When setting your weight loss goals, it's important to be realistic and generous to yourself. Losing weight is not something that can be done overnight. It likely took months or years for the weight to be gained, and anybody who says that there's a quick fix is lying or marketing something very unhealthy. When setting long-term weight loss goals, there are several personal things to consider that will affect your goal-setting.
Purpose for Weight Loss
When addressing your long-term weight loss goals, first decide a final goal line where you want to have reached your ideal weight or at least a distinctly lesser weight. Some people have definite occasions to strive to lose weight by, such as a prom, wedding or reunion. You want to address milestones as important parts of your long-term weight loss goals. However, if you have 100 pounds to lose--and the occasion is in six months--don't set yourself up for failure, and don't be unhealthy or unrealistic about weight loss.
Keeping It Real
Many health care professionals recommend striving to lose weight slowly in order to keep it off long-term. The Mayo Clinic suggests that 1 to 2 pounds of weight loss per week should be the goal. If you plan on losing more than that per week, you may be both setting yourself up for failure and setting yourself up for unhealthy habits that can't be maintained long-term. The slow and steady dieter loses the pounds and keeps them off.
Setting the Goal
When setting long-term weight goals for yourself, only estimate a 1-to-2-pound weight loss per week. Therefore, if you have 100 pounds to lose, you could estimate a year to achieve that loss. At 2 pounds per week, that would take 50 weeks. However, the 2 pound is the high end of the estimate, so remember to give yourself several weeks where only 1 pound is loss, in order to avoid setting yourself up for failure.
Types of Goals
You cannot live and function on your diet with only one long-term goal that can't be met for months or over a year. Instead, as part of your long-term goals, set taglines where you give yourself non-food rewards. If you can fit it into your budget, consider going on a small weekend getaway to a spa once your reach your half-point goal.
Other long-term goals that you should make include a BMI goal, for when you reach your ideal BMI. You should also include long-term goals for waist size, arm size, muscle buidling and body fat percentage. By giving yourself a variety of long-term goals to meet, you set yourself up for multiple, joyous successes. You will likely meet many of these other long-term goals before you meet your weight goal, and that will keep you moving and motivated along the way.