Sunday, January 2, 2011

How I Lost Weight in 2010 and What I Recommend - Part II

Set realistic goals. I used to be able to set a goal of five pounds of weight loss a month and easily meet it. But I got discouraged when that goal wasn't working for me anymore. Around the same time that I decided to go for three pounds a month, I had a physical, and that was exactly the same goal my doctor recommended for me. The funny thing is, once I set that goal, started losing an average of seven pounds a month instead! I made a graph of weight loss over time, with a baseline of three pounds a month, then recorded twice a month what I actually lost. Even if I gained a little, it was good to see, because it was always much lower than my baseline goal of three pounds a month! Plus I knew that if I plateaued for a while (a problem for me at times), I would still be "ahead of the game" in my goals.

One of the things I learned in helping my students at the middle school where I work is that the best goals are called SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. For instance, instead of saying, "I'm going to lose 50 pounds this year," you say, "I'm going to lose three pounds a month this year by exercising for an hour three times a week and eating no more than 35 carbs a day" (or whatever your plan is).

(To be continued tomorrow)

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