Weight Loss

Setting Goals
Setting goals to lose weight are necessary steps for permanent weight loss. The ultimate goal of losing 100 pounds, for example, needs to be divided into smaller steps. The larger goal will be achieved once the tasks are broken- down into more manageable behaviors. There are three distinct parts to achieving the ultimate weight loss goal. All three steps are vital to your success as a "goal setter". A "goal log" and an example will follow the explanation of each step. These steps include:

  1. Writing down a measurable goal
  2. Incorporating a time frame
  3. Planning an alternative to failure

Step 1: Writing down a measureable goal
The task of physically writing down a weekly goal will help you achieve the goal. This particular step will make you aware of the goal and it will make you more accountable to yourself. The goal must be measurable. For example, "I will eat 3 new fruits this week" is more quantifiable than "I will eat new fruits this week". Put a number with the task in order to measure the weekly outcome. Do not pick more than one new goal each week because then the process is too cumbersome and you will abandon all goals. This is one reason why fad diets do not work. Too many changes at the same time are a recipe for failure.

Step 2: Incorporating a time frame
The second step is to incorporate a time frame for achieving this new goal. For example, "I will walk for 10 minutes 3 days per week". Do not write, "I will walk for 10 minutes everyday". The problem with overzealous timetable is setting you up for failure again, Consistency is more important in the beginning. You can always do more than your time frame and it is a bonus to weight loss success. You should increase the number of days that you do the goal, but do not increase the measurable number and the time frame simultaneously. Remember the saying "slow and steady wins the race".

Step 3: Planning an alternative to failure
The final step is to have an alternative plan. For example, if your goal is written as "I will eat 3 new fruits this week" and you forget to pack these fruits, come up with viable solutions to this problem. You could stop at a grocery or convenience store while driving to work. You could purchase a fruit from the cafeteria at work. There are always other options to achieve your goal instead of abandoning the weekly goal altogether. See the example goal log for more options.

Edy McClure MS, RD, CDE, CD-N
94 Fox Run Drive
Southbury, CT 06488

P. 203-267-4090
F. 203-267-4057
Email Edy McClure