Set realistic, small and achievable goals
Every weight-loss coach will tell you to set goals, but the key is ensuring they are realistic. ‘I’m never going to eat chocolate again’ is just torture – and unattainable – for most of us! However, if you start small, with manageable and realistic steps to weight loss, you are much more likely to succeed.
For example, if you’re currently exercising twice a week, aim to increase it to three. When you’ve mastered that for a few weeks, add another session – even if it’s getting off the bus two stops earlier to sneak in an extra 10-minute walk. Small and realistic goal setting will help you monitor your progress, keep you motivated, inspired and feeling accomplished (when you nail it!), and ready to add the next goal.
Add challenging long-term goals
While realistic short-term goals are essential and will keep you focused on the immediate time frame – ie ‘today I will eat… this week I will exercise…’ you need the grand prize to look forward to. The inspiration. The long-term goal. The challenge!
Think six monthly to 12 months – any longer than that and it’s too distant. Your long-term goal could be a number – size 10, or seeing yourself at a much healthier 20 kilograms lighter. Or it could be a clear fitness or food goal – being able to run around an oval without stopping; finishing the City to Surf marathon, or cutting chocolate from your daily post-dinner food weaknesses – for a month.
Set balanced goals
We’ve all heard the slogan ‘move more, eat less’, but what exactly does that mean? Well, it means the two go hand in hand. But they need to be balanced. When it comes to movement, the average adult should move at least 10,000 steps a day. Get a step counter, download one of the many free apps or strap on one of the fancy health tracker bands to monitor and motivate yourself.
When it comes to calories, the average female will lose weight on 1200-1400 calories (as long as they are not doing more than 40-60 minutes of exercise each day), while men will lose weight on around 1600-1800 calories. Make sure your food choices are healthy, and have your biggest meal at lunch as opposed to dinner so your body can digest food and burn the calories, rather than kick-starting your digestive system at night when your body should be winding down for its rest and recovery phase.
Check in with your GP regularly
Remember, healthy weight loss is the best for longevity, but if moving more and eating less calories is not working for you, speak to your GP. They can investigate possible medical issues that could be preventing weight loss, or alternatively, prescribe weight-loss aides that could help you reach your goals.