourself into a strategy that will be more appropriate for your health and long-term weight management.
1. Look at the time by which you want to lose weight
Consider the length of time you’re giving yourself to achieve realistic weight loss. Have you decided that you want to lose 20 pounds in 2 months? Sounds achievable, right? Perhaps, except that it means you will need to lose 2.5 pounds per week every single week. Most doctors recommend 1-2 pounds per week. That said, if you were to try to push yourself for that little bit more every week, you haven’t given yourself any wiggle room. You’d need to achieve that maximum fat burning every week.
If you were to lose “only” 2 pounds a couple of times, it would mean you’re already falling short of your goal by a pound. Considering that body fluctuates throughout your fat burning because you’ll gain and lose water, and you’ll build lean muscle mass as you burn fat, you’re almost guaranteeing that you’re setting yourself up for failure by making your deadline too tight. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time in which to achieve your goal.
Remember that even if you keep up your best efforts every single day – and very few people can do that – you need to give yourself adequate time in which to experience fluid gain and loss, changes in body composition, and other factors outside of fat burning that will register on your bathroom scale.
2. Plan your moves week by week
Healthy and realistic weight loss isn’t something set in stone. It’s a strategy that will fluctuate and evolve with the season, with your body weight, and with your fitness level. Even your mood is a factor. Be prepared to adapt your moves each week based on how you’re feeling, how challenging your exercises have been, and how many calories you should be consuming.
3. Try to stay off the scale
The scale can be a tool to motivate you, but it can also set you up for disappointment if you don’t see what you’re expecting. Weighing yourself every day can be motivational over the very short term. However, it’s important to remember that due to gradual weight loss, you won’t see the number falling each day. You may even see it climb now and again, temporarily. Weighing yourself weekly, first thing in the morning before eating or drinking everything, on the same day of the week, naked or just wearing your underwear is the best way to record your body mass.
These steps and philosophy are straightforward and will help you to expect realistic weight loss progress.