Weight loss goals: How to set them


Setting the right weight loss goals is essential for healthy weight reduction. Here’s what to keep in mind while setting your weight loss goals.

While losing weight might be on your mind constantly, it might not work until and unless you set weight loss goals. Making sure you have healthy and effective weight loss goals is the key to making your fitness journey a success. But if you are wondering why it never works out, know what you might be doing wrong!

According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, setting the right goals is the first essential step that needs to be taken if you want to lose weight. Health Shots got in touch with Dr Ankit Potdar, Consultant – General Surgery, SRV Hospitals, who tells us how to set medically approved weight loss goals that keep us healthy, and in shape.

What does it mean to set weight loss goals?

Setting targets to lose weight means deciding clear and measurable goals to reach a certain weight by a set time. “These goals help guide and motivate you as you progress. Achievable goals take into account your health, daily routines, and lasting changes,” says Dr Potdar. They help you stay focused, track your progress, and build good habits for your health in the long run.

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How to set the right weight loss goals?

Weight loss goal should aim for a steady and lasting reduction in weight. Dr Potdar tells you what to keep in mind while setting these goals.

A woman working out
Setting realistic fitness goals can help with weight loss. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

1. Focus on balanced weight loss

Instead of just concentrating on reducing weight, set goals that promote good habits, like regular exercise and eating a balanced diet.

2. Go slow

It’s recommended to target a gradual weight loss of about one to two pounds each week, as big changes can be hard to stick to and might not be good for your health.

3. Focusing on overall health

Yes, weight loss is the main goal but that doesn’t mean that you should deprive your body of any nutrients or exercise too much, or do anything can affect your overall health. It is very important to not forget your health and well-being while trying to lose weight. This is the key for effective weight management.

4. Understand weight loss objective

First step towards setting a sensible monthly weight loss goal starts with understanding your overall weight loss objective. It’s important to take a gradual like weight loss of 0.5-1 kg weekly, or around 2-4 kgs each month. Think about factors like your current weight, metabolism, and how active you are.

5. Divide and conquer

To achieve lasting results, divide your monthly goals into smaller weekly targets that are easier to reach. Also, focus on building a healthy routine with regular exercise and a balanced diet.

6. Regular checks

It is essential that you regularly check in on your goals and tweak them as needed based on how you’re doing and how you feel. Knowing your body can help you give better weight loss results.

Also Read: These 6 fat-burning foods are what you need to meet your weight loss goals

What is the right amount of weight to lose in a month?

Well! This question is rather important as the right answer will help in weight management as well. “A healthy and steady weight loss goal is often seen as losing 0.5 to 1 kilos every week, or around 2-4 kilos each month. Rapid weight loss can lead to issues like muscle loss and other health concerns,” says Dr Potdar.

When deciding how much weight to aim for, think about factors like your starting weight, how your body works (your metabolism), and your overall health. Making small and regular changes to your diet and activity levels is key to long-term success and maintaining good health.

How do weight loss medication work in this goal setting?

Usually, weight loss medications work by changing how your body metabolises food, controls hunger, or absorbs nutrients. “They can help increase calorie burn, make you feel fuller, and manage hunger better. Before considering these medications as part of your weight loss plan, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional to ensure they align with your weight loss and health objectives,” explains Dr Potdar. For lasting results, view medications as just one part of a comprehensive approach that includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, and changes in behaviour.

Medicines in hand
Weight loss medication helps in controlling hunger. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What are the tools that will help you set and track your weight loss?

Several tools can assist individuals in setting and tracking their weight loss goals effectively:

1. Digital Apps and fitness trackers

There are various apps available online offering calorie tracking, exercise logging, and progress charts. You can also invest in a fitness tracker that helps you monitor activity levels, heart rate, and calories burned, providing insights into daily physical activity.

2. Food journals

Maintaining a written or digital log of food intake helps individuals become more aware of eating habits and can highlight areas for improvement.

3. Weight scales

Digital scales can provide accurate weight measurements, and some advanced models even calculate body fat percentage.

4. Measuring tape

Tracking body measurements, such as waist circumference, can offer additional insights into physical changes beyond weight.

5. Online communities

Various weight loss forums offer support, advise, and motivation from like-minded individuals.

Utilising these tools collectively can enhance accountability, motivation, and the likelihood of achieving weight loss goals.

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