How to Set Realistic Weight Loss Goals

  • Possible Pat
  • July 17, 2018

Knowing how to set the right goals can make the difference between losing the weight that you want and failing. Setting goals may seem easy, but it can actually be one of the most difficult parts of your journey.

When I started on my journey to lose over 300 pounds, I knew that I needed to lose weight, but I didn’t know how much. I also didn’t know what to expect as I started to succeed and so my first goals were unreasonable, and my expectations were too high. This led to a rough start that left me feeling frustrated and impatient.

For most people, not being able to set the right goal scan cause them to give up altogether or feel like they are failing when they are really succeeding.

Setting Your Weight Loss Goals

Figure Out Your Ideal Body Weight

There are several factors that determine your healthy body weight, and this should be your ultimate goal. Although we all want to look better, your first goal should be to become healthier. For me, I was at risk of an early death, and I knew I needed to take better care of myself and lose the weight so that I could be there for my kids as they grew up. This became my “Why,” the whole reason and motivated behind my weight loss. Not only was I afraid of an early disease and an early death, but I was afraid of leaving those I love behind.

Your first step is to figure out what motivates you and your “Why,” then figure out what a healthy weight for you would. This would be your ultimate goal, but not the goals that you strive to achieve week after week.

The ideal, healthy body weight can vary and depend on your age, height, and gender. You can talk to your doctor to figure out how much you should weigh, or you can get a general idea by using a BMI calculator and use the following general consensus:

  • Underweight: BMI of less than 18.5
  • Idea: BMI of 18.5 to 25
  • Overweight: BMI of 25 to 30
  • Obese: BMI over 30

Start With Small Goals

When I started to lose weight, I didn’t know how to set goals that would help me succeed, and this impacted how I viewed my weight loss. Not only did I feel like I wasn’t making progress, but I also felt lost.

If you want to create successful goals, you have to start small. No matter how much weight you have to lose, you can’t focus on the overall goal. Instead, focus on making smaller goals that you are more easily reachable. For example, plan on losing five to ten percent of your overall goal at the time. So, if you have 100 pounds to lose, focus on losing five to ten pounds at a time.

Reaching these goals is much easier than reaching long-term, larger goal and will help keep you motivated as you lose weight. You will be able to really see the progress you make as you can celebrate milestones and make small changes when necessary to keep your success coming.  

You can also set goals that are unrelated to the amount of weight that you lose. For example, you can set a goal of getting unhealthy food out of the house, meal prep goals, and exercise goals.

Make Your Goals Realistic

One mistake a lot of people make, and I’ve been guilty of this too, is setting unrealistic goals. If you set goals that are unreasonable and unrealistic, you start off setting yourself up for failure. Don’t expect to lose ten pounds in a single week. Progress is not made in large leaps but in small steps.

It is important to be realistic about how long it will take you to lose weight and how much weight you can healthily lose week after week. Losing weight will take work, commitment and time.

Making a Plan to Lose Weight

Which Diet is Best For You?

If you’ve tried to lose weight before, you know there are many different diet plans out there, and most of them don’t work, while the rest will help you lose weight yet fail to teach you how to sustain that weight loss.

Losing weight isn’t just about the amount you have to lose, but it is also about establishing healthy habits that are sustainable so that you can keep the weight off.

If you have a lot to lose, your first step should be to eliminate all the unhealthy, processed foods from your life and focus on eating healthy foods. This will help you establish healthy habits before you even begin to count calories and strategize your meals. This is the first step that I have laid out in my How to Lose Weight 101 guide, which provides all of the successful steps that I took that lead me to finally losing the weight and keeping it off.

Once you begin to establish healthy eating habits, then you will be ready to begin strategizing your diet or get on a Custom Meal Plan and have a nutritionist do the strategizing for you.

What Exercises Work For You?

Losing weight doesn’t only mean controlling your nutrition and creating healthier eating habits. It also means you have to move more so that you can burn more calories. Depending on how much weight you have to lose can determine what exercises you may be capable of doing.

HIIT and weight lifting workouts are a great way to lose weight, but these types of exercises are not possible for everyone in the beginning. I know because when I began my journey, I wasn’t ready to hit the gym. Not only was I not confident enough to join a gym, but I was too heavy to use most of the machines, and my movements were more limited. This is why I began walking. I walked every day to the closest grocery store to get the meals that I would eat that day. This is how I began my exercise.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen some of my workouts where I do a lot of heavy weight lifting and cardio. This was not where I started with my workouts, but rather where I built up to.

Find a workout or type of movements that work for you, and if you have a lot to lose and have limited mobility, you can click here to see my top limited mobility exercises.

Strategize Your Weight Loss

Strategizing your weight loss means having a plan. Once you figure out what type of diet works best for you, whether you decide to go with keto, carb-cycling or are eating clean, plan how you will ensure that you eat those healthy meals.

You may want to create a calendar where you can plan out what your weekly meals will look like. You can plan and write in what you will have for breakfast, lunch, dinner and the macros included within each meal.  You can even plan out your workouts on this calendar.

Another way to strategize your weight loss is by planning out your meals so that you can meal prep throughout the week. This will help you stay on track to losing weight by making sure you are eating the healthy food you are buying, rather than turning to unhealthy, processed food.

make a weight loss plan and set goals

Track Your Weight Loss Success

As you lose weight be sure to track your success so that you can know you are reaching your goals.

There are several ways that you can track your success.

  • Keep a diary – Keeping a diary can help you track more than just how much weight you lose. It can also help you keep track of the small changes, such as how you are feeling and your mood. When you begin to lose weight, and you change your diet, you will notice changes in energy levels, overall mood, and how your body feels. You may even experience withdrawal symptoms as you remove sugar from your diet.
  • Pictures – You can keep track of your weight loss by taking pictures of yourself. Many people find satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment by having before and after pictures. By taking a photo, you can document how your body changes throughout the process, and it will allow you to see these changes side-by-side as you progress. This is something you most likely will not see just looking in the mirror.
  • Use a scale – The scale is a great way to track how much you are losing, but the key is to weigh yourself at the same point in the day, whether that be morning, noon or night. The reason is that is it normal for your body weight to fluctuate within a few pounds throughout the day. Weighing yourself at the same time can help you get the most accurate weight loss reading.

Your Goals May Change Overtime

As you lose weight, you will need to adjust your goals and your weight loss methods. You will need to adjust the calories you eat and increase the workouts you do so that you can continue to your goals.

You may also find that your goals change as your progress. When I first started to lose weight, my goal was to get to a healthier weight so that I can be there for my family. Today, my goals have completely changed as I have added on my bodybuilding goals to my health goals. These are goals that I never imagined having, but sometimes life surprises you and you find that you can do more than you thought you were capable of.

For now, focus on the small steps and make realistic goals so that you can start losing the weight that you want.

About Possible Pat

Hi, I'm Pasquale Brocco and I've lost A LOT of weight. When I started my journey to lose weight, I weighed 605 pounds. After visiting the doctor, I realized I had to make a change. I started with a simple plan and within 60 days, I lost 100 lbs. So far, I've lost over 307 pounds. Now, I'm sharing a simple message with you, "Anything is possible." If you can put on the weight, you can lose the weight.

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