Setting Healthy Achievable Goals When Dieting

Goal setting is a hugely important part of any diet success. Your weight loss goals need to be as specific as possible so you can work toward it and achieve it. Without a clearly defined goal, it will be difficult to achieve it. A clear, achievable goal can provide you with right motivation and great results. There are times, it will be hard to tell whether you are succeeding or failing because you are not sure exactly what the desired outcome should be. By identifying your dieting goals before you even start will eliminate such possibility.

Any diet should match your likes, dislikes and habits. One study has found that matching your dieting plan to your personality is the biggest indicator of how successful the program will be. With help from some dietitians and nutritionist, Time was able to compile this short yet not entirely scientific quiz to find out which eating plan may work best for you. Try to answer as truthfully as you can.

What best describes your eating habits?
A. I’m always on the go, I need something quick and easy.
B. I love to spend time cooking a meal, and I use a variety of foods.
C. I’m flexible. I try to eat healthy, but I still like to indulge on occasion.
D. I’m willing to eliminate foods and find substitutions if I need to.
E. I’m all about getting back to the basics. Our ancestors didn’t eat processed grains, so I don’t want to either.

Why do you diet?
A. I had an overindulgent weekend, and I need to kick start my week.
B. I’m at risk for some serious health issues like diabetes and heart diseases and I need to make some changes.
C. I want to lose weight. But I don’t want to give up ice cream.
D. I have celiac disease.
E. I’d like to lose weight, but I also want my diet to be a big part of my overall lifestyle.

What’s your dieting personality?
A. I’m always following the latest fad
B. I hate the idea of a diet
C. I’m meticulous, but I need motivation along the way
D. I do it because I have to. My body can’t handle certain foods
E. I’m fine voluntarily eliminating foods from my diet.

Find out the answers here

So how do you go about setting those goals that are so important for dieting success? They should be:

  • Realistic
  • Attainable
  • Specific
  • Lasting

You would hear some say if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it. What’s your measuring stick of success? Are you moving along schedule or ahead of schedule? Or are you failing behind? A dieting goal will help you evaluate your efforts and the process.

It is never a good idea to lose weight too quickly. Rather, adjust your expectations to a more realistic and modest goal. By cutting too many calories out of your diet, it can have a detrimental effect on your metabolism. Additionally, you may have a hard time keeping the weight off once you go back to eating regular food. Rather than aiming for the 40-60 pounds, you may start with a specific goal such as 10 pounds in one month. Then you can extend the goal to the next month until you’ve reached the overall goal of 40 or 60 pounds. It is much easier to lose 10 pounds four times than it is to lose 40 pounds at once. It’s a trick of the mind but it works. Ten pounds sounds simple and achievable. Forty pounds sounds like an insurmountable obstacle.

Are you at the point of giving up? Your weight loss success will never come when you surrender. Even if you have lost your desired weight goal (losing only 9 instead of 10 pounds), you mustn’t call the whole thing off. Instead, find out where you dropped the ball for the final pound and set your 10-pound goal for the next month.

The only thing that can stop you from reaching your weight loss goals are your limits. Others will always push your buttons but don’t let them. Do not ever feel guilty if you choose to avoid someone who’s not helpful to your cause. Focusing on your own personal goals is much easier than if you are doing it for someone else. If your heart is not in it, you will not be motivated properly.

Also, you would agree that a little incentive can go a long way. Not only does setting goals make you more successful, but rewarding yourself for hitting those goals will make you more likely to achieve them. Such rewards may be as little as buying yourself a new workout outfit, getting yourself a massage or seeing a new movie with a friend.

Remember that the biggest barrier to your weight loss success can only be YOU. Simple tips won’t work on their own unless you adopt them into your life and to your lifestyle. Do what it takes if you really want it. Weight loss and dieting requires commitment and determination, and you have those qualities inside of you, just waiting to lead you to a healthy and fit body!